Little Jerusalem - Dublin, Republic of Ireland

posted 20 Aug 2019, 12:47 by Charles Greene
Little Jerusalem - Dublin, Republic of Ireland

It is raining in Dublin today - on and off every hour, as is the way with the summer weather here.

Five Jewish merchants (apparently from Normandy) came to Ireland with gifts for the king of Munster, and were soon sent packing. The next we hear of Jews in Ireland is 1232, when King Henry III grants the office of the Irish Exchequer "The Custody of the King's Judaism in Ireland". Jewish history here is every bit as tumultuous as it was everywhere else.

This is the community that produced Baron Rabbi Immanuel Jakobovits, later the Chief Rabbi of the UK; Chaim Herzog, a rabbi's son and the sixth president of Israel; Max Abrahamson, the author of what became known as "the engineer's bible"; and many other prominent figures in public life. 
The most famous Irish Jew, of course, never even existed; Poldy Bloom's day is apparently celebrated annually by antisemites and Jews alike - not to mention a whole lot of supporters who never read as much as a page of Ulysses. :)

 A hundred years ago, the area to the south of the city centre was known as Little Jerusalem; the Jewish community, about 6,000 strong, over 90% of them coming from the Russian Empire, gave a special flavour to those streets. 

6 active synagogues, yeshivah, kosher butcher shops and bakeries, Yidden both frum and secular were busily roaming these streets. Those days are gone. After the war, so many immigrated to Israel or New York, others moved to the suburb of Terenure, Schules were relocated, and buildings sold (though one of them still contains an active Jewish museum, the curator of which is a member of the original community, always happy to take visitors down his memory lane).

Live and learn: just found out Harry Potter was Jewish. Or at least, the actor who played him.
Always was under the impression somehow that Daniel Radcliffe was Irish; it was an Irish gent at a pub, one of those magnificently colourful Joyce-ian old school establishments, who told me he was born to a Jewish mother in England (and - yes, much as I put stock in everything I hear at the pub, I did check).

The weather has actually cleared as I am writing this.
Warm regards and Shabbat Shalom from Dublin.