Shalom to you from the Rock

posted 10 May 2016, 17:37 by Lodzer Shabbat-Bulletin   [ updated 16 May 2016, 22:35 ]

Shalom to you from the Rock.

British for over 300 years now, Gibraltar bears allegiance to Her Majesty every bit as loyally as any one of us.

There are close to 1,000 Jews here (about 3% of the population; mind you, in 1755 it used to be around 50%).
The community is thriving. There are 5 synagogues plus 3 daily minyanim (all of them Orthodox, about 70% Sephardic), an Institute of Advanced Talmudic Studies, 7 kosher restaurants and delis, and more!

One of the synagogues has its full Shabbat morning services entirely run by children. What can I tell you? That was soo co-ol.
Maybe we should do that, too. After all, why should the Cantor, the Gabbai, the Rabbi, and the President all work hard on Shabbos? Delegation is the key.

This is the entrance to the so-called Flemish Synagogue, established c. 1800 to cater to the Dutch Sephardic merchants in Gibraltar, whose traditions differed greatly from those of the Moroccan Jewry. 

The architect was Italian, far more familiar with Catholic churches. The exterior design is very North European (actually Dutch perhaps) while the interior is predominantly Italian; sorry, did not manage to take a good picture of that. You'll have to come and see for yourself.

(or Google it)

Oh, almost forgot: Gibraltar also boasts a perfect close-up view of the Moroccan coast in nice weather, and the only wild monkey population in Europe. Barbary macaque, anyone?
Barbary macaque, Gibraltar_w600.jpg

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Rabbi Eli