Kochi synagogue witnesses prayers after 60 years


Event attended by five Cohanim, Jewish ‘superiors’

For the first time in around 60 years, a large congregation gathered at the Kadavumbhagam synagogue on Market Road to offer prayers on Wednesday morning.

A 78-member group, mostly comprising lawyers and judges from different parts of Israel, visited the synagogue, making the prayers possible. “This is the first time that such a large congregation has gathered at the synagogue on a day that is not Sabbath,” said Elias Josephai, the caretaker of the synagogue, whose efforts kick-started the renovation of the building and its interiors a few years ago.

The prayer was also a rare event since it was attended by five Cohanim – Jewish “superiors” whose traditional duty is to perform rituals. “In Jewish life, the presence of the cohanim is important to conduct rituals and this is the first time that the synagogue has been blessed by the presence of five,” Mr. Josephai said. The group from Israel that arrived in the city on a five-day tour through Kochi, Kumarakom and Munnar also had a member who traced his origins back to Cochin.

The 819-year-old synagogue was closed for prayers in 1972 when the members of the Jewish community in Kochi moved to Israel, Mr. Josephai said.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 8:03:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/kochi-synagogue-witnesses-prayers-after-60-years/article29903261.ece

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