Sunday, 2 December 2012

Christmas Comes To Williamsburge Part 1

Shalom:
Yesterday was a very special shabbat.
After dropping Monti off at his aunt Lilly's, Mark and I headed for Williamsburge.
It has been a little over a year since we have visited one of our favourite places, so we decided to spend this shabbat there.
It was an amazing day to visit Colonial Williamsburge; a warm, almost Indian Summer day. Warm for this time of year, but for touring Christmas homes of the 1770s, it was perfect.

 We are often asked about Jews here in Virginia history. Though we haven't found much, we do now that the Jewish presence in colonial Virginia was slight. It was the other southern colonies, particularly Georgia and the Carolinas, had large numbers of Jews among their early settlers.
 Forty-two Jewish immigrants to Savannah established Congregation Mickve Israel in 1733, and Charleston Jews founded Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim in 1750. While visiting Charleston a few years ago, Mark and I stopped at Kadosh Beth Elohim and learn of her history.
I shall have to share that story one day.
Virginia's first permanent synagogue community, Kehilah ha Kadosh Beth Shalome in Richmond, coalesced after the Revolution, in 1789, but it is considered one of six colonial Jewish congregations along with others in Philadelphia, Newport, Savannah, and Charleston.
Given that Hanukkah, like most Jewish holy days are celebrated in the home, I really don't think there is much difference in how Hanukkah is now as it was then.
The decorations of the holidays are simple and made from things on hand; pine cones and wildflowers. Many are made from seasonal fruits.
And when the holiday is over, you can still eat the fruit.
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