Shabbat in India (with LOTS of pictures)
We took the train down to South Mumbai for the weekend to experience Shabbat with the Indian Jewish community. Mumbai has about 9 synagogues for a Jewish community of about 5,000 people. The guesthouse we stayed at was right next to a big blue temple that we went to for brief services Friday night. It seemed like the temple is not frequented much- they rarely have enough people for a minyan- and the women’s section upstairs seemed especially unused.
|The inside of the synagogue|
After services, we walked down the street to the home of Sharon and Sharona (best name match ever), an Indian couple who had us over for Shabbat dinner. They and their 3 daughters and both sets of grandparents welcomed us as well as several other Jewish travelers and current/former JDC fellows. It was so strange but amazing to sing the Shabbat blessings with all of them in the same tunes I grew up with. Their 9-year-old daughter, Tiferet, led the group in “Yerushalayim Shel Zahav,” which was very powerful coming from a little girl from this tiny diasporic Jewish community which somehow is able to remain so connected to Judaism and Israel. I met a girl who was the JDC fellow in Mumbai in 2006, and she gave me a bunch of advice about how to make the most of my year in Berlin, and I also talked to one of the current Mumbai JDC fellows. I’m coming to see just how amazing and interconnected the worldwide JDC community is, and I’m excited to be a part of it.
|Wearing our matching purchases|
|Gateway of India|
|Fruit and veggie market|