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Kerala’s 818-year-old synagogue reopens, devotees welcome ‘Sefer Torah’

Kerala’s 818-year-old synagogue reopens, devotees welcome ‘Sefer Torah’
Kerala's 818-year-old synagogue reopens, devotees welcome 'Sefer Torah' (Picture Credits: By Jay A. Waronker)

Kadavumbagam synagogue on Market Road in Ernakulam, resounded with Hebrew greetings yet again when people arrived at the Synagogue to celebrate its anniversary.

818-year-old Kadavumbagam synagogue, which was closed for worship since 1972 has finally reopened on the occasion of its anniversary.

On the occasion, the renovated synagogue welcomed the ‘Sefer Torah’ (handwritten copy of the Torah, the holiest book in Judaism) from Israel yesterday. A number of people from the Jewish community gathered to welcome the Sefer Torah to the revamped synagogue

(Credits: ANI)

In Judaism, Torah is the law of God as revealed to Moses and recorded in the first five books of the Hebrew Scriptures.

Synagogues in Kerala:

There are at least 8 known synagogues in Kerala in recorded history, most of them are not operating anymore.

Earlier, only the Pardesi Synagogue in Mattancherry functioned as a synagogue but now, the Parur Synagogue, Chendamangalam Synagogue, Mala Synagogue and the Kadavumbhagam Ernakulam Synagogue in Ernakulam downtown are open to public visit.

Pardesi Synagogue, Jew Town, Kerala


Although its history cannot be verified, narratives claim that the original Kadavumbagam Synagogue was constructed in the medieval period in the port town of Cranganore to the north of Kochi.

At that time the Moors, who had arrived on the shores of Kerala some time earlier, had aligned themselves with the native ruler. Since spices were a valuable local commodity and the trade was lucrative and competitive, the Moors saw the Jews, who were involved in the spice trade, as competition that needed to be eliminated.

Topic: #kerala
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