Thursday, November 14, 2013

Prince Charles in Synagogue Lane and in Paradesi Synagogue

By Bala Menon

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla Parker Bowles, Duchess of Cornwall, was in Jew Street, Mattancherry on November 14 - which was also his 65th birthday.


He walked the length of Synagogue Lane, stopping to accept birthday wishes from people who lined the street. In the Paradesi Synagogue, the Prince was received by warden Queenie Hallegua, who talked about some historical aspects of the Cochin Jewish community.

A traditional Jewish prayer of blessing was held for the Royal Family. The Prince and Duchess were then shown the ancient Torah scrolls and the ancient copper plates given by Emperor Cheraman Perumal to Jewish leader Joseph Rabban in 1000 CE.

"The prince examined the copper plates presented by the Raja of Cranganore to Joseph Rabban... These plates granted special privileges to our community, which included the waiver of taxes and the right to use palanquins and parasols. Written in ancient Tamil, these plates say that the Jewish community could enjoy these rights till the time the sun and moon exists," said Hallegua to media persons later.

They were also shown the gold and silver crowns that adorn the Torah cases. The Royal Couple spent more than 30 minutes in the synagogue and they were presented with a photograph of Queen Elizabeth when she visited the synagogue in 1997, along with photographs of the famed blue Chinese tiles and a replica of the copper plates.

Present in the synagogue were members of the Cochin Jewish community from Mattancherry, Aluva, Paravur and Ernakulam, along with Dr. Kocha Varma of the Cochin Royal Family, who is also the founding-patron of the Cochin Royal Family Historical and Heritage Society. The Prince was also greeted by P.P. Mathew, president of the Kerala Chapter of the Indo-Israeli Friendship Society.

It has been reported that  Prince Charles (although not Jewish) was circumcised as a child by a "royal mohel" - a person trained in the the practise of brit milah, the 'covenant of circumcision'. There is also said to be historical data linking the English royal family to ancient Jewish roots - through the royal house of the Mergovingians in Europe. Mary, Queen of Scots, acknowledged her Jewish ancestry.

Video Courtesy: The Daily Mail online.

No comments:

Post a Comment