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This is the Jew Town of Mattancherry which until 1953 was home to about 100 hews whose descendants had made this neighbourhood their home over the centuries.
Today hardly six of them remain. The youngest Yael Halleguan is in her mid forties. She is the care taker for the Synagogue which charges five rupees as the entry fees. The money goes in maintaining the synagogue.
It is an ornately decorated synagogue. Its tiled floors were imported from China in 1762, the handknit Oriental rug from the last emperor of Ethiopia and the cadle lamps from Belgium.
Sadly though, there is no Rabbi to sand at the bimah, the Pulpit. The place itself is a small museum that is visited by travellers specially Jews from all over the world. Services are held only when there is a minyan - a group of 10 Jewish men needed to form a prayer service. It is now only possible with the inclusion of Jewish male visitors. So the beautiful Synagogue is usually empty, save for tourists who some to marvel its beauty.
|Sara & Jacob Cohen on their wedding day|