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Archive for December, 2012

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These pictures were taken in the cemetery of a synagogue in the Jewish Quarter (Josefov) of Prague. The Jewish quarter is an interesting area to visit, there are 6 synagogues that you can visit, and a Jewish Museum. The area has a really interesting history too; it was sort of the center of Jewish living in Prague, starting around the 13th century. The area has a really mixed history, in my mind this district stands as a testament to the survival of the Jewish culture in the face of adversity. I really like that this area has maintained its cultural identity through time as well, and you can really see the layers of different eras here. The graveyard is really cool, but if you are visiting this area (as with any other place you visit) remember to be respectful of the rules here: make sure if you are visiting synagogues that you cover your shoulders, and yarmulkes are provided for men to cover their heads while visiting the religious sites. Also, just a heads up, if you want to take pictures in this cemetery you have to pay, but it’s not expensive at all, and i’m pretty sure the proceeds go towards maintaining this historical site. Also when you are here, if you can, try to find a good restaurant! The place we went to was overpriced (we didn’t have a lot of options, most places were closed on the day we went) but you can get a killer bowl of matzo ball soup here!

Also, in case anyone was curious, placing stones on the headstone is a Jewish tradition. Apparently the exact origin of this tradition isn’t know but it’s thought that the act is symbolic to show the presence of a loved one visiting the grave site, and that the deceased individual has not been forgotten. And I think the candle is a Yahrzeit Candle, which is burned in memory of a deceased person.

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