Thursday, August 03, 2017

Little Jo Visits Pt 1

Bone Doctor had a two day weekend conference in the city and so Sister and Little Jo arrived at our place late Saturday afternoon. I wasn't doing very much and so I went and picked them up from Southern Cross Station. I dropped Sister at their tax deductible hotel where she and Bone Doctor were staying. That evening they had a meal in town and saw the play Noises Off with a very cheap last minute ticket.

Little Jo stayed with us and at her request we ordered pizzas to be delivered. It was 10pm before she went to bed and so did not wake until about 7.30, late for her.

It was a busy weekend in Melbourne with Open House 2017 and a fun run Sunday morning. We decided Little Jo should come to an Open House event with us and we chose the synagogue opposite The Highrise, and visible in this photo, and in my blog header photo.


R has been there before, two or three years ago, during Open House but it was his suggestion for a return visit. Not all other males did, but we covered our heads with the supplied fabric piece. We were just in time to join a conducted tour where a number of things about the synagogue were pointed out to us. The guide was very good and a nice lady. As most of the visitors weren't Jewish, it was quite dumbed down and easy to follow. I had to whisper a few things to Little Jo, such as explaining a rabbi's role and what a torah is.


The hanging lamp is not allowed to go out and we were told it came from a synagogue in Florence.


This is Tasmanian Blackwood, a beautiful timber.



After admiring the 1300 seat space, used mainly on ceremonial occasions, we were taken outside and under the main area is a smaller one for every day worship. I have forgotten the correct name now but the altar and other fittings came from the smaller Bourke Street synagogue, now housing legal offices, when this synagogue opened in about 1927. Note another lamp that is not allowed to go out.


From the outside we see these stained glass panels lit but all we see is white light shining on windows. They are remarkable. Each has its own story. These ones are in the smaller part of the synagogue.




I can only liken this space to a supper room at 1960s supper dance.




Lads and lass,  you can go upstairs to women's gallery and have a look around. We did and it was wonderous. My photos do not do it justice at all.






Little Jo seemed to enjoy herself well enough and of course learnt a little.


We then caught the tram to town and lunched on popcorn chicken and chips at Riverland. It was very busy, partly from fun run competitors.  OMG, we can now have Canadian poutine in Australia. R likes poutine and I find it disgusting.


I don't know this older boat at all. Other Yarra river cruise boats were moored at Federation Wharf, and the spruikers active. 


19 comments:

  1. I like your post and photos... they are great

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  2. I keep intending to visit the Great Synagogue in Sydney on one our Open House weekends. Hopefully I will eventually get around to it.

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    1. It is a very impressive building Victor, and rather more church like than Melbourne's.

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  3. Despite my jewish heritage I have never been into a synagogue. Something I must change. Thank you for the reminder - and the photos.

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    1. EC, I don't suppose your local 'gog' is very old. The principles will be the same, I should think.

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  4. That does look beautiful.

    I confess I would like to try poutine - at least once.

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    1. Rozzie, usually if I don't like the look of something, I won't try it. I did in this case and regretted it. You should give it try. It is better describes as chips under a layer of cheese, with gravy on top.

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  5. I like the Open House events, and always try to visit some our the buildings in Perth's Open House.
    Great visit, and I love the stained glass windows.

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    1. Sami, this year was the tenth anniversary of Open House. It really is a great thing, but at times the queues are not so great.

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  6. Women's gallery? Do men and women sit separately in a Synagogue? It's very nice looking in there, I like Tasmanian blackwood, I've seen it as flooring, very nice.

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    1. River, I think Tasmanian blackwood is the most beautiful timber, better than mahogany. I don't think it is allowed to be cut now, so we must live with what blackwood exists. Yes, men and women sit separately. In this large synagogue the women's area is upstairs with a small section behind a token curtain downstairs for women who can't walk up the stairs. In the smaller area, women are at the back with a six inch piece of lace across the pew in front of them at chest height.

      If you are troubled by the sex segregation, so am I, but it is their culture and it is only observed in a token manner among the less passionate members of the Jewish congregation. I expect it is a whole different story for the extreme(there is a word for them, but it won't come to my mind) Jews, but who wants to bother with extreme religions.

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    2. Not troubled, just didn't know.

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  7. Religions sure are segregational with men and women, with women relegated to nothingness. I don't know why women participate. Sure is a beautiful space however.

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    1. Strayer, yes, and not even allowed to the more powerful positions with so many religions.

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  8. Well that was interesting Andrew, I had no idea what poutine was so Googled and discovered it is basically cheese, chips and gravy! How come you don't like it? The stained glass windows in the synagogue are beautiful. I wouldn't mind visiting a synagogue, you have whetted my curiosity 😀

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    1. Grace, I am not much of one for gravy and only ever have a little but I just did not like the combination of cheese and gravy. Perth's is in the suburb of Menora and seems to be quite a modern building. The old one was in Brisbane Street. Ah, while it is not used as a synagogue, Fremantle's is a nice old building, corner of South Terrace and Parry Street.

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  9. I'm definitely going to check out the Fremantle synagogue next time we're down that way, thanks Andrew 😀

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