Oldest Jewish Cemetery in Europe

JusticeiroJusticeiro E clunibus tractumRegistered Users Posts: 1,177 Major grins
edited March 12, 2008 in Journeys
The Cathedral City of Worms had an important Jewish presence for over 900 years. It's first synagogue was built in 1034, and a cemetery shortly thereafter. The Jewish quarter, and the local population, did not survive the second world war well. In the Palatinate, full of major industrial targets, buildings not destroyed by the Nazis during Kristalnacht were often immolated by Allied air raids.

But this cemetery survived all its enemies, foreign and domestic, in a remarkable state of preservation. It contains the graves of two very important rabbi's and is visited by Jews from all over the world to this day.

261433344_WrWok-L.jpg


261433339_CMcLV-L.jpg

261433649_Zdbco-L.jpg

261434178_FHpbe-L.jpg

261433941_fbnPh-L.jpg

261434415_35Tgu-M.jpg


261434265_YgnzV-L.jpg


261434472_tP6hv-L.jpg

261434311_CFZGv-L.jpg

Most of the notes seem to be written with Hebrew characters; I cannot discern if they are written in Hebrew or Yiddish. There are other languages, however, one of them I saw was in Spanish. I have seen rocks on top of other Jewish graves, but don't know the significance of the notes (I assume they are prayers).
Cave ab homine unius libri

Comments

  • kitvankitvan Nikon Noob Registered Users Posts: 243 Major grins
    edited March 3, 2008
    wow great shots! what a mysterious looking place eek7.gif
    "Time is an illusion. Lunchtime, doubly so."
  • Awais YaqubAwais Yaqub One Inspired soul Registered Users Posts: 10,570 Major grins
    edited March 3, 2008
    These are fantastic ! thanks for showing
    Thine is the beauty of light; mine is the song of fire. Thy beauty exalts the heart; my song inspires the soul. Allama Iqbal

    My Gallery
  • swintonphotoswintonphoto Artist Registered Users Posts: 1,664 Major grins
    edited March 3, 2008
    Very interesting. I love the moss on everything. Brings a surreal feeling to the images.
  • Tessa HDTessa HD Major grins Registered Users Posts: 852 Major grins
    edited March 3, 2008
    fascinating! enjoyed looking! i wonder too what the significance of the notes and rocks are. suggestion box?:D
    Love to dream, and dream in color.

    www.tessa-hd.smugmug.com
    www.printandportfolio.com
    This summer's wilderness photography project: www.tessa-hd.smugmug.com/gallery/3172341
  • Tee WhyTee Why Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,390 Major grins
    edited March 3, 2008
    Yup Fascinating.
  • ian408ian408 More wag. Less Bark. Administrators Posts: 21,704 moderator
    edited March 5, 2008
    If only those stones could talk. What history they would tell.
    Moderator Journeys/Sports/Big Picture :: Need some help with dgrin?
  • ChatKatChatKat flash frozen photographer Registered Users Posts: 1,357 Major grins
    edited March 6, 2008
    Beautiful Work
    Justiceiro wrote:
    Most of the notes seem to be written with Hebrew characters; I cannot discern if they are written in Hebrew or Yiddish. There are other languages, however, one of them I saw was in Spanish. I have seen rocks on top of other Jewish graves, but don't know the significance of the notes (I assume they are prayers).

    That is all Hebrew. The carving letters are prayers on the headstones, although I cannot read them, Hebrew handwritten looks different than the stone lettering which is what I see on the other documents.

    I was able this last year to visit Synagogues in Corfu and Rhodes (Greece) and in Dubrovnik, Croatia and the year before in Rome and Venice. Entire towns were wiped out of not only their Jewish Populations, but, all traces of their beliefs as well in WWII. Some of these places, the families return to the Synagogues for High Holiday services. In Corfu, none of the families still came weekly - they no longer existed - there was no Rabbi - only one woman was there as caretaker. The Rabbi that comes for services is from Houston, Texas. There are tributes and momentos to the lost members. It is very touching and emotional to be there. I met many Jews from all over the world - from Australia, Canada, South America and Asia as well, in these places who go to remember those who were lost.
    Kathy Rappaport
    Flash Frozen Photography, Inc.
    http://flashfrozenphotography.com
  • PindyPindy Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,087 Major grins
    edited March 6, 2008
    What an amazing place.
  • summerzsummerz Major grins Registered Users Posts: 494 Major grins
    edited March 7, 2008
    Fascinating, you captured it well.thumb.gif
  • DogdotsDogdots Major grins Registered Users Posts: 8,795 Major grins
    edited March 7, 2008
    The moss on the headstones really adds to the length of time they have been there. The time of season...trees without leaves adds to the feeling and emotion of a cemetery.

    The stones on the headstones.....in our Jewish cemetery where I live....they are left there to show they have had a visitor and are remembered by those that are alive....as someone told me. Its sad to see headstones without any stones on them. Usually they are blue in color. Maybe someone will see these photos and can give us more information on the stones and also correct me if my information is wrong :D

    Thank you for sharing them with us.
  • dadwtwinsdadwtwins Forever a Novice Registered Users Posts: 804 Major grins
    edited March 8, 2008
    I would love to be able to shoot here. Thanks for the great sharethumb.gif
    My Homepage :thumb-->http://dthorp.smugmug.com
    My Photo Blog -->http://dthorpphoto.blogspot.com/
  • mr peasmr peas Drag that shutter! Registered Users Posts: 1,369 Major grins
    edited March 8, 2008
    A really great set. Love the green bold tones in all the fotos. Nice mood to it all.

    Thanks for sharing! Gotta' pay a visit to a cemetary one of these days, but I dont think we have something as moodful as the one you shot here.
  • Bruce NovotneyBruce Novotney Big grins Registered Users Posts: 81 Big grins
    edited March 11, 2008
    Fantastic series!
  • DrDavidDrDavid Smugization Master Registered Users Posts: 1,292 Major grins
    edited March 12, 2008
    The stones are placed on the grave markers because in Jewish tradition, you don't place flowers on graves. Essentially, you shouldn't kill a flower to honor something already dead.

    The notes are indeed prayers. Similar notes are shoved into the cracks at the wailing wall in Jerusalem. Most likely, they are in a mixture of Yiddish and Hebrew; mostly Yiddish I'd guess--the top note definately isn't Hebrew (so, it's most likely Yiddish). Jewish tradition tends to be very superstitious. And, older European Jews retain a lot of that superstition. Hence, they think that placing prayers on the Rabbi's headstone will have the prayer listened to a bit better than otherwise.

    I can't read any of the prayers, but, I imagine most are prayers for sick or dead relatives and friends. Jewish tradition does not have the same belief in a "personal God" that the Christian religion does. What that means is that for Jews, God isn't involved in their life in the same way as a Christian believes he is. In fact, Jewish scholars actively debate the question of 'what' God is. There's a strong argument to be made that He is more akin to a basic and fundamental physics equation than a omnipotent ruler.. In fact, you can very easily be Jewish without believing that there is a God.

    Very nice photos, and a very interesting cemetary. Personally, I'd see if I could coax the script out of the headstone so it's more readable. There's bound to be someone on here that can read Hebrew and let us know what it says/means :)

    David
  • DogdotsDogdots Major grins Registered Users Posts: 8,795 Major grins
    edited March 12, 2008
    DrDavid wrote:
    The stones are placed on the grave markers because in Jewish tradition, you don't place flowers on graves. Essentially, you shouldn't kill a flower to honor something already dead.

    The notes are indeed prayers. Similar notes are shoved into the cracks at the wailing wall in Jerusalem. Most likely, they are in a mixture of Yiddish and Hebrew; mostly Yiddish I'd guess--the top note definately isn't Hebrew (so, it's most likely Yiddish). Jewish tradition tends to be very superstitious. And, older European Jews retain a lot of that superstition. Hence, they think that placing prayers on the Rabbi's headstone will have the prayer listened to a bit better than otherwise.

    I can't read any of the prayers, but, I imagine most are prayers for sick or dead relatives and friends. Jewish tradition does not have the same belief in a "personal God" that the Christian religion does. What that means is that for Jews, God isn't involved in their life in the same way as a Christian believes he is. In fact, Jewish scholars actively debate the question of 'what' God is. There's a strong argument to be made that He is more akin to a basic and fundamental physics equation than a omnipotent ruler.. In fact, you can very easily be Jewish without believing that there is a God.

    Very nice photos, and a very interesting cemetary. Personally, I'd see if I could coax the script out of the headstone so it's more readable. There's bound to be someone on here that can read Hebrew and let us know what it says/means :)

    David

    Thanks David for the information....I found it very interesting.
  • susannarosesusannarose United Kingdom Registered Users, New member Posts: 1 Beginner grinner
    > @DrDavid said:
    > The stones are placed on the grave markers because in Jewish tradition, you don't place flowers on graves. Essentially, you shouldn't kill a flower to honor something already dead.
    >
    > The notes are indeed prayers. Similar notes are shoved into the cracks at the wailing wall in Jerusalem. Most likely, they are in a mixture of Yiddish and Hebrew; mostly Yiddish I'd guess--the top note definately isn't Hebrew (so, it's most likely Yiddish). Jewish tradition tends to be very superstitious. And, older European Jews retain a lot of that superstition. Hence, they think that placing prayers on the Rabbi's headstone will have the prayer listened to a bit better than otherwise.
    >
    > I can't read any of the prayers, but, I imagine most are prayers for sick or dead relatives and friends. Jewish tradition does not have the same belief in a "personal God" that the Christian religion does. What that means is that for Jews, God isn't involved in their life in the same way as a Christian believes he is. In fact, Jewish scholars actively debate the question of 'what' God is. There's a strong argument to be made that He is more akin to a basic and fundamental physics equation than a omnipotent ruler.. In fact, you can very easily be Jewish without believing that there is a God.
    >
    > Very nice photos, and a very interesting cemetary. Personally, I'd see if I could coax the script out of the headstone so it's more readable. There's bound to be someone on here that can read Hebrew and let us know what it says/means :)
    >
    > David

    There are actually two paths to serving Gd according to Jewish thought and the best way is thought to be carefully balancing the two. That of love and that of fear. In the daily prayers leading up to the yearly celebrations of the Day of Judgment, Gd is referenced as "our father, our king", reflecting that He is part of the three parents who created us initially, and also chooses every second to recreate us, and the entire universe. This is not an impersonal supervisor at all, but the most hands on Parent anyone could ask for. At the same time, He is the King of all Creation. He is all powerful and all knowing, and there is an element of fear in understanding that. This is why so often Jews call themselves sons and daughters of the King, because He is their Parent, that they love and are grateful to for every breath He puts in their lungs. Simultaneously, He's their King, and everyone knows that treason against a monarch, even by the monarch's children, has severe consequences.
    While people can be Jewish while not believing in any deity, that is only racially and not religiously, since being Jewish is a matter of race and religion.
  • kdogkdog artistically challenged San Jose, CAAdministrators Posts: 11,677 moderator

    Wow, what a thread bump. I don't remember seeing this before. I'm not generally afraid of cemeteries, but this one is straight out of a horror film. :open_mouth:

    Appreciate all those who chimed in with the historical facts.

Sign In or Register to comment.