Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Eternal Light

The Ner Tamid, eternal light

I've said it more than once, but I"ll say it again. I have met the most wonderful and interesting people and visited so many very special places since I started this blog. Yesterday was certainly no exception. My high school friend Lynne Cohen invited me to take a tour of Temple Emanu-el. Not only was Lynne a grand tour guide, but Rabbi Jonathan Miller also took the time to share the history of this synagogue which as been woven into the history of Birmingham. The first Jewish congregation in Birmingham, it was founded in 1882. Since 1914, it has been located on the corner of Highland Avenue and 21st Street South.

I would like to thank Rabbi Miller and Lynne for sharing this special place of worship with me and to the friendly staff and volunteers that made me feel so at home. I have many photographs to share with you all.


22 comments:

Jilly said...

Beautiful. Somewhat like the lamps of Morocco. I so agree with you that blogging brings us into contact with so many people we'd not otherwise meet. Love the light and shadows in this shot. Oh and also your super new banner.

Gunn said...

I agree with all that Jilly wrote. :-)

Olivier said...

magnifique, tu geres la lumiere comme personne, j'adore et j'aimerais savoir le faire comme toi

Yvi said...

So beautiful...

The colours and the light, almost great!

Greetings
Yvi

Hilda said...

My lamp yesterday is nothing compared to this. Magnificent!

Bibi said...

I agree with Jilly; north Africa was my first thought. Lovely lamp, composition, and lighting.

Daryl said...

Truly exquisite ... that memorial lamp is a work of art .. as is the ark (I assume its the ark, the cabinet where the torah scrolls are stored) doors.

Louis la Vache said...

Thank you for sharing this with us, Virginia.

What a fine image! That eternal light is fabulous!

Virginia said...

Merci Olivier, vous apprécierez vos aimables paroles!!
V

Merci Louis

Daryl, yes it's the ark and it was just gorgeous in itself. Rabbi Miller opened the ark in the smaller chapel and I couldn't believe I actually got to see what was inside!!

Bibi,
It's beatiful I agree.

Hilda,
your lamp was lovely as well, just not as elaborate! :)

Yvi,
Thank you for your visits and comments!

Jilly and Gunn,
Thank you. I felt privileged to be able to photograph it.

Virginia said...

Olivier,
Pardon!- " J'apprécie" ! Mon français est terrible!!! :(

Jacob said...

Gorgeous...we have just two small temples here but nothing like this!

TheChieftess said...

All of the Jewish temples that I've been to here in SoCal have been very modern and not particularly interesting inside, at least not architecturally...This is magnificent!!! I love the rich wood background for the fabulous lamp!

Lori Skoog said...

What a rich photograph...

Chuck Pefley said...

Powerful image all by itself, V. All the more so, however, when coupled with your excellent explanation!

Ken Mac said...

eternal..haunted!!

Bob Crowe said...

Warmth and color glow. Anyone would feel peaceful here. Unfortunately, although two of the five lawyers in my office are Jewish my Hebrew is pretty bad (read: nonexistent). Looking forward to seeing more.

Virginia said...

Bob,
I hope your colleagues feel I've done justice to this special place.
V

Dina said...

Great shot of the ner tamid together with the Ten Commandments tablets on the ark. It's certainly different from the usual ones. Beautiful.

The grand old synagogues of yesteryear--they knew how to build them then.

Once a Chicago Jewish museum had a competition for unusual kinds of the ner tamid. Some stunning modernistic ones were shown. But the most poignant light was in a dim corner: a simple candle stuck on a little plate sitting on an old worn out leather suitcase. From the days of the wandering Jew.

Looking forward to more of your pictures from Emanu-El.

Virginia said...

Dina,
Thank you. I have another ner tamid from a smaller chapel that was actually given in memory of Lynne's parents that is lovely as well. It was a memorable morning for me. I will share the connection this temple has with my church on my next post.
V

Mary said...

They must be thrilled with your photograph...can't wait to see the others! And the next time that I come to BHM I want the grand tour svp!

Dina said...

Nice stories coming up.

Dinah Toro said...

Rabbi Miller came to St Mary's for our Seder supper several years ago. What a lovely and gracious man.

And hello to Lynne...a name from the past! LONG time no see!

Dinah Toro
Charlotte Woodson Antiques