via Daily Prompt: Congregate

To congregate, for many, is indeed affiliated with a religious group for worship purposes. While that is true, it could be for a political rally, a parade, a concert, play, or any other display of art.

I have recently become interested in places of worship in Savannah, Ga, where people congregate according to their faith. Not only am I highly interested in their history, I am also utterly in love with the architecture.

The photographs I am including with my post are of the synagogue of the Congregation Mickve Israel – one of the oldest Jewish congregations in the United States. They are the oldest Jewish Congregation in Georgia. This group arrived in 1733, and were comprised of Sephatic Jews (Jews who were from London, but were extracted from Spain and Portugal.) I learned a few things about this group that landed in Savannah from a gentleman, Don Teuton, who kindly gave me some history lessons in Savannah and Georgia at large, in the course of my work on a historical cemetery book. Don educated me on their arrival: James Oglethorpe was hesitant to allow these original Jewish immigrants to land in Georgia, as he was founding the colony of Georgia as a ‘Christian’ colony. However, Oglethorpe’s crew were suffering and dying from Yellow Fever, and this first group of Jews happened to have a doctor on board; thus, the group was allowed to come ashore, and Oglethorpe could not very well take advantage of the medical help without an allowance of having them stay.

In 1735, the Congregation of Mickve Israel erected their original synagogue. This present synagogue, pictured above, was consecrated in 1878, and is located on Monterey Square, near the corner of Bay and Taylor ST. The gothic building is one of the most beautiful places I have seen that people use to congregate in. I have not been inside this lovely building, but I do know they conduct tours.

I have sat outside and imagined congregating here….I was in front of this Temple just last week, and the very presence of this building put me at ease after a week of wretchedness…….maybe because the Jewish people know what it means to suffer…in the same sort of way those students in Florida, Sandy Hook, and the people in Las Vegas suffered, at the hands of violence. Yet, this is a people that still stands today………as proven by way of this lovely building that they congregate in. I hope to continue to look to them as an example, and I want to give them a sincere, heart felt Thank You for allowing me the pleasure of contemplating in front of your lovely place that you congregate……..

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