SANCTUARY

Published April 7, 2019 by rochellewisoff

Today Pegman takes a trip to Tbilisi, Georgia

This ancient cobblestoned city has a complicated history of Persian and Russian rule. Its diverse architecture encompasses Eastern Orthodox churches, ornate art nouveau buildings, and Soviet Modernist structures. Walk around and see what strikes your fancy.

The purpose of this prompt is to inspire you to write 150 words about this place. You can use the Google link to stroll around until you see something that strikes your fancy. When you’re done, remember to link your story to the others using the InLinkz frog below. Reading and commenting is half the fun.

Enjoy yourself and do good work!

CLICK ME! PLEASE!

I considered not participating this week. But as it often happens I found an historical nugget that couldn’t be ignored. Thank Josh for the prompt this week.

The Great Synagogue in Tbilisi, Georgia

SANCTUARY

Aaron prepared his Torah reading for his special day. “Tell me about your Bar Mitzvah, Didi Babua. Wasn’t it during terrible times?”

            “No.” Aaron’s great grandfather stroked his thick white beard. “It was a beautiful time—in this very synagogue.”

            “But you were thirteen in 1943. What about the camps? What about Hitler?”

            “May wheels run over his skull for eternity. Before me, my father read from the holy scroll in this same place in 1905.” Didi Babua’s faded brown eyes brimmed. “His family escaped from Kishinev.” He kissed the cover of his threadbare prayer book. “This has been our safe haven for five generations.”

            “Were there never any pogroms?”

            “According to our rabbis, anti-Semitism has been unknown here in Tbilisi for twenty-six centuries. Enough questions already. Study hard and make me proud.”

            Grinning, the boy read, “Hodu L’adoshem ki tov, give thanks to Adoshem for He is good!”  

 

19 comments on “SANCTUARY

  • Dear Rochelle,

    I love how you can find a connection no matter where Pegman goes. Thankfully this was one area spared from the horrid pogroms what a wonderful place to flee to!!
    Loved this.

    Shalom and Lotsa love and a little push to play,

    Dale

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dale,

      At first glance it seemed that there was nothing to write about the Jews of Tbilisi. No persecution, no anti-semitism? What’s left? Wait a minute. You mean there is such a place, Toto? Yeah. Had to write it. 😉 Thank you for the push and the mean comment. ❤

      Shalom and lotsa meanness back atcha,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Penny,

      It amazes me that this place has gone unnoticed for centuries. “Nothing remarkable.” Which I find hugely remarkable. Thank you for comments re the story and writing. What more can a writer ask for. 😀

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Jan,

      Cause I know who you are. 😉 I didn’t know about this either, until yesterday. At first I thought there was nothing remarkable to write about and then realized that’s what is remarkable. 😀 Who nu? Thanks, m’luv. ❤

      Like

    • Dear Karen,

      Pretty amazing history, isn’t it? I didn’t know there was such a place. Quite a few Jews did leave during the Soviet regime. In any event, thank you so much for your affirming comments. 😀

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • May wheels run over his skull for eternity! I must use this line someday.
    Thanks for uncovering a safe haven that I never expected for Jews at any point in time. As I’ve said before, it seems they’ve been persecuted forever for no reason. Superb dialogue.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Lish,

      As I’ve said before, at first I was thinking the history was pretty unremarkable until I realized that’s pretty remarkable. One interview report I read said there was a time when a theater troupe came and presented a play chock full of antisemitic slurs. Before the play was even half over, the audience got up and walked out. 😀 As for the line, I got it from a list of Yiddish curses. Feel free to use it. 😉 Thank you. Nice to see you here.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Rochelle, if that’s the big synagogue downtown, then I’ve been outside it. I visited Tbilisi about a year and a half ago and it remains one of my favorite city. It’s such a mix of different cultures, part Asia, part European. Great story.
    -David

    Liked by 1 person

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