|View from Mt. Wellington|
|Conservatory at Botanical Gardens|
People who live in Hobart claim that one can experience all four seasons in one day. We believe them. We started our day with a tour titled, “Hobart, Jewel of the South”. As we left the ship to make our way to the top of Mt. Wellington it was cool and raining. At the top of the mountain, as we took in the panoramic view, there was a cold, biting wind. The rain let up when we visited the Botanical Gardens but we were still happy to go into the warm Conservatory to see the orchids. Our tour ended by the pier where is was sunny and became quite warm as we walked through the shops and cafes of the Salamanca Market.
We had been told that we could not come on this trip without having fish and chips at least once and today was the day. By the pier, we stopped at “Fish Frenzy” to have one beer battered and one crumbed piece of fish with the traditional chips (French fries). With this accomplished, I guess we can now come home, but neither of us is ready. We have more to see and do before returning home.
Hebrew inscription from the Book of Exodus: “Wherever my name is mentioned there will I come and bless you.”
According to information given to us by our guide and found on the Internet, James Alexander Thomson, a Scotsman originally sent to Australia in 1825 for attempted jewel robbery, designed the building. The Egyptian style represented antiquity and the synagogue’s design was meant to indicate Judaism’s ancient roots. On either side of the doors of the Ark, which are richly carved and gilded, are placed two elaborately carved pillars, supporting an entablature and cornice of cedar, which are also gilded. The Ark contains multiple Torah scrolls, thought to be as old as the synagogue. In 1951 Lady Rachel Ezra of Calcutta, India donated another scroll, which is thought be of Syrian origin. It is kept in an ornamental silver casing in the Shefardic style.
Elsewhere on display is a Memorial Sefer Torah from Czechoslovakia that is one of the 1,564 scrolls seized from desecrated synagogues.
With our experiences in Hobart today, and our upcoming tour of the Jewish sites of Melbourne, this must be the segment of our trip devoted to "Judaism Down Under".