Michelle Obama Visits Prague Jewish Quarter

By | Apr 06, 2009
Arts & Culture, Latest

By Benjamin Schuman-Stoler

Michelle ObamaThe Jerusalem Post was with MO in Prague’s historic Jewish quarter yesterday. “It was a wonderful visit, but much too short,” MO said. “I’ll be back.”

The JPost has a video, which you can see here. She had a busy day:

Her visit included a stop at the Pinkas synagogue, whose walls bear the names of more than 80,000 Czech Holocaust victims…

There were a few somber moments at the [community’s] tiny cemetery, jammed with some 12,000 family gravestones crowded into a little garden near the Vltava River, and about 100,000 dead buried in several layers beneath them.

Mrs. Obama stood briefly by the oldest gravestone – that marking the resting place of poet Avigdor Kara, who died in 1439 – before moving to the grave of the legendary 16th century rabbi Yehuda Loew, the Maharal, considered one of the greatest Jewish scholars and philosophers. In keeping with local custom, she placed a prayer on a piece of paper and weighted it down with a little stone.

Her last stop was the Old New Synagogue, built around 1270 – the oldest synagogue in Europe, and one of the earliest Gothic buildings in Prague.

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