Place : Paris - Sukkot Eve
Date: Oct 12-13/ 2019
Visiting the Montmarte - (the tall hill on the 18th district of the Right Bank) on a beautiful sunny day, was a big mistake. For that matter, visiting any popular Parisian site on a weekend is fatal, and should be avoided if
Spring-like weather which returned to Paris, has enticed the masses to linger in the outdoors. In the past few days a luke warm sunny weather flooded Paris with temperatures up in the mid 20 .
Our plan to follow a recommended self-guided walk begged rescheduling
Montmartre is primarily known for its artistic history, the white-domed Basilica of the Sacré-Cœur on its summit, and as a nightclub district.
Two third of Paris was there on the hill, and all the way up to the Basilica, this Sunday, for the festival which took place around the magnanimous overpowering structure.
I have been always fascinated by the area, which in the beginning of the 20th c, during the Belle Époque, many artists I admire, lived, had studios, or worked in or around Montmartre, including: Amedeo Modigliani, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Suzanne Valadon, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, Camille Pissarro, and Vincent van Gogh.
The endless pour of the masses, which also filled up the nearby shops, cafes, food stands and restaurants of the charming "Dalida" and "Tertre" squares, was such a turn off, that we struggled through, turn back and left the area , in hope to return there on some other
mid-week less congested day.
Thus, instead of basking in the Montmarte artistic atmosphere, once we departed it and returned to the Left Bank, we encountered, right around the corner of our rental, in the intersection of rue Vauquelin (where the orthodox Synagogue is) with rue Tournefort, enlarged photos of known French and other world known Scientists.
The famous faces who either studied or visited the university's chemistry and physics departments/building, like the Curies or Einstein can be seen on display, on the fence of
ESPCI -École supérieure de physique et de chimie industrielles de la Ville de Paris" - The City of Paris Industrial Physics and Chemistry Higher Educational Institution
at 10 Rue Vauquelin https://www.espci.fr/en/
This prestigious institution of higher education founded by the City of Paris in 1882. It educates undergraduate and graduate students in physics, chemistry and biology, and conducts high-level research in those fields. For over a century the School has attracted leading scientific innovators like Nobel Prize laureates Pierre and Marie Curie, Paul Langevin, Frédéric Joliot-Curie, Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, and Georges Charpak, who earned the institute its fame.
Another impressive near by institute, of religious studies located in
a spectacular structure is
Colleage au Bernardin- 20 Rue de Poissy
This 13c refurbished Cistercian Gothic building, with its crusader's arches that can be seen from the street, is stunning.
"Kehilat Gesher"(at the 8th district)
"Kehilat Gesher" La synagogue Franco-American de Parisa Refor-Liberal 7 rue Leon Cogniey Tel: 09 53 18 90 86 www.kehilatgesher,org firstname.lastname@example.org
For Erev Sukkot we decided to join our Parisian dear friend- Ora - for an alternative holiday service, at a liberal /Reform synagogue "Kehilat Gesher" . It was founded by most upbeat gregarious American Rabbi - Tom Cohen - originally from Oregon USA, whose romantic love for a French women Rabbi - Poulin, transformed him from the bachelor he was, to a respectable married man, as well as had transferred them both to the Parisian Marais quarter, while each has been running their own separate parish's synagogue.
The program for the evening was conducted in a residential, non-formal small facility, where about 50 congregates assembled.
Music under the Sukkah with Javier Leibiusky a community member and visiting Israeli guitarist Nir Popliker . Nir who resides in Givatim is a very good guitarist and has been performing both in Israel and abroad. Nir Popliker. Popliker@gmail.com 052 2644712
Then Rabbi -Tom led a beautiful Erev Sukkot service from a Sidur into which he himself compiled the content and translated the text in 3 languages - Hebrew/English/French.
The lacto-vegetarian potluck light meal in the Sukka, after the concert and the service, was the least remarkable of this evening's festive activities, which we, regardless, enjoyed taking part in, as it made the holiday eve abroad, a special traditional joyous social occasion.
Chag Sukkot Sameach - Happy Sukkot😄
To be continued...