Over the door of the synagogue in Rhodes is a large plaque that contains verses, all of which contain the word “shalom” which is the name of the synagogue. Shalom, of course, means peace.
Unfortunately the synagogue knew war and destruction. Years ago we visited the synagogue. I remember the interior looking very different. When I looked a bit closer this time, I saw that the interior had been repainted but they had left some of the original art that had been painted on the walls.
To the right of the chandelier on the right and on the left wall, you can see some of the wall painting that was preserved when the synagogue was repainted.
Unfortunately, this one was impossible for me to read. The letters were not clear.
The picture above is an artistic rendition of the tablets of the ten commandments. Interestingly, only two of the ten remain on them. It looks as if they were restored. I am puzzled as to why the rest of them are not there as the text is readily available. The two commandments on the wall are “Honor you father and your mother” and “Don’t murder.”
Above and to the left, you can see another patch of the remaining wall painting.
Visiting the synagogue was a moving experience. I looked at the few remaining illustrations and thought about how the once vibrant community was destroyed. Now only about 30 Jews live in Rhodes and the future of the community is by no means assured as their children have left to marry and settle elsewhere.
It’s worth our support and definitely worth a visit next time you’re in Rhodes.