Beautiful Blue Danube Waltz - 2002

Our day was not over yet by any means—some of us met Andrea at 2:30 for a walk to the Dohany Synagogue, the second-largest in the world (the biggest is on Fifth Avenue in New York City—called Temple Emanuel). The Hungarian government now supports all religions through taxes. 80% support with 20% demanded from the individual congregations. So the government helped to renovate this beautiful place where 10,000 Jews lived during 1944-45 before 50% of Budapest’s Jews were deported to the Nazi death camps. 120,000 people were reduced to 60,000. The Dohany is an Ashkenazi temple with Moorish accents. We were told about the history and activity of the Temple through the years. It is a “liberal” temple because it has a pipe organ, first played by Liszt and Saint-Saens (we did not get to hear this one). Our temple guide, Emile, did demonstrate the amazing acoustics of the temple by singing to us, beginning with a whispered note or two that could be clearly heard and ending with a ringing crescendo note that filled the entire building!


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