Saturday afternoon saw the unveiling of a synagogue and memorial garden in Caledon Ahavah. The Duke and Duchess (Mr. Walter Schnogginstein and Miss Yenta Bernheim) were there for the opening, with Miss Patty Poppy serving as the mistress of ceremonies.
Above: the Duke (far left) and Duchess (front center). Mr. Jorge Serapis and Miss Skye McLeod in back.
Miss Poppy, Miss Solace Fairlady, and Miss Darlingmonster Ember
Miss Poppy said:
Good afternoon or evening new friends and old friends. I'm not quite sure why I was chosen for the honor of presenting this lovely Synagogue and Memorial Garden on behalf of the Duke and Duchess of Ahavah, but I am humbled and so very pleased to be here.
We gather today to mark another milestone in Caledon history. This milestone is to present to the community a beautiful Jewish Synagogue and remembrance garden. To my knowledge this is the first synagogue to be constructed in Caledon. My humble apologies if this is not the case.
This sim is called Ahavah – In the Hebrew language the word meaning Love. I think you will agree a most fitting name for this beautiful sim and home for this new synagogue (shul) and memorial garden . These additions are dedicated to our community from our own Yenta Bernheim and Walter Schnogginstein.
Inspired by Yenta's vision, other known artisans contributed to these Icons. Yenta and Walter wish to recognize Jorge Serapis, Kaluura Boa, and Bram Hallison for the building of the Synagogue. Alastair Whybrow for the creating of the Torah and all their full dress. It is with humble gratitude we present to Caledon and the Second Life virtual world this truly lovely and inspirational Jewish memorial and garden. This is a place that is open to all to come for comfort, reflection, remembrance, meditation or for prayer.
A bit of history about Yenta's vision: Miss Yenta lost her parents at a very young age and has had a dream of creating a memorial to her parents and grandparents inspired by Jewish tradition. Her grandparents and father both attended services in the original schul (synagogue) and her father studied Hebrew within its walls in Belgium. The synagogue before you is a replica of the Arlon synagogue found in the city of Arlon Belgium. They have named this Synagogue "Beit Chesed-Ahavah" (house of loving kindness and love).
Mr. Jorge Serapis, Miss Annie Rosen (in the white dress), Miss Magadalena Kamenev.
Miss Valerie Bluebird and Mr. Alastair Whybrow.
I don a hat for the occasion.
The crowd was large and enthusiastic. In addition to those pictured above, Miss Nyree Rain, Mr. Ravelli Ormstein, Miss Remember Snowfall, and Miss True Irelund, Duchess of Kintyre, among others, attended.
After Miss Poppy's speech, the synagogue was unveiled.
Miss Poppy continued:
Let's now turn to the Memorial Gardens. Yenta and Walter wish to acknowledge Darlingmonster Ember, Solace Fairlady and myself for work on this garden.
There is a maternal symbolism of regeneration represented here. As I mentioned before it was inspired by Yenta's vision. Darlingmonster and Solace created this living work of art. Yenta and Walter want to recognize them both as well as Yenta's Mother h'en (grace). We present the “Solace Ember h'en Memorial.”
Through generations it has become a tradition in Jewish communities to leave a small stone when one visits the grave of a loved one. It is a small remembrance of a loved one saying "we still remember". The custom began hundreds of years ago when grave markers were but a mound of stones over a grave. Over time, stones disappeared for any number of reasons and it was necessary to replace the missing stones. Over time it became a lovely custom.
A lovely and unique part of Caledon!