5 October 2006

Most of the morning was spent in the Synagogue of the Jewish School in Santiago. Our main reason for coming to here was to attend the Bar Mitzvah of Aron Kaufman, son of Sam's cousin Jenny. This morning ceremony involved Aron's first use of the Talit (prayer shawl) and Tfillin. The ceremony involved Aron, his father and his uncles being called to the Torah. Aron also led the congregation in some prayers.

After the ceremony in the school we went to Pomaire, a village about an hour southwest of Santiago. Pomaire is known as a village of potters. Until 1985 most of the village buildings were made out of Adobe. An earthquake destroyed most of the buildings in town and they were replaced by wooden structures. The pottery in the town was made from a local red clay which is now exhausted. We had high expectations of seeing the potters making their products. Instead what we found was essentially a town catering to tourists. The main street of the town is lined with shops mostly selling pottery. However, you could see only a few potters at work. As you walk the main street you are confronted by employees of the numerous restaurants trying to get you to eat at their establishment. It was a bit of a disappointment not only to us but to Jenny and Sam Kaufman who has not visited the town in many years. We did go to one of the restaurants and had authentic Chilean foods for lunch.

We returned to Santiago and proceeded to one of Susie's favorite places, Los Domenicos, a mini village of shops selling crafts from all over Chile. The village is located on one side of Los Domenicos church. Crafts range from articles made of copper, leather and wood to Jewelry made from Lapis Lazullu (a blue gem stone found in Chile) and other art works. You can see the crafts made in a number of the shops. We have yet to visit Los Domenicos and come out empty handed. Susie bought a few items and I suspect we will be back in Los Domenicos before we leave Chile.

Aron and Sam Kaufman putting on the Tfillin
Aron taking the Torah from the Ark
Aron and family
Pomaire Scenes
Los Domenicos
Parting Shots
View from our hotel. Mountains are about 30 miles away.
The Blackberry "leash" works in Santiago too