05 July, Tel Aviv
Prime Minister Narendra Modi last night gifted two sets of relics from Kerala, including sets of copper plates and a scroll, to his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu.
In a tweeter message, PMO said, the first set of copper plates is a cherished relic for the Cochini Jews in India. It said another set of copper plates is believed to be the earliest documentation of the history of Jewish trade with India.
It is regarded as a charter describing the grant of hereditary royal privileges and prerogatives by the Hindu King, Cheraman Perumal also identified as Bhaskara Ravi Varma to the Jewish leader Joseph Rabban.
According to traditional Jewish accounts, Joseph Rabban was later crowned as the Prince of Shingli, a place in or equated with Cranganore.
In Cranganore, is where Jews enjoyed religious and cultural autonomy for centuries, before they moved to Cochin and other places in Malabar, PMO said. Local Jews once placed in each coffin a handful of earth from Shingli or Cranganore that was remembered as a holy place and a second Jerusalem. The replica of these plates was made possible with the cooperation of the Paradesi Synagogue in Mattancherry, Kochi.