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Posted By on March 6, 2018

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Bavli | Judaism |

Posted By on March 6, 2018

Bavli, also called Talmud Bavli, or the Babylonian Talmud, second and more authoritative of the two Talmuds (the other Talmud being the Yerushalmi) produced by Rabbinic Judaism. Completed about 600 ce, the Bavli served as the constitution and bylaws of Rabbinic Judaism.

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Judaism: Palestine (c. 220c. 400)

(or Jerusalem) Talmud and the Babylonian Talmud, reflecting the study and legislation of the academies of the two principal Jewish centres in the Roman and Persian empires. (Talmud is also the comprehensive term for the whole collections, Palestinian and Babylonian, containing Mishna, commentaries, and other matter.)

Several attributes of the Bavli distinguish it from the Talmud Yerushalmi (Palestinian Talmud) and must be considered in accounting for its great intellectual influence. First, the Bavli shows how practical reason can work to make diverse issues and actions conform to a single principle. Second, it shows how applied logic discerns the regular and the orderly in the confusion and disorder of everyday conflict.

The Bavli in its 37 tractates is entirely uniform, stylistic preferences exhibited on any given page characterize every other page of the document, and diverse topics produce only slight differentiation in modes of analysis. The task of interpretation in the Talmudic writing was to uncover the integrity of the truth that God manifested in the one and unique revelation, the Torah (both oral and written). By integrity was meant a truth that was unified and beyond all division. The message of the first document of the oral Torah, the Mishnah, was the hierarchical unity of all being in the One on high. Since the Bavlis authorship undertook precisely the same inquiry, the way that the Mishnah and the Bavli deal with the problem of showing the integrity of truth illuminates for the reader how the two dominant documents of Judaism set matters forth.

The Mishnahs version of the integrity of truth focuses upon the unity of all being within a hierarchy. The Mishnahs overriding proposition is that all classes of things stand in a hierarchical relationship to one another, and, in that encompassing hierarchy, there is place for everything. The theological proposition that is implicit but never spelled out, of course, is that one God occupies the pinnacle of the hierarchy of all beingto that one God all things turn upward, from complexity to simplicity; from that one God all things flow downward, from singularity to multiplicity. To state with emphasis the one large argumentthe metapropositionthat the Mishnahs authorship sets forth in countless small ways: the very artifacts that appear multiple in fact form classes of things, and, moreover, these classes themselves are subject to a reasoned ordering by appeal to this-worldly characteristics signified by properties and indicative traits.

The Bavlis version of the integrity of truth matches the Mishnahs theme of the hierarchical unity of all being with the Bavlis principle that many principles express a single onemany laws embody one governing law, which is the law behind the laws. However, the difference in the documents may be seen, in how, for instance, the Mishnah establishes a world in stasis: lists of like things, subject to like rules. In contrast, the Bavli portrays a world in motion: lists of like things form series, but series also conform to rules. The Bavlis paramount intellectual trait is its quest through abstraction for the unity of the law and the integrity of truth. That same quest insists on the fair and balanced representation of conflicting principles behind discrete lawsnot to serve the cause of academic harmony but to set forth how, at their foundations, the complicated and diverse laws may be explained by appeal to simple and few principles. The conflict of principles then is less consequential than the demonstration that diverse cases may be reduced to only a few principles.

Both Talmuds, the Yerushalmi and the Bavli, treat the same issues of the Mishnah, yet the second Talmud radically differs from the first, and the two Talmuds rarely intersect other than at a given Mishnah paragraph or Tosefta selection. This is not so surprising, for, despite the fact that the Yerushalmi is 200 years older than the Bavli, scholars do not believe the framers of the Bavli to have had access to the Yerushalmi during the Bavlis redaction. (Though some sayings known to the editors of the Yerushalmi also circulated among those of the Bavli.) Therefore, each Talmud pursues its own interests when reading a passage shared with the other. No substantial, shared exegetical protocol or tradition, whether in fully spelled-out statements in so many words, or in the gist of ideas, or in topical conventions, or in intellectual characteristics, governed the two Talmuds reading of the same Mishnah paragraph. The Bavli presents an utterly autonomous statement, speaking in its own behalf and in its own way about its own interests.

If we compare the way in which the two Talmuds read the same Mishnah, we discern consistent differences between them. The principal difference between the Talmuds is the same difference that distinguishes jurisprudence from philosophy. The Yerushalmi talks in details, the Bavli in large truths; the Yerushalmi tells us what the Mishnah says, the Bavli, what it means. How do the two Talmuds compare502266

The Yerushalmi analyzes evidence, the Bavli investigates premises;

The Yerushalmi provides an exegesis and amplification of the Mishnah; the Bavli, a theoretical study of the law in all its magnificent abstraction, transforming the Mishnah into testimony to a deeper reality altogether: to the law behind the laws.

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Amber Tamblyn slammed for tweet saying Hasidic men attempted …

Posted By on March 6, 2018

Amber Tamblyn was blasted on social media for tweeting Hasidic men have tried to harm her and other women she knew after she and her baby were almost hit by a van. (Reuters)

Actress Amber Tamblyn was slammed on social media for tweeting that Hasidic Jewish men in New York attempted to harm her after she claimed she and her baby were almost hit by a van in Brooklyn, NY, on Sunday.

Tamblyn tweeted asking for the publics help to track the driver, she described as a Hasidic man, after she and her infant child were almost hit.

Amber Tamblyn came under fire after for her tweet saying Hasidic men have tried to harm her in the past.(Instagram/@amberrosetamblyn)

If anyone in Brooklyn near the intersection of Washington Ave and Atlantic Ave just saw a Hasidic man in a grey van try to hit a woman and her baby in a stroller a (sic) she crossed a crosswalk, honking and touching the stroller with the cars bumper, please DM me, the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants star wrote. That woman was me.

In her following tweet, Tamblyn wrote Hasidic men in NYC have attempted to harm her and other women she knows in the past.

But this is not the first time a man from the Hasidic community in NYC has attempted to harm me or other women I know, Tamblyn tweeted. Any woman riding a bike through South Williamsburg can attest. I hope this guy is caught.

Social media users criticized Tamblyns tweets that appeared to target members of thereligious Jewish sect.Some of her followers said she was making generalizations about a large community of orthodox Jews.

A crowd of Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men gather.(Reuters)

I dont understand your tweets. For someone who is so politically woke, I dont understand your generalizations of the Hasidic Jewish community. It sounds racist, one person tweeted.

Lets be rational here, Amber Tamblyn. Firstly, I am so glad you and baby are ok! But to target the Hasidic community like that especially given the real antisemitism out there is generally irresponsible, a social media user tweeted.

You cant be both woke and a bigot. Choose one, another person tweeted.

Well, I am a proud Hasidic Jew. I never hit you with my car. I never attacked you. Why are you attacking me?! a person tweeted.

Tamblyn, 34, a prominent advocate of the Times Up movement, did not appear to call the police following the incident, TMZ reported. She has not immediately commented on the backlash.

Fox News' Nicole Darrah contributed to this report.

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Hasidic Woman Changed My Life In Hospital Waiting Room The …

Posted By on March 6, 2018

My dad always says that his most valuable possession is his relationships. Human-to-human connections make life worth living. Shared experiences with friends and family bring meaning into our lives, and even a chance encounter with a stranger can be incredibly fulfilling.

This past weekend, my husband, Ira, a plastic surgery resident at NYU Langone Hospital, was on call. After spending most of Shabbat alone with my two young daughters, I decided to take a long walk with the double stroller to the hospital. Before he left, Ira mentioned that he would be quickly checking on a few patients, and then we could walk home together.

Winter Shabbats with toddlers cooped up in an apartment are challenging, so I welcomed the adventure. We bundled up and headed out for the 40-block walk. Halfway there, we got caught in a windy snowfall. My girls were crying, and I was kicking myself for thinking this walk was a good idea, but we were already halfway, and I hoped the snow would subside in time for our walk home.

We arrived at the hospital cold, wet and cranky. Ira came down and said he would be rounding (doctor-speak for checking) on patients for 5-10 minutes, so I should take the girls to the bikur cholim room for a snack. The bikur cholim room is a room at the hospital filled with kosher food, donated by a Jewish organization which helps families of those who are ill.

My daughters love this room, because it offers every snack imaginable. But this room is also used by men as a makeshift synagogue. I walked in and discovered several Hasidic men in shtreimels, about to start the afternoon prayers. Because religious Jewish men dont pray in the presence of women, I left the room while the men helped my daughters locate the chocolate wafers and potato chips.

I went out into the hallway to wait for the girls, and saw a Hasidic woman standing by herself. Her name was Chaya, and she was waiting for her husband who was praying with the other men. Even though we were the only two people in the hall, I didnt speak to her. Whenever I see Hasidic Jews, I assume they do not want to talk to me, because I am not a part of their world. I thought she would be judgemental of my Jewish observance: It was Shabbat, and I was wearing sweatpants and sneakers.

However, she struck up a conversation with me about the girls. She was very friendly, and I immediately felt like a jerk for falsely stereotyping her.

She came over to sit with the girls and me while I waited for Ira and she waited for her husband. We chatted for a while and made small talk I avoided asking why she was at the hospital, because I did not want to pry.

But then she mentioned that I seemed very stressed. I opened up to her: I told her about Iras work schedule, and how I had been alone all of Shabbat, and how the girls were fussing, and that I was about to hit my breaking point.

Chaya was sympathetic: She was also a mom and could completely relate to how I was feeling. She encouraged me to take time for myself as soon as I could. At this point, I felt comfortable enough to ask her why she was at the hospital.

Chaya told me she had just had a baby girl on Tuesday. The baby was born with a heart condition, and the doctors were also concerned she likely had Down syndrome. Chaya was shocked: Down syndrome is rare in children born to young mothers. She is only 27 years old and had three healthy babies prior to this.

Before Shabbat, Chaya left her baby in the NICU to go home to her husband and three sons. But then, on Shabbat, she received an emergency knock on her door from a hospital liaison who told her that her baby was about to undergo emergency intestine surgery. She and her husband left her sons with a family member and rushed to the hospital. I met her only a couple of hours after the surgery.

I was blown away by her strength. She faced the worst nightmare a mother can have a sick child she was powerless to help. And yet, she seemed so at peace.

I was amazed at her ability to counsel me about my petty complaints when she was suffering such a heavy blow. Chaya explained that this situation was out of her control she had no choice but to surrender. She said she did not understand how people encountered problems of this magnitude without faith in a higher power. Her stability came from her emunah (or, faith) that Hashem (God) was watching over her baby girl.

Just then, her husband, in his shtreimel and bekishe, emerged from the bikur cholim room with a small bottle of grape juice to make kiddush, since they had missed their Shabbat day meal. As they spoke in Yiddish, I was reminded how little I had in common with this woman on the surface. During our conversation, I had completely forgotten what different worlds we came from. When we were speaking, our differences melted away we were just two moms talking about our children.

Ira never showed up, because he had a problem with one of his patients. After Shabbat ended, he called an Uber for the girls and me to go home while he stayed to operate. Normally, I would have wallowed in my pity party I would have been annoyed that we schlepped all the way down to the hospital, while Ira was nowhere to be found. I would have been frustrated that it started pouring rain as we waited outside for the car to take us home (I could not go back inside to wait, because I had no phone and I couldnt reach Ira to ask which car was ours). I would have been furious with the girls misbehaving and fighting. But this time, I wasnt in the mood to wallow or be angry: Instead of feeling sorry for myself, I was overcome with emotion from this chance encounter with my new Hasidic friend.

Our hour together changed my life. She taught me three critical lessons:

1) Snap judgments are not accurate. I falsely stereotyped this woman based solely on her appearance. How many times do we miss out on seeing someone for who he or she really is? It is important to unlearn surface-based assumptions about people.

2) Human-to-human connections are irreplaceable. Normally, when I find myself in situations with strangers, I stare at my phone and avoid engaging. I wonder if people used to talk to each other on the subway, in elevators and in waiting rooms before cell phones. Because it was Shabbat, I had no phone and no chance to avoid conversation with this woman. How many life-changing encounters am I missing out on the rest of the week when I am busy scrolling through social media? We need to put our phones down more often and interact with actual people.

3) Emunah creates strength. I have a tendency to both worry and wallow over things I cannot control. Chaya taught me to surrender and have faith that Hashem only gives me challenges I can handle. The magnitude of her unfortunate situation is so much greater than any of my problems, but her faith-filled approach gives her a positive outlook and the resilience to push through.

I once heard a quote that has stuck with me: Theres a king in every court. So once in a while, lets remember to find the kings in the courts among us lets lose the headphones and ask the person in the airplane seat beside us how her day is going. Lets look up from the iPhone and cheerfully greet the person in line behind us at Starbucks. Lets smile and make small talk with the man waiting to cross the street. Brief, unexpected visits with strangers can be as fulfilling and enriching as any deep conversation with a trusted friend.

I will never forget my encounter with the new mother at the hospital. I can only hope that I make the next stranger I meet feel as strongly connected with the human soul, as Chaya made me feel on a Shabbat afternoon outside a bikur cholim room.

Elizabeth Savetsky is an NYC-based wife, mother, and accessories blogger who defines her style by incorporating over-the-top pieces into everyday life. Through her blog,, and social media channels, her mission is to make accessorizing accessible to every woman and encourage mamas everywhere to embrace their inner glamour girls.

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Congregation Ahavas Sholom The Oldest Operating …

Posted By on March 4, 2018

Congregation Ahavas Sholom holds services every Saturday morningstarting at 9:30 a.m., in the summer as well. Attendance hovers around 25 to 30 people, with 60 or more attendees on special occasions. These special occasions are not infrequent, having included birthdays, aufrufs (before marriages), weddings, babys naming ceremonies, brit milahs, Sabbaths dedicated to organizations that have helped the Congregation, such as the Shomrim Society (Jewish law enforcement officers), Federations Young Leadership Division, or a havurah from Congregation Agudath Israel in Caldwell. They now include bnei mitzvah 10 or more in the last years.

Every week the Congregation says Kiddush and eats lunch together in the social hall downstairs following services. In addition to weekly Shabbath Services, the synagogue holds periodic Friday evening services and dinners. Congregation Ahavas Shalom also holds services on the High holidays and on all major holidays throughout the year, and in recent years services are held on Tisha BAv and Simchat Torah.

Shabbat services start at 9:30 am.

Please contact us by phone 973-485-2609 or

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Who Controls the Anti-Defamation League? | Who Controls …

Posted By on March 1, 2018

The Anti-Defamation League:

Abraham H. Foxman(Ashkenazi Jew) National Director

Kenneth Jacobson(Ashkenazi Jew) Deputy National Director

Robert G. Sugarman(Ashkenazi Jew) National Chairman picture available)

Robert H. Naftaly(Ashkenazi Jew) Treasurer

Murray Koppelman(Ashkenazi Jew) Assistant Treasurer

I. Barry Mehler(Ashkenazi Jew) Secretary

Stanford Baratz(Ashkenazi Jew) Assistant Secretaryhttp://

Standing Committees:

Charles F. Kriser(Ashkenazi Jew) Chairman, Administration(no picture available)

Robert H. Naftaly(Ashkenazi Jew) Chairman, Audit

Lawrence Rosenbloom(Ashkenazi Jew) Chairman, Budget

Howard W. Goldstein(Ashkenazi Jew) Chairman, Civil Rights

Barry Curtiss-Lusher(Ashkenazi Jew) Chairman, Development

Richard D. Barton(Ashkenazi Jew) Chairman, Education

Joseph A. Goldblum(Ashkenazi Jew) Chairman, Information Technology picture available)

David J. Millstone(Ashkenazi Jew) Chairman, International Affairs

Pamela Schwartz(Ashkenazi Jew) Chairman, Leadership picture available)

Christopher Wolf(Ashkenazi Jew homosexual) Chairman, Legacy/Funding for the Future

Michael J. Rubenstein(Ashkenazi Jew) Chairman, Marketing & Communications

Martin L. Budd(Ashkenazi Jew) Chairman, Outreach & Interfaith Affairs

Marvin D. Nathan(Ashkenazi Jew) Chairman, Planning

Lawrence J. Miller(Ashkenazi Jew) Chairman, Regional Operations

Kenneth M. Jarin(Ashkenazi Jew) Chairman, Washington Affairs


Deborah M. Lauter(Ashkenazi Jew) Director, Civil Rights

Clifford Schechter(Ashkenazi Jew) Director, Development

Ed S. Alster(Ashkenazi Jew) Director, Education

Michael A. Kellman(Ashkenazi Jew) Director, Finance & Administration(no picture available)

Sam Memberg(Ashkenazi Jew) Director, Information Technology

Michael A. Salberg(Ashkenazi Jew) Director, International Affairs

Marvin S. Rappaport(Ashkenazi Jew) Director, Leadership

Graham M. Cannon(Ashkenazi Jew) Director, Marketing & Communcations

Robert Wolfson(Ashkenazi Jew) Director, Regional Operations picture available)

Stacy Burdett(Ashkenazi Jew) Director, Washington Affairs

Betty B. Robbins(Ashkenazi Jew) General Counsel picture available)

Vice Chairmen:

Meyer Eisenberg(Ashkenazi Jew)

James Grosfeld(Ashkenazi Jew) picture available)

Thomas C. Homburger(Ashkenazi Jew)

Cynthia Marks(Ashkenazi Jew) picture available)

George E. Moss(Ashkenazi Jew)

Pam Schafler(Ashkenazi Jew)

Joseph Smukler(Ashkenazi Jew)

George Stark(Ashkenazi Jew) picture available)

Gerald Stempler(Ashkenazi Jew) picture available)

Past National Chairmen:

Barbara B. Balser(Ashkenazi Jew)

Howard P. Berkowitz(Ashkenazi Jew) picture available)

Kenneth J. Bialkin(Ashkenazi Jew)

Burton M. Joseph(Ashkenazi Jew)(no picture available)

Burton S. Levinson(Ashkenazi Jew)

Glen S. Lewy(Ashkenazi Jew)

Melvin Salberg(Ashkenazi Jew)

David H. Strassler(Ashkenazi Jew)(no picture available)

Glen A. Tobias(Ashkenazi Jew)

Summary:Of the fifty-three(53) senior executives and directors of the Anti-Defamation League, fifty-three(53) are Jews. This is a numerical representation of 100%. Jews are approximately 2% of the U.S. population.* Therefore Jews are over-represented among the senior executives and directors of the Anti-Defamation League by a factor of 50 times(5,000 percent).

* Jewish Population of the United States by State:

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Difference Between Temple and Synagogue

Posted By on February 28, 2018

Posted on August 29, 2011 by koshal Last updated on: April 16, 2015

The difference between temple and synagogue has its roots in the Jewish beliefs. Temple and Synagogue are two words that are often considered as words that denote the same meaning by the general population. Actually, in a Jewish perspective, they are not so. They convey two different senses when used separately. The word synagogue is derived from the Greek word Sinagogos. This word refers to a place where people assemble. It often refers to the House of Assembly. A temple, in a very general sense, is the sacred place where followers of any religion go to worship. Synagogue is associated with Jewish culture. When looked from a Jewish perspective temple carries a special meaning. All this will be discussed in the article while we are discussing the difference between the two words temple and synagogue.

A temple, in a very general sense, is the sacred place where followers of any religion go to worship. Every religion usually has a temple, a place of worship that is known by this name. Temple, for them, is the house of God. All these religions use the word temple to refer to any place of worship the followers of those religions have built. However, this belief of calling any place of worship a temple changes when it comes to Judaism.

For Jews, the word Temple refers primarily to the shrine that is seen in Jerusalem. If a Jew is using the word temple, he or she is referring to the Holy Temple that was in Jerusalem. Solomon constructed the first ever temple in 10th century BCE. The Jewish refer to such constructions as temples. After the Romans destroyed the Second Temple, they no longer have a physical construction that they can refer to as the temple. The orthodox Jews believe that only the Messiah can build a new Temple.

Holy Temple of Jews

When the Temple was there, Jews were carrying out more traditions such as sacrifices. Also, during the prayer in the Temple, music was used.

Now, since the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, a synagogue is the house of worship for the Jews. On the other hand, a synagogue was nothing but a Town Hall in the olden days. At that time, it did not have a great connection with worship.

The purpose of constructing a synagogue also was different when compared to the purpose for which a temple was constructed. The primary purpose behind the construction of synagogue was to carry on discussions related to business. In fact, community business was conducted by the Jewish community in a synagogue. This was the situation as long as the Temple was there. However, now the synagogue is built for the primary purpose of worshipping.

As a way of honoring the memory of the Temple, the worship style in synagogues has also gone through some changes. For example, instrumental music is not used in synagogues for worship.

Temple, in the general sense, means the place of worship in any religion.

Temple in Judaism refers to the Holy Temple that was in Jerusalem.

Synagogue is the Jewish house of worship.

This is the main difference between the two words.

A normal temple can be built anywhere.

The Temple can only be built on the ground where the former temples stood.

Synagogues can also be built anywhere.

A normal temple follows the method of worship according to the religion to which the temple belongs to.

The Temple has special traditions such as sacrifices and using music for prayers.

Synagogues do not do sacrifices. As a way of putting the Temple memory in a special place, they do not use music during prayer.

The Orthodox Jews follow all these customs believing another Temple can only be built by the Messiah and only builds synagogues.

The Reform Movement of Judaism goes against the traditional beliefs. They build worshipping places and name them temple without a problem.

As you can see, the difference between temple and synagogue can only be seen in the religion of Judaism.

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The Hasidic Women Why They Wear Wigs

Posted By on February 28, 2018

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Hasidic women wear clothing that is according to the principles of dress modesty in Jewish law. Haredi women wear long, conservative skirts. They also wear sleeves past the elbow.

Hasidic women strictly follow the laws of tzenuit. They are also required to act accordingly and with respectable behavior. Married women cover their hair with a sheitel or wig ; tichel or scarf. Some women cut their hair short or shave their heads and wear wigs.

The way of dressing of Hasidic women reflects the culture that they want to protect. Hasidic Judaism aims to protect women against the immodesty of the popular culture. Also, a womans hair is considered as sensual and is a symbol of sex, the reason why Hasidic women are required to cover their heads.

Contrary to popular belief, wearing a wig is not a requirement for Hasidic women. Some women wear a snood (a hat which looks like a beret) to cover their hair. Many Hasidic women choose to wear a wig because it is more comfortable than keeping their hair long and covering it with a scarf.

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Soaring number of Sephardic Jews acquired Portuguese …

Posted By on February 26, 2018

Gates, passport control and toilets signs are seen at Lisbon's airport, Portugal June 24, 2016. .(photo credit: REUTERS)

Nearly 1,800 descendants of Sephardic Jews acquired the Portuguese nationality in 2017 under a law enacted two years earlier, with another 12,000 still in the application process, officials in Lisbon said.

The tally for last year is six times higher than the total for 2016, during which the application of the law hit bureaucratic snags amid political changes.

The increase in naturalization under the law, which Portugal passed in 2013 and enacted in 2015 as a form of making amends for the persecution of Jews during the Inquisition that began in the 16th century, comes amid a host of initiatives by the government to strengthen the countrys ties to Jewish audiences and recognition of its Jewish heritage.

A similar push is underway in Spain, which passed a similar law of return simultaneous to the Portuguese one and which has naturalized more than 5,000 applicants. Spain and Portugals economies are heavily reliant on foreign investment and tourism, and both have high unemployment relative to the rest of the European Union 17 and 8.9 percent, respectively and especially among young people.

In Lisbon, a large Jewish museum is under construction and is on schedule to open next year.

The Rede de Juderias network of cities with Jewish heritage sites, which was established in Portugal in 2011, has grown to include 27 municipalities nationwide. A new program called Rotas de Sefarad, or Sepharad Routes, was launched in 2014, involving some of these city councils plus sites in at least 17 venues.

The renovation works under the Rotas de Sefarad ended in December with a total investment of $5.7 million, most of it from Portuguese government funding.

Portugals secretary of state for tourism, Ana Mendes Godinho, in a visit this month to the United States she met Jewish community leaders to raise awareness to these developments.

We want a Jewish presence in Portugal, Godinho said in a statement, adding And we look to Jewish investment.

She also said: We have a vast Jewish heritage and a very ancient and profound connection to Jewish communities.

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My Hasidic wedding Orthodoxsunflower

Posted By on February 25, 2018

After our engagement was announced, the town was abuzz. An in-town match is always exciting and the news hadspread like wildfire. Since I was still one of the first of my grade to get engaged, the excitement was high. As for me, it was surreal. I couldnt believe I was engaged, I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasnt dreaming. Many people came over to congratulate us even though it was quite late at night. The wedding was planned for September which was four months away. My fianc and I sat down to talk after our engagement party. In our ultra Hasidic circles it was customary for the bride and groom to not see or talk to each other until the wedding. No phone calls, no face to face meetings and no contact whatsoever. He went back to his Yeshiva. About 2 months later we did have to meet in order for us to get married civilly. It was nerve wracking but actually fun to see him again. I remembered again why I said yes. I felt so comfortable around him, it was as if we saw each other yesterday.

It didnt take long for the big day to arrive. I woke up early and spent the morning praying. Some brides fast until after the Chuppah (ceremony) but I didnt. By lunchtime we had to get ready. Make up, hair. Some brides cover their hair with a wig from the ceremony, some only for the wedding party and others from the next morning. I covered my hair from before the ceremony.

The Chuppah was planned for the afternoon. Its a solemn affair. Brides and grooms have great power on this day and utilize it by praying for those in need. I sat on a comfortable chair and accepted the well wishes of friends and family. The ceremony began withmy fianccoming towards me and covering my face with a veil. (It is done to show that we are not looking at thebeauty only at theinner, spiritual part of the woman)

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The Chuppa is filled with rituals. The two mothers accompany me to the canopy where we circle the groom 7 times. (Under the chuppah, the custom is that the bridecircles the groomseven times. Just as the world was built in seven days, the brideis figuratively building the walls of the couples new world together. The number seven also symbolizes the wholeness and completeness that they cannot attain separately. *)

The chuppa progresses as I stand on the right side of my soon-to-be husband. 7 blessings are recited by different men. The moment that officially makes us husband and wife is when my fiancputs a ring on my right hand finger and declares: Behold, you are betrothed unto me with this ring, according to the law of Moses and Israel.

Now the ketubah is being read out loud and signed by two witnesses. The Ketubah is a marriage contract outlining the husbands responsibilities to his wife. After the 7 blessings the groom cracks a glass with his foot which isan expression of sadness at the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, and identifies the couple with the spiritual and national destiny of the Jewish people. *

That signals the end of the ceremony. My veil is lifted and amidst shouts of Mazel tov my husband takes my hand and we walk towards a room called yichud room where the couple gets the first chance for some alone time. (Yichud meaning seclusion.)

Its customary for the groom to present the bride with a gift (that his mother chose) in the yichud room. The first few minutes were naturally awkward but it didnt take long for him to put me at ease. He presented me with a beautiful pearl necklace. The parents gave us a few minutes alone, then it was time for pictures. After the pictures we headed home to my parents house. We finally got to sit down to eat. the chuppah was in the afternoon, by the time we got home it was about 6pm. The dinner was called for 8 but the couple doesnt usuallywalk in until after the second course which is usually at 9.30pm.

When everyone left, we had time to talk and get re-acquainted after 3 months of no contact. I dont really remember what we talked about but I recall having a very pleasant experience. I remember being comfortable around him. Time flew by and soon we got the call that it was time to leave. My husband brought me into the ladies section and then continued to the mens section as the wedding wasseparated. The dancing was spirited, joyous and lots of fun. It was a welcome distraction of what awaited me after the wedding. I danced with family and friends until it was time to continue the meal. After the last dance, most people went home. The only ones staying were the family and close friends. Now it was time for something called the mitzvah tantz (dance). Its a very solemn affair reserved only for those closest to the couple. A badchan (jester) calls up male family members to dance with the bride. They are called up with ryhmes and songs. They dancegrasping the end of a cord that the bride is holding at the other end.


I danced with all my uncles, brothers and brother in laws. The badchan also remembers the deceased grandparents and in our case, my husbands father who was no longer alive. His death had been tragic and the moment was very emotional. My brother in law was the badchan and he outdid himself. Even I, who hadnt known him, had tears running down my face. When it was my fathers turn we danced holding hands. Then came the most emotional part of he wedding. The dance with my husband. Its considered the holiest moment of the wedding. Many things can be prayed for at this moment. Its the culmination of a wonderful, joyous night.

Credit: YouTube

It was time to go home. I had been trying not to think about it but now the nerves were back. As a Hasidic girl (and most ultra orthodox girls) I was a virgin and our marriage was supposed to be consummated on our wedding night. This is the least favorite part of the day as we were basically strangers to each other. It wasnt enjoyable but whose first time is? We got it over with and were free to enjoy the next 7 days of festivities. (its customary for family and friends to host meals for the couple for 7 days) The next time was less awkward and it didnt take long for us to have a satisfying intimate life. It might take us a bit longer to get comfortable but once we do, its no different than the rest of the world.

It will be 19 happy years of marriage soon. May it continue to be a happy union for many more years. Mazel tov!

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My Hasidic wedding Orthodoxsunflower

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