Sephardic Jewry |

Posted By on July 13, 2018

From the recent ruling in Spain allowing the return of Jews expelled in 1492 to differences in pronunciation and changes to tradition over time, below is a selection of the Institute's articles and books on Sephardic Jewry.

Spanish Passports for Sephardic Jews? a Blog by Rabbi Marc D. Angel -The Spanish government has indicated that it will offer Spanish passports to individuals of Spanish Jewish/Sephardic heritage. The ostensible motive for this gesture is the desire to redress a historic sin: Spains expulsion of Jews in 1492. Now, more than five centuries after this nefarious expulsion, Spain wishes to reach out to descendants of those Jewish victims and welcome them back home in Spain. Read more

A Sephardic Passover Haggadah -Ktav Publishing House has just issued a limited printing of Rabbi Marc D. Angel's popular Sephardic Haggadah. Originally published in 1988, it includes the Hebrew text of the Haggadah with Rabbi Angel's English translation, as well as an ongoing selection of commentaries drawn from a wide range of Sephardic sages. Read more

Sephardic Rabbis in Ashkenazic Garb!!! -"Does it bother anyone else that Sephardim have begun wearing the funeral dress of Ashkenazim- the blackhats. suits, and other "garb" of Eastern European Jews ? Even Rabbi X, a well-respected Sephardi Hakham, has succumbed to this garbage. I fear for the future of Sephardi customs and traditions !!" Read more

Is "Sephardic" a Name Brand? -We're addicted to branding. By we, I mean Americans, but it's probably true of most people, and for good reason. Seeking out name brands may be a simple and effective survival tactic. Pick a good brand (olive oil, car, university) and you feel confident you will live and be well, otherwise, who knows? Conversely, we don't just buy brand names, but sell them. For success in business, or in the arts, college graduates were told at a recent convocation, you must brand yourself, figure out and highlight the one key brandable thing you have to offer, and name it in a way that sparks recognition and interest. Read more

Models of Sephardic Rabbinic Leadership -In the early 1970s, shortly after I had begun my rabbinical service to Congregation Shearith Israel, the historic Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue of New York City, I attended a shiur, a lecture, at Yeshiva University given by the recently elected Rishon leZion, Rabbi Ovadya Yosef. As a young Sephardic rabbi, I was eager to hear the words of this prominent and erudite Sephardic rabbinic leader. The message of that shiur made a great impression on me and has remained with me to this day. Read more

1939 in the Sephardic World - The Nazi menace decimated European Jewry, and its tentacles of hatred and violence reached even to North Africa and the Middle East. Jews of all backgrounds were victimized, and many stories about murdered family members remain as the heritage of Jews throughout the world. In our family-whose roots were in the Sephardic community of the Island of Rhodes-we also have a story. Read more

Saf, Taf, Loshon HaKodesh, and Pronunciation of the Prayer for the State of Israel, Guest Blog By Alan Krinsky -In my Modern Orthodox and Religious Zionist synagogue, when we sing and recite Avinu ShebaShamayim, the prayer for the State of Israel, we pronounce the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet as taf, and not saf, despite the fact that the Rabbi and most members of the congregation are of Ashkenazi descent.[1] In truth, the synagogue has no set pronunciation rulesthe Ashkenazim are more or less split on taf and saf in their davening and our regular baal koreh uses tafbut lately I have been wondering about the proper pronunciation of the Avinu ShebaShamayim prayer for otherwise saf-saying Ashkenazi Jews. Read more

What All Jews Can Learn From Great Sephardic Rabbis of Recent Centuries -To limit Sephardic tradition to those of Sephardic ancestry is like limiting Shakespeare to Englishmen. While persons born in the British Isles may rightfully take pride in their illustrious countryman, his genius is relevant to all people, and is not contingent upon his place of birth. So too, with regard to central values and religious orientations found in the writings of Sephardic rabbis of recent centuries: their import extends beyond Sephardim by birth, to all Jews attempting to chart a course for a personal and communal life in which authentic Judaism and humanity go hand in hand. Read more

Conversations, Issue 13: Insights from the Sephardic Experience -The spring 2012 issue of Conversations features articles relating to Sephardic approaches to Jewish law; kabbala; Judeo-Spanish tradition; Sephardic identity and more. It also includes an article on late medieval Italian Jewry, and an essay dealing with the Benei Israel of India. Read more

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Sephardic Jewry |

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