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#1 of 26 Old 11-12-2002, 01:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was listening to a local NPR show last noght and they were talking about Ashekenasi (sp?) and Sephardic jews. I have heard the terms before but am ashamed to say I know nothing about what this is. Can you explain? Are they types of sects? Are there more different sects then those two?
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#2 of 26 Old 11-12-2002, 01:24 PM
 
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Hi, Rene ...

The Ashkenazi/Sephardi divide is racial/regional, aka geographic.

Ashkenazi Jews spent their diaspora wanderings through Germany, Eastern Europe.

Sephardi Jews are from the Muslim countries (middle east & elsewhere). And the name "Sepharad" refers to Spain (lot of Jews in Spain 'til they were thrown out in the Spanish Inquisition in the 15th century).

The Ashkenazi Jews are more divided into various philosophically diverse sects, and Sephardi Jews are, by and large, more traditionally minded (eg., even the least religious of them retains some religious connection).

There are some differences in the prayer liturgy between Sephardi and Ashkenazi, but if you go into either one's synagogue, the prayers are essentially the same, with the differences being additional words here & there.

There's more, and I've made some overarching generalizations there ... but hey, gotta start somewhere ...



- Amy
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#3 of 26 Old 11-12-2002, 02:03 PM
 
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It is basicly a difference of traditions. The basic halacha (law) is usually the same- with a few exceptions. But there are many differences in tradition.

-BelovedBird

Mom of 5 boys- 13, 10, 8, 2 : and newbie Aug. 24th, '09 . babywearing advocate . Cook, baker, homemaker, wife to a man with another woman's kidney (live altruistic, unknown donor).
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#4 of 26 Old 11-12-2002, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks.

They were talking about religious traditions and someone called to say that she came from both and there were a differences in how families celebrated i.e.: the naming and somethng else.

Can you tell the differences in names? Like the spelling of Cohn vs. Cohen? In Indian names you can tell when somone comes from simply by their last name, s. Indian names sometimes end in swamy/swami and Bengali names end in ji/jii.

Do they include Russian jews in Ashkenazi? What about Ethiopians?

Pretty interesting.
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#5 of 26 Old 11-12-2002, 02:46 PM
 
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Name-spelling in English is purely that, names spelled in English. Family choice. (Or the guy at Ellis Island who took the name down on the paperwork )

Sephardi Jews have names that sound more ... eastern. Your basic Goldberg & Stein are Ashkenazi.

Cohen is one of the names that is either/or, since it generally denotes someone whose ancestry is from the priestly tribe, they usually kept that same name through the millenia.

Sometimes the difference is visible physically ... ie., many (but not all) Sephardi Jews are darker skinned.

Ethiopians, I believe, are considered Sephardi by some, but they have their own traditions and their community was separate from the rest of the Jewish community for two millenia, so are usually considered "their own."

Russian Jews are Ashkenazi.

There's gotta be a clear link somewhere about different traditions, will dig around later if I can ...



- Amy
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#6 of 26 Old 11-12-2002, 03:11 PM
 
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The Ethiopian Jewish community calls itself "Beita Yisrael" as far as I know they are neither sephardi or ashkenazi.

Sephardim believe that it is very respectful to name after living relatives. Ashkenazim avoid naming after relatives unless they have already passed away - it honors the person and is a zechus (merit) to the child to inheret the good traits of the one they are named after. My friend marryed a sephardi guy and her 4 children have the exact names of her parents and her inlaws. Some the names of my kids are named for deceased relatives.

Here are some links:

http://www.us-israel.org/jsource/Jud...shkenazim.html


http://www.us-israel.org/jsource/Judaism/Sephardim.html

http://www.jewfaq.org/ashkseph.htm

Sephardi links page:
http://www.jewish.com/page.php?do=page&cat_id=702

-BelovedBird

Mom of 5 boys- 13, 10, 8, 2 : and newbie Aug. 24th, '09 . babywearing advocate . Cook, baker, homemaker, wife to a man with another woman's kidney (live altruistic, unknown donor).
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#7 of 26 Old 11-12-2002, 05:39 PM
 
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Re: the naming (Sephardi after the living, Ashkenazi after the no-longer-living) ... there's an old joke about a "mixed marriage" (he's Ashkenazi, she's Sephardi), and he named his first child after his (very much alive) MIL ...

Takes a minute. Sick joke.

Sorry.

:LOL

- Amy
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#8 of 26 Old 11-12-2002, 08:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It is evil - but funny.
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#9 of 26 Old 12-04-2002, 01:57 AM
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Is it too late to jump in here?

I also believe the Ashkenazi don't name children after living relatives because of superstition -- if the angel of death comes looking for the "named" (presumed to be old) then they might get confused and take the child by mistake.

P.S. BelovedBird - every time I see your name I smile -- our dd's hebrew name is Sara Zipporah...and Beloved is exactly how I think of her!
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#10 of 26 Old 12-04-2002, 02:11 AM
 
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On the name tangent - I always thought it funny that "Ashkenazi" is a common Sephardic last name!
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#11 of 26 Old 12-04-2002, 02:25 AM
 
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my friend went to a sephardic wedding and she said the language sounded like ancient spanish.

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#12 of 26 Old 12-04-2002, 02:30 AM
 
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That would be "Ladino", the Sephardic equivalent to "Yiddish". I once had a roommate in Israel who's first language was Ladino, and yes, it sounds much like Spanish.
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#13 of 26 Old 12-04-2002, 02:36 AM
 
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a sephardic synagogue in the carribean (oldest in the new world I think) had sand sprinkled on the floor...which they said was a common tradition for sephardic synagogues? it was a very cool place.
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#14 of 26 Old 12-04-2002, 02:50 AM
 
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when i lived in NYC I went snooping around to find some interesting sights and the one I enjoyed tremendously was a little jewish cemetary not far from chinatown. It had the oldest jewish gravestone from the 1680's. they were portugese and spanish and they got the hell out of the iberian pennisula because of the inquistion...which techinally lasted until the early 1800's.

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#15 of 26 Old 12-04-2002, 04:40 AM
 
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M26m (), I always found that funny, too, how "Ashkenazi" is a Sephardi name. Now, why is that? I guess some Ashkenazi fellow moved to a Middle Eastern community and because known as "that Ashkenazi guy" and the name stuck with his descendents ... :LOL



- Amy
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#16 of 26 Old 12-04-2002, 04:48 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by amyrpk
M26m (), I always found that funny, too, how "Ashkenazi" is a Sephardi name. Now, why is that? I guess some Ashkenazi fellow moved to a Middle Eastern community and because known as "that Ashkenazi guy" and the name stuck with his descendents ... :LOL
Actually, I think you are correct. Much in the same way that people with names like "Hollander" and "Londoner" are usually from places like Poland. But their ancestors moved there from some place else and became known as the "Hollanders", etc.
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#17 of 26 Old 12-04-2002, 12:55 PM
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We joke in my family that dd must be Sephardic, although we are Ashkenazi, because her father is Puerto Rican. This, ultimately, makes us hope we can have rice at passover . The rabbi at our wedding also convinced himself that dh's family is actually Murano, saying exiled Jews from Spain ended up in P.R. -- strangely, we all sort of bought it as my husband's uncle looked exactly like the rabbi -- more eastern eur. Jew than Latino. But who knows???
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#18 of 26 Old 12-05-2002, 06:44 AM
 
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Quote:
... by Pom
... This, ultimately, makes us hope we can have rice at passover .
:LOL :LOL :LOL :LOL

- Amy
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#19 of 26 Old 12-08-2002, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Another question - what's the difference between a rebbe and a rabbi?

Also what's Murano? I thought that was the glass people.
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#20 of 26 Old 12-09-2002, 02:41 AM
 
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Quote:
... by 3boys4us
... what's the difference between a rebbe and a rabbi?
A rabbi is kind of like a lawyer. He is expert in intricacies of Jewish law. He talks to your head.

A rebbe is kind of like a spiritual therapist. He talks to your heart.

Rebbes are almost always rabbis. But not necessarily the other way around.

My Rebbe z'l died 8 years ago, and I don't have a living one anymore. But he's still my Rebbe, because I try to live in his ... path, I guess is the right word for it, with his worldview still making the most sense to me. We go to lots of shuls in our community, have rabbis to ask various questions of, but don't have a living rebbe at this point.

Though there's a particular woman I know whom I also consider a "rebbe" to me. But I use the term meaning that she is someone to emulate and someone who is spiritually and "motheringly" where I hope to be when I grow up. So sometimes the term is figurative.

Quote:
... what's Murano? I thought that was the glass people.
That is the glass people. :LOL But when people refer to maranos they are also referring to the "secret Jews" who converted to Christianity on threat of death during the Spanish Inquisition, but secretly continued Jewish practices. There are stories of their descendents, living thoroughly Christian lives, who, for example, light candles in their closets or basements on Friday night. Why? Well, their grandmothers and greatgrandmothers, etc., etc., did. And their greatgrandmothers etc. did it because their ancestress down the line, who converted to save her life, continued lighting Shabbos candles as a Jew, but had to hide it to survive.

Here's a link about maranos, probably too much information, or more than you would want, anyway, but I'm getting into this linking thing ...

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/vi...d=169&letter=M
- Amy
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#21 of 26 Old 12-09-2002, 12:10 PM
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Did I mention my spelling stinks -- especially when I'm posting quickly? SOrry 'bout that...thanks Amy for correcting!
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#22 of 26 Old 12-12-2002, 01:20 AM
 
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i'm not hijacking this thread......just a note.
tonight on hbo they ran, "in the arms of strangers." oh, my god, so painful, I don't know .... such brave family, children....

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#23 of 26 Old 12-12-2002, 03:04 AM
 
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trabot, I don't have HBO, so what exactly ware you talking about?

& the thread was kinda stalled anyway, so there's nothing to hijack ...

- Amy
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#24 of 26 Old 12-12-2002, 03:24 AM
 
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In 1938, jewish families in germany, austria and czechslovakia, pulled strings, working with social workers, to send their children out of harms way. the writing was on the wall, hitler annexed austria, had stormed into czech, it was just after crystal night, it was clear, if you were jewish you were about to be in trouble, so they tried what they could and the British Government allowed 10,000 children to be sent to England. They left the arms of their parents to go to the arms of strangers.
Many of them never saw their parents again. Some did. Some ended up with families in england who used them for servants. Some found loving families.
This was their documentary. It was very moving. Very. They told their stories so beautifully.

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#25 of 26 Old 12-12-2002, 11:29 AM
 
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My neighbor in Israel was one of those kids. She was from Austria and her parents sent her and her brother on a "kindertransport" to England. She was one of the few whose parents survived the war. They went to France and got stuck there, so they stayed, eventually survived in hiding. She said she had contact with them until 1941, I believe, and she didn't hear from them until 1946. She was 5 when she was sent to England and 14 when she was reunited with her parents. I can't imagine. This woman went to a "kindertransport" reunion in Israel a few years ago and she was the only one whose parents survived the war.
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#26 of 26 Old 12-12-2002, 02:22 PM
 
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one of the men in the movie had a similiar experience. He was from austria. His mother knew what was coming, she could feel it and was very much an activist type. before 38 she got a servant's visa to england. then she went to england and her son stayed home with his father. After crystal night she got her son on kindertransport. he came to england and she met him but she was a maid in a big huge castle and you were't allowed children so she sent him to refugee house in ireland. She then went back to austria. the war broke out and he lost contact with her. She and his father later got out and hid in france with resistance groups. He later found them five years later.

one sweet story was a little boy went to baron rothschild's castle and knocked on the door and told the butler he wanted to see the baron. wait, maybe he was a lord...anyway, he went to see him and he was brought to the study and rothschild asked what he wanted and mind you this boy was about ten. and the boy said I want you to help get my mom and dad out of austria. And rothschild said, "can they work on a chicken farm." and he said, "Yes." and he said, "I'll get them."

so many stories...

one of the ladies on it lives in Isreal now. she is extra sensitive to refugees because of her kindersport experience.

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