Celebrating Diversity

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9 Responses

  1. mb says:

    “In the Sephardic tradition, Hagbah — holding the Torah up and open for all to see — is done before the Torah reading.”

    Hagbah is almost certainly a polemic. Showing the text before the reading makes sense.
    Any idea why do Ashkenazim do otherwise?

  2. dr. bill says:

    The one area where many traditional sephardi communities excel is in tolerating and dealing with members of their community whose observance has lapsed. their poskim have a very different approach than most western/ashkenazi poskim. the latter most often dealt with groups who had a different shittah, reform for example. the former dealt largely with non-observance per se. In Israel today one of those two approaches is much more relevant; it does not take a Ph.D. in sociology to figure out which it is! It would make for a yet greater ability to deal effectively with diversity.

  3. lacosta says:

    some start hodu, some baruch sheamar , but we all get to gether for kvod hahsem [ yechi chevod]…..

  4. Breinah says:

    Shows just how much more we have ein common than we actually think, yet highlighting our differences, which are small, but monumental.

  5. Nachum Boehm says:

    “The tunes, of course, are elegant and distinctly Middle-Eastern, in a minor key.”

    I think you mean harmonic major scale.

  6. David says:

    I find it slightly ironic that many non-Orthodox Jews think that Orthodoxy means only one thing and is monolithic.
    Some that are aware of these differences don’t understand why our toleration for other forms of Orthodoxy doesn’t also apply to them.
    “OK, Ashkenazim do one thing in their shul, and Sephardim do another, so we have women cantors with guitars, what’s the difference?”

  7. dovid2 says:

    “some start hodu, some baruch sheamar but we all get to gether”

    If that were only so!

  8. Toronto Yid says:

    dr. bill: It is true that there is much more tolerance within the Sefaradic community to those whose observance is weaker or lapsed. But I would make the following two observations:

    – there’s a difference between tolerating one whose observance has lapsed, and one who comes forward with an alternate non-halachic new form of observance (as has happened with Ashkenazic Jewry).
    – I note that even among those Sefaradic Jews who practice very little, they are still respectful to those who are more observant and to their chachamim. Perhaps this is because of the kinder treatment they receive from their observant brethren. But among Ashkenazim, it’s sad that people can’t distinguish between ostracizing the movement people belong to vs ostracizing the people themselves.

  9. S. says:

    This is a nice article, but this: “Ashkenazi, Sephardi and Yemenite Jewry were separated for hundreds of years, at a time when international communication was practically nonexistent” is vastly overstated, even in the case of the Yemenite Jews. The “International Jew” stereotype came from somewhere, after all. Jews did travel, and were in contact with far-flung communities. There is a reason why these customs and laws managed to be so widespread. It is the same reason why we all have a Mishneh Torah and a Shulchan Aruch. The communities were less separated and isolated than portrayed.

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