What is Simjat Torah

<h2>What is Simjat Torah ?</h2>

Simchat Torah arrives on the last day of the festivities. At this point we read the last portion of the Torah, since we must never finish reading the Torah, we begin reading the pure principle again to show that we love the Torah as a “new command to which all run.”

It is a very happy occasion. All the scrolls of the Torah are taken from the Ark and carried in a parade around the synagogue seven times. We rejoice, sing and dance with the Torah, for the reestablishment of our covenant with the Torah, as a bridegroom rejoices with his bride; Since the Torah marries Israel as a wife with her husband.

Children are given gifts of sweetness and fruit because it has been said that “the commandments of Hashem are sweeter than honey.”

<h2>Festivities of Shminí Atzéret and Simjat Torah</h2>

“And on the eighth day you shall have a meeting; You will not do any servile work “(Bamidbar – Numbers 29:35): this is what the text says when it prescribes the celebration of the” eighth day, the feast of the assembly “, which a little shortened its Hebrew name of four words, With only two of them, Shemini Atzéret, “Eighth (day of) meeting”.

The “eighth” refers to the seven days of the festival of Sukkot that precede it. ?? Shemini Atzéret is celebrated as if it were an eighth day of Sukkot, even though it technically no longer has any relation to this feast. The obligation to live in the sukkah no longer applies, for example.

But as it is a day of rest, no one is given, at Shmini Atzéret, to the task of disarming their hut, and so it would seem that she also continues to integrate the elements of this feast. Some continue to serve in their main meals, but no longer say, at the beginning of the same, the special blessing of Sukkot.

In Shminí Atzéret, after reading the Torah and the Haftarah, according to the Ashkenazi rite the prayer of remembrance of the dead – Izcor – as on Yom Kippur is recited.

The prayer for the rain: During the repetition of the prayer of Musaf by the jazán – wrapped this one in his kítel or white tunic, Rosh Hashaná and in Iom Kipur – a special request is pronounced, Tefilat Haguéshem, the “Prayer of Rain “Where abundant precipitation is requested from God in the winter, which is soon to begin.

This sentence is composed of several poetic paragraphs in which the word maim is often repeated, “water,” the liquid whose abundant supply we ask of Heaven.

What we have said so far, refers to Shemini Atzéret both in Israel and in the Jewish communities of the Diaspora. But they celebrate one more day, a ninth day, Simchat Torah, that of “Joy with the Torah.” In the State of Israel, however, the holidays conclude with Shemini Atzéret, and all that we will now see referred to Simchat Torah, in Israel we incorporate it to Sheminí Atzéret.

From ancient times, there is a habit of reading in our synagogues every Saturday morning a fragment of the Torah or Pentateuch, a text called Parashat Hashavua, the “Paragraph of the Week,” whose name is generally taken from First word of that paragraph. On Monday and Thursday morning – as long as they are business days – the opening fragment of the Sabbath that follows them will also be read in the synagogue. And the same Saturday afternoon also reads a short paragraph, the beginning of Parshah next week.

<h2>Now, when does this series of biblical readings begin, and when is it completed ?</h2>

This occurs in Simchat Torah, among the Jews of the Diaspora, and in Shemini Atzéret, in the State of Israel. At the time of the biblical reading, all the scrolls of the Torah that the synagogue have stored there are extracted from the Sacred Ark, and they are celebrated with them seven Hacafot or “rounds” (analogous to those already seen when speaking Of Hoshana Rabbah at the festival of Sukkot).

After this ceremony they are put back in their place. But three are left out to read from them the biblical fragments of the date: the first, containing Moses’ farewell blessing and the account of his death on Mount Nebo; The second, to read the beginning, the narration of how God created the Universe; And the third, to read from the book Bamidbar or Numbers the detail of the festive sacrifices of the date.

What is Ladino

<h2>What is Ladino ?</h2>

The Iberian peninsula was the center par excellence of the Jewish culture until the expulsion of all the Hebrews was decreed at the end of Century XV. Until that time, Spain was the country with the largest Jewish community in the world, with a prosperous presence in many cities. When they had to flee from the persecution to other places, the Jews took with them the Spanish culture, or rather Jewish-Spanish, implanting itself in an infinity of geographical points along four continents.

In the realm of these Serfardi communities, customs, the language (ladino or judeo-español) and the different cultural expressions in which the press played an important vehicular role from the mid-nineteenth century until the Shoah (Holocaust or Final Solution) survived. The Sefarad-Israel center in Madrid has exhibited since yesterday a collection of original copies of half a hundred of these headwaters, whose cultural and historical value is immense. It is the first monographic exhibition of these characteristics that is celebrated in the city, under the title “Of good ink, an exhibition that recreates 150 years of press in Ladino”.


The Ladino press evolved parallel to the Sephardic culture. Changes in writing, debates on linguistic standardization, the geographical distribution of these communities, their weight in host societies or their moments of splendor and, finally, of decadence, have been reflected in the rich production of their publications. Some testimonial jewels, as explained by curator of the exhibition and specialist in Judeo-Spanish bibliography Uriel Macías, “had a great importance among the Sephardi as a way of access to information, dissemination of ideas and cultural strengthening.” The director of the Sefarad-Israel center, Florentino Portero, underlines the documentary value of these headers that show the Spanish sentiment of the thousands of Jews expelled from Spain and their will to maintain the culture of their homeland in the diaspora.

The first copy of Sephardic language newspaper was printed in 1842 (La Vara, New York). Since then, new headwinds have not ceased until more than 300 have been recorded throughout history. Its period of greatest splendor is between 1875 and 1940, coinciding with the eve of the entrance of the Nazis in the Greek city of Thessaloniki, the nerve center of the Sephardic community that came to represent almost half the population. During these 65 years “the Sephardic press enjoyed an enormous dynamism in different cities”, attending to a very diverse ideological and thematic plurality, notes Macias. From Cairo to New York, through Vienna or Alexandria, the Judeo-Spanish press enjoyed great importance and had a relative longevity, according to which cases.

Periodicals of generalist, satirical, cultural or political information (such as the workers’ movement, Zionism and many other ideological currents) formed a wide and varied spectrum in different places and with different objectives, but with the common denominator of being the means of communication Of Spaniards in the diaspora. At present most of these headwaters have become museum pieces, with the exception of a cultural magazine or the Shalom newspaper, published today in Istanbul, which at 60 years of life only has a page of twenty written In Ladino. After the 1980s the Ladino press became residual coinciding “with the virtual disappearance of the last generation of natural speakers of Judeo-Spanish,” says Macias.

<h2>A language in danger of extinction</h2>

The few publications that have resisted after the shoah and the loss of speakers have a character closer to nostalgia and folklore than to the need to be informed and communicate in the mother tongue. The causes of its disappearance can not be summarized in one, but have been influenced by multiple factors. However, Portero points out as one of the main reasons that “his first reason for being, based on the anomalous circumstances that led to his appearance after the expulsion of the Jews from the peninsula, has already been overcome.”

The final solution of Nazism is another cause of its disappearance. Only in Thessaloniki, the largest community of Spanish Jews at that time, died between 80 and 90% of the Sephardi. In addition, the larger communities were established on the shores of the Mediterranean, where many were killed by the Nazi army and the rest were exiled to the United States or later to Israel. “The Holocaust provoked a move from a boom to a diametrically opposed one,” adds Macias.

Parallel to the Holocaust, the rise of various nationalisms and the disappearance of empires contributed to the Sephardic language and their means of expression were relegated to the background in host communities in favor of national languages. Finally, with the creation of the state of Israel and the increase of the pressure to the Sephardic communities settled in Arab territories, it propitiated that the majority of them emigrate to the new State, decomposing thus the sephardic nuclei where it was spoken and communicated in judeo-Spanish .

This conjunction of factors has caused that today the ladino is considered practically like a dead language. Although preoccupied with disappearance, the interest in the Sephardi continues to grow, whether for intellectual, folk, political or even romantic reasons. Perhaps it is because today the Sephardic has a certain theme theme park, but its footprint in the cultural history of Spain is undeniable and this is the institutional recognition. “The cultural fabric of Spain is a lot of fun and the preservation of the Sephardic legacy is not without threats,” explains the director of the Sefarad-Israel center.

Florentino Portero is difficult to understand Spanish culture without knowing Judaism first, “which is one of its Pillars “. Porter also recalls the link between Christianity and Judaism, as recognized in the Second Vatican Council, as they share the same roots. “It is difficult to understand Christianity without knowing its common points with Judaism,” says Portero.

What do Jews believe. Can one convert Judaism

What do Jews believe. Can one convert Judaism ?

What do Jews believe ?

This question is complicated but recurrent in people who are unfamiliar with Judaism. Judaism has no dogma, no formal set of beliefs that one “must” have to be a Jew.

In Judaism, works and identity have greater weight in order to define beliefs. However, if we could state what the Jews believe in, we would have to refer to the definition of monotheism: Jews believe in one God, who is not divided into persons or entities, eternal, omnipresent and omnipotent.

It is correct to refer to Judaism as a religion, but one can begin to understand that Judaism does not have formal compulsory beliefs. A good idea that can be answered in what the Jews believe is the Decalogue (found in the book of Exodus), the Shema Israel (found in Deuteronomy 6: 4), the 13 Principles of Faith and 613 Mitzvot, the last two having been written by Maimonides. (Note: these concepts will be explained in later articles.)

It is important to mention that none of the above are prayers, but affirmations of faith, although they are not called “creeds”. The Jews do not have a formal “Credo” because they know that they believe in one God and that there is no other one outside of him, therefore it is unnecessary a formal credo that shows one believes in one God and not another, when there is no other . In all accounts, if one wants to know what the Jews believe in, it is in the one God that exists.

Can one convert Judaism ?

Conversion is possible but not easy. Faith is the best guide.

Conversion is a very controversial subject. The answer is that giur or conversion is possible, but it must be borne in mind that to convert to Judaism not only requires a great statement of faith, but the persistence and strength to go through an arduous and progressive process culminating in The adoption of a new faith, a new culture, a new and very special religion, a new identity.

This theme should not be thought lightly, but must go through a great meditation and analysis of its motives, causes and consequences consequences. In addition, you must take into account how long the process requires. Regarding this, it can be said that it involves three to five years on average, much study in traditions, history, traditions and Jewish liturgy.

The ritual of conversion culminates in a ritual along with a commitment made by the individual to the rabbis after going through an examination done by them to indicate that one is ready. The process takes place in Israel, and it is the orthodox rabbinate who controls all conversions.

The subject of conversion is even a problem for Judaism itself. Although it is clear that conversion is possible even for the most orthodox sectors, conversion requirements are a matter of controversy and disagreement among different rabbinical groups. Thus we see how orthodox rabbis usually do not accept the conversions made by the liberal movements, who believe that they do not meet all the requirements for rabbinical conversion.

Liberal rabbis, on the other hand, do generally accept a conversion under less arduous standards. The result is seen in an attack on the unity of the Jewish people, since liberal converts can not marry Orthodox Jews, as Orthodox rabbis prohibit mixed marriages.

In Judaism converts are accepted and cherished

The most important thing to know when starting this process is that the conversion must be motivated by a strong sincere conviction, not by social interests, much less economic. The purpose is to become a sincere Jew.

Deliberate on language Hebrew

<h2>Deliberate on language Hebrew</h2>

“Praising the word is like praising ourselves”

Deliberating on language Hebrew and rethinking the word as a producer of reality, both by suggesting or concealing strategies that help the critical analysis of it allows enriching the thinking and specifically improve the discernment.

Knowing different etymologies and word histories, observing and analyzing how the use of terms within dissimilar contexts causes a specific action, contributes to distinguish between the correct and incorrect use of the same.

In this article we will differentiate between different words that are often misused and therefore cause confusion and even, sometimes, bewilderment. We begin by explaining the Hebrew term for which we will help with etymology, ie with the legitimate origin of the word. The Hebrew term in Spanish, ivrí in Hebrew derives from the trilitera root, ain ע, bet ב, reish ר that gave origin to the verb laavór לעבור (to pass).

Within the Hebrew language there are patterns or matrices to put together the different words. In this case to the root was added at the end a letter iud י, which allowed the creation of the adjective ivrí עברי = Hebrew. With this adjective was qualified, the first patriarch of the Hebrew town called Avrám. It was Avram the first ivri, a Hebrew who crossed, passed, the Euphrates on leaving Ur and then the Tigris to reach Canaan. This adjective reappears in the Old Testament in the book of the prophet Jonah I, 9, when Jonah at the time of the strong storm responds to the interpellation of the sailors and to them to throw the lots and to have fallen the responsibility on the prophet, Assumes its identity with the following statement “ivrí anoji”, עברי אכוכי “Hebrew I am”.

Some historians such as Abraham Malamat in the anthology, “History of the Jewish People,” point out that the apyru term used in Egypt is the equivalent of hapíru or habiru frequently appeared in Akkadian records, specifically in documents found at the Mari, Nuzi, And in the letters of El Amarna dating from the fifteenth century BC

The term apíru pointed to different groups of forced laborers of foreign origin, mostly Semitic from Canaan among whom the Hebrews were probably included. That is, they establish a relationship between ivrí, hebreo, and apíru, hapíru, or habíru finding in all of them a phonological similarity.

As a first conclusion we would have that Hebrew is an adjective: the Hebrew people, but it is also the language spoken by that people and written almost entirely in the Old Testament (TaNaJ) *

The Jewish term comes from the name Judah, first son of the patriarch Jacób, who in turn prints his name on the kingdom of Judah when dividing the town in two administrations after the death of the king Solomón. Jewish is also an adjective and at the same time the denomination of a religion: Jewish religion, that is to say that Jewish is who professes or practices said religion.

Another term synonymous of Jewish and of Hebrew is Israelite. We can say that such a person practices the Jewish religion, is Jewish, is Hebrew, or is Israelite or that there is a newspaper called “Israelite World” In saying: the Israelites crossed the Red Sea, we are referring to the Jews, the Hebrews, To the people who observe the Mosaic law. On the other hand, in expressing: the Israelis decided to lift the strike we alluded to a nationality. Within Israel there are Israeli Christians, Israeli Israelis and Israeli Muslims.
We will now address the Ashkenazi and Sephardic terms and within them we will refer to the idish and ladino languages.

The word Ashkenaz is mentioned in the book of Bereshít, Genesis chapter X, 3 as the name of one of the towns and soon happened to be the name of the region of Central and Eastern Europe thus naming to the Jews that inhabited in those lands.

Sefarád is mentioned in the book of the prophet Ovid, Avdías, chapter I, 20 as the name of a land within the Old Testament. Within the Targum Ionathan * appears this term referring to Ispamia, the Spain of the antiquity.

Jews from Germany and Central and Eastern Europe are called Ashkenazis and those from Spain and Portugal who after their expulsion in 1492 and 1497 were spread by other countries like: Turkey, Greece, The Netherlands, Italy etc. are denominated Sefaradíes. Both Ashkenazi and Sephardi are badly called Russians and Turks respectively. The language spoken by the Ashkenazi was the Yiddish emerged in central Europe, approximately in the tenth century.

The majority of its syntax and vocabulary is of Germanic origin, although also its lexicon contains terms of Aramaic, Hebrew, Romance and Slavic origin. Its speakers, when seeing in the necessity to transcribe the language, resorted to the alphabet Or Hebrew, which was familiar to them. At the present time there are groups of orthodox Jews that communicate habitually in Yiddish, since they consider the Hebrew language like a sacred language exclusively for pragarias.

The Judezmo was the Language spoken by the Jewish communities that inhabited the Iberian peninsula until 1492 denominated sefaradíes as was previously mentioned. This language also called ladino or judeoespañol, in spite of deriving from the Spanish of Middle Evo also received important contributions of the Hebrew and soon of the Turkish and the Greek next to remarkable galicismos.

Fernando Lázaro Carreter, linguist and ex- director of the Real Academia Española wielded: “Praising the word is like praising ourselves, because the word is the basic material to understand the human,” also expressed that a good language helps us capture the world, and that greater expressive capacity implies a greater understanding and apprehension of things. A poor language causes an unfortunate thought.


TaNáJ: acronym that indicates its three parts: Torah, teaching, Neviím, prophets, and Ktuvím, written or hagiográficos. The Tanakh is composed of 24 books.
Targum Ionathán Translation of the Pentateuch or Torah, from Hebrew to Aramaic.

Jewish Women Tilda Swinton sleeps in MOMA of NY

Jewish Women Tilda Swinton sleeps in MOMA of NY

The actress Jewish Women Tilda Swinton sleeps in MOMA of NY, sleeps in a crystal sitting in the MOMA of NY like part of an installation.

Oscar-winner Tilda Swinton slept in a glass case at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York as part of the unannounced installation “The Maybe”, according to US media reports today.

Neither the museum authorities nor the staff were informed in advance, according to the New York Daily News. Visitors who were lucky enough to be present just at that moment were able to watch the 52-year-old actress during her “artistic dream” in blue jeans and blouse.

Swinton plans to return several times to the glass case, but always without notice. In his absence, there will only be a mattress, cushion, sheet, bottle of water and glasses.

Facing the incredulous look of the tourists, who did not believe what they were watching, the Scottish actress spent seven hours locked in a glass urn lying on a mattress, with a pillow, water and glasses. The work is called The Maybe, since it is not known when it will be exposed or not. That is why the museum has decided not to advertise or advertise about it, as it is a work that is due to chance. “Nobody knows when it comes, those who find it will be by chance,” the museum said. The aim of this work is to surprise everyone who passes by the museum. Throughout this year, Tilda will go to sleep in her glass case whenever she pleases and will be able to change places and even sleep in any space of the Museum.

With the performance “The Maybe” Swinton had already caught the glances at the London Serpentine Gallery and then also in Rome. The British won an Oscar in 2008 as best supporting actress for “Michael Clayton.”

“There was no opening timetable, no artist statement or museum declaration outside of this brief context, no public profile or image was issued,” the statement said. “Those who fortunately find it, they will see it live, in real time and shared: now we see it, not now.”

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