What is the origin of “tapas”

“Tapas” is that small dish very common in Spain. Usually “tapas” are eaten standing in a bar, and you order them together with your wine or beer.

The origin is quite unknown but there is an anecdote of the King Alfonso XIII (1886-1941) when he was travelling to Cadiz. The King decided to stop in a beach restaurant.

The King Alfonso XIII ordered a cup of Sherry wine, but did not realize about the wind outside that was coming into the restaurant, and could mess with beach sand his wine cup. A clever waiter had the idea of covering (“tapar” in Spanish) the wine cup with a ham slice.

When the King was going to drink it, he asked: “what is this?”. The waiter answered: “Sorry, My King, I just put a tapa for not to dirty your wine” . The the King ordered for another wine cup but he said to be covered again with the same tapa. Everybody start to laugh and ordered the same than the King.

Spanish gymnast wearing Auschwitz inspired uniforms during a international Tournament.

The Spanish participant wearing a Auschwitz inspired uniform

The Spanish National Team of rhythmic gymnasts performed an exercise inspired by Roberto Benigni’s 1997 film “Life is beautiful”, which tells the story of a man and his son in the midst of the horrors of the Holocaust.

The Spain Royal Federation of Gymnastics published a photo of a gymnast dancing while wearing a prisoner striped uniform with a yellow number of inmate in the National Tournament of Rhythmic Gymnastics in the city of Pamplona, Spain.

The performance sparked outrage on social media, and people said it’s not appropriate to use such a sensitive topic in rhythmic events while some other people defended it as a touching tribute.

First Public Kaddish since 1412 in the Toledo Major Synagogue

Achinoam Nini (Noa)singing inside the Major Synagogue

“The most beautiful and grandiose of the synagogues that the Jews had in Spain”

Amador de los Ríos. Historian

There is no doubt that the past 11 December 2018 (3 Tevet 5779) will be remembered as a milestone in the relations between the Catholic Church of Spain and the Jewish Community of this country.

In an intimate and welcoming ceremony, a representative the Archbishop of Toledo addressed the audience in a very affectionate and open tone, speaking of this ancient Greater Synagogue of Toledo.

David Hatchwell, as President of the HispanoJudia Foundation, responded in other words with a message of Peace and Concord.
The event was closed by the famous Israeli singer Noa (Achinoam Nini), who delighted the attendees with 3 magnificent performances that gave proof, not only of his excellence as a singer, but of the powerful acoustic capacity of the Major Synagogue of Toledo.

Rabbi Moshe Bendahan, Spain Chief Rebbi, recited a Psalm of King David Book and a Kaddish, Jewish prayer for the Memory of those who are not alive, and translated into Spanish. This was a magical moment that had not taken place in this Synagogue since 1412.

Among those attending this ceremony were Milagros Tolón, Mayoress of Toledo, Alberto Ruiz Gallardón, former Minister of Justice and Vice President of the Hispanic Jewish Foundation, Stuart Weitzman, member of the Jewish Hispanic Foundation and Javier Cremades, founding partner of the Cremades & Calvo-Sotelo Lawyers.

Crown Esther Award for Toledo Sephardic Museum

2018-12-10 19.21.15In the year 2006, the joining of the efforts from Spain central and local government, and EU Authorities, was able to create “Centro Sefarad Israel” (Sefarad-Israel Centre). This Public Institution is dedicated to promote the development of the friendship and cooperation between the Spanish and Israel societies on one hand; on the other hand Centro Sefarad Israel also research about the Sephardic Culture as a alife area of the Spanish Culture.

Since the year 2016, Centro Sefarad Israel gives the Crown Esther Awards dedicated to those institution/person considered to have a special involving in the areas that this Centre represents.

“Spain without Sepharad is nothing”

Santiago Palomero, Director of Toledo Sephardic Museum

This year, this Award has gone to Sephardic Museum of Toledo (El Transito Synagogue) and I had the pleasure to be invited to the ceremony.

The Ceremony as opened by Santiago Palomero, Museum Director, and at the end, Migue Luca and Esther Bendahan gave the Award to santiago Palomero.

Noah Gordon´s The Physician. A very recommended Spanish Musical

The Physician by Noah Gordon Last week, I had the opportunity to see the Musical show “The Phisician” (“El Médico”) in Madrid, based on the Noah Gordon´s novel with the same title.

Previous criticism was very good, but my impression was excellent. Almost 3 hours show going like a snap in a very well conducted, music, orchestra, make up, clothing and specially singers!!!!

If you have the opportunity, don´t miss it.

Madrid lights the Hanukah

Last Monday, december 3rd, we could see in Madrid the lighting of second Hanukah evening. Rab Mosher Bendahan SHLITA, Chief Rabbi of Madrid, Mr.Leon Benelbas, President of Madrid Jewish Community and many other relevant personalities attended to this ceremony with a big audience of Madrid and tourist people who enjoy about it and the sufganiyot served later.



What Happen on December 3rd 1763?

TouroSynDecember 3rd 1763: Foundation of Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island-MA-.

Through the early and middle 1700s, Newport rose in prominence and importance, taking a leading role in the shipping and mercantile trades of the American Colonies. By 1758, the Jewish population had grown sufficiently that there was a need for a house of worship. The Congregation now known as Congregation Jeshuat Israel (Salvation of Israel) engaged Newport resident Peter Harrison to design the synagogue. Harrison, a British American merchant and sea captain, was self-tutored in architecture, studying mostly from books and drawings. He had already completed the building of Newport’s Redwood Library and King’s Chapel in Boston. Construction began on the “Jews Synagogue” in 1759. At the same time, Harrison was also building Christ Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts and the Brick Market in Newport.