The Ambassador of Israel to Spain visits Ceuta

On March 21, the Ceuta Israelite Community (CIC) dressed in its best clothes to receive the visit of Rodica Radian-Gordon, Ambassador of Israel in Spain.
The CIC Board of Directors and the Ambassador held a private meeting; A wonderful dinner was then served, attended by a representation of the members of the Community. During dinner, both the Ambassador and Mr. José Bentolila, President of the CIC, addressed speeches to the audience, where both sides highlighted the marked Zionist character that has always stood out in the Israeli Community of Ceuta, as well as the great penetration in the Spanish scientific community that the scientific and didactic investigations that are being carried out in Israel are having.

Jewish Community of Ceuta tributes the Sanitaries with the Hanukah Lighting

Today, the fourth day of Hanukkah, the Israeli Community of Ceuta has organized its traditional “Hanukkah in the Street”, which this year has consisted of a simple ceremony, broadcast online, from the Bet El Temple, the center of Jewish life in this city . Traditionally, the Israelite Community of Ceuta dedicates this lighting to a group of the City, and this year, how could it be otherwise, this lighting has been dedicated to all the Sanitarians and Sanitary authorities of this beautiful City, women and men, that are the first line of action against the World Pandemic that the Covid-19 virus supposes.
The event was presented by Don Jacob Hachuel, a nurse and an illustrious member of this Community, who in a sense of speech thanked him heartily for the work that each and one of the members of this great group of doctors and health workers perform in the City, not only now under the dark threat of the Pandemic, but at every moment of their lives; vocational lives dedicated to the care and healing of the sick.
Representatives of the group of doctors, nurses, assistants, orderlies and cleaning and maintenance staff of the University Hospital of Ceuta shared this honor, which served as a humble tribute by the Community.
The event closed with a word from the President of the Israelite Community of Ceuta, José Bentolila, who touched everyone’s hearts, citing the words of Doctor Cavadas, who in turn quotes the Talmud with “who saves a life, saves the World ”, And also valued the work that this group is carrying out at that time, not only for their commendable work that they carry out with so much dedication in their day-to-day lives, but also the great humanitarian work they are carrying out as“ the most close to the sick ”.
The small group of guests was able to enjoy some “sufganiyot” one of the typical sweets of this Festival that were delivered to take away.

Meeting between the Auschwitz Birkenau Spain Foundation and the local Government of Navarra (Spain)

In the meeting, in which the general director of Peace, Coexistence and Human Rights Martín Zabalza and management staff participated, the president of the recently inaugurated Auschwitz Birkenau National Institute in Spain and its director of education, Álvaro Enrique de Villamor Soraluce and Eduardo de Ocampo Martínez.

The Foundation, whose objective is the development of thinking in the field of historical memory, human rights and education, has initiated a round of contacts with different autonomous governments, universities, foundations and public and private institutions in communities such as La Rioja, the Basque Country, Navarra, Castilla y León and Cantabria.

At the meeting, both delegations have been able to share experiences in education and memory.

The Auschwitz Birkenau National Institute aims to “educate in critical thinking, warning of the danger of populism and extreme thinking.”

The Orthodox Jewish Athlete “Defying” the International Olympic Committee

Bracha Deustch, known as “Beatie”, is an Israeli athlete of American origin. Her specialty is the Marathon, a 42Km race.Beatie is the mother of five children and haredi, that is, an Orthodox Jew; She has been selected to represent the State of Israel at the Olympic Games in Japan in the specialty of Marathon.
Initially, when the Olympics were planned for 2020 there was no problem, but due to COVID19 the Olympic Games have been moved to 2021, and the date for the Marathon coincides with Shabbat. Beatie is opposed to participating in the Shabbat race, and has communicated this to the International Olympic Committee. The Committee’s pointless response has been that she is making things very difficult and that they are confident that she will be able to find a Rabbi who will grant her permission to run this Marathon on Shabbat.

Original Torah from XVI century.

It has just been shown to the public, a wonderful jewel of the history of Spain, consisting of an authentic Book of Torah from the 16th century, in optimal conditions of conservation.
The Sefer Torah is in the General Library of Salamanca, and a project has been carried out that consisted of extending the 33 meters of original parchment to photograph each and one of the 248 columns (Amudim) of 42 lines that contain handwritten ink. original since the sixteenth century.
To carry out this digitization project from a practical point of view, state-of-the-art techniques have been used, such as drones.
The Torah will be exhibited at the Exhibition that will take place shortly.

First Jewish Text in America. Special publication

This wonderful edition of the first Jewish text in America, written by Don Luis de Carvajal “El Mozo” has been presented.

It is a special edition of High Bibliophilia, limited to 300 copies worldwide. A combination of art and literature that offers, for the first time in history, the content of the three manuscripts recently recovered by the Mexican government as Heritage of the Nation; some texts considered also, the oldest written by a Jew in America, and that unite the history of Mexico and Spain.

The edition consists of an artist’s book made up of the introductory text by Dr. Antonio Rubial, from UNAM; three analytical studies of each of the El Mozo booklets, carried out by Dr. Alicia Gojman and Dr. Baltazar Brito, and the third by Dr. Samuel Temkin, which focuses on the influence of the Carvajal on the origin of the state from Nuevo León; and also, the unpublished transcription of the three manuscripts. Accompanying the text, thirty original engravings made by two renowned artists are presented: the Spanish Natalio Bayo and the Sephardic Cuban José Luis Fariñas and in facsimile edition in original size, the three little books written by El Mozo are included.

This is an edition on cotton paper and vegetable fibers, manufactured exclusively for this edition, in a format 38cm (14.96 inches) high and 56cm (22.04 inches) wide. It is presented in a branch, without sewing, according to the bibliophile tradition, and it is contained in a luxury box made with noble materials. The text is completed with thirty signed and numbered engravings by the artists Natalio Bayo and José Luis Fariñas. It includes a Facsimile of the three recovered manuscripts, in their original size, with a safeguard to protect them, reproduced with the most demanding photographic, digitizing and stochastic printing processes. The work has access to music and audiovisual content that complement the reader’s experience. It is limited to 300 copies, numbered and unrepeatable and each copy includes a notarized Testimony authenticating the edition and the corresponding number.

Should you be interested in this gem of history, which will become part of your family heritage, please do not hesitate to contact me, and I will be happy to put you in direct contact with the publisher. (Asher Bentolila)

Toledo and Segovia Virtual Tour: The best 2nd choice

Home gives you time to explore new options, and in this case, I had the idea of organizing Virtual Tours.


Using my experience and a selection of more 2000 photos in my laptop I tried to produce a own “movie”. Voice is always alive.

For the tour I am still playing with Google Meet and Zoom.


Well, once the idea was on, decided to a family tour. I was able to join brothers living in North Africa, sister  and nieces at Panama, more nephews in Gibraltar, Northern Africa and Israel…. So a total happy moment to “watch each other”.

Now, I decided to tell to everyine who has been already with me at Toledo or Segovia, giving a chance to do a revival but joined to some other friends or family…


And here we are. Would you like to try?


SHIR MI KAMOCHA by Rab Yehuda Halevi, with cooperation of Rab Abraham Ibn Ezra

2020-03-08 12.11.49The previous shabbat to Chag Purim, is called Shabbat Zachor. During the morning service Moroccan Jewish Communities use to say “SHIR KAMOCHA”, composed by YEHUDA HALEVI ZTL (1075-1141).

Born in Tudela, Rab Yehuda Halevi ZTL lived in many different parts of Al Andalus and was a disciple of Rab Isaac Alfasi ZTL, the RIF (1013-1103), who lived in Eli Hossana (Lucena).

Rabbi Yehu Halevi lived in Toledo, where he composed several poems, one of them is the SHIR KAMOCHA. The Poem follows an alphabetic structure, where each verse begins with a letter of the Hebrew Alphabet, beginning in “Aleph” and ending in “Taf”. However we see that the letter “Reish” is repeated. Listened this morning from Rab Chayim Maman about this curious fact.

It seems that during the writing of this Poem, Rab Yehuda Halevi was seeking Shidduch for his daughter, and he propose to his wife that the next single to approach them was going to be their future son-on-law. A person came home, but he was extremely poor, but his looking did not say he could be a Torah person, but Rab Yehuda Halevi told to his wife he was going to instruct this young men to deserve their daughter and Talmid Chacham. They could never figure that the person under that looking was Rab Abraham Ibn Ezra ZTL.

How did Rab Yehuda Helevi detect that hi future son-in-law was a so big person? During the writing of the Poem Shir Mi Kamocha, Rab Yehuda HaLevi stops just before writing the verse starting on “Reish” letter. When Ran Abraham Ibn Ezra wrote the next verse, and Rab Levi kept it but add his verse too.

The Poems ending with verse starting with the Acronym of “ANI YEHUDA” (I am Yehuda).

2020-03-08 12.12.21


It has been a ver special weekend visiting SEGOVIA and TOLEDO with these two couples from Philadelphia. With a tight agenda we were visiting the cities, learning history, some shopping and some kosher local food…. a great combination.

Abarbanel House was also in our itinerary and we all enjoy with crossed stories.

Hope to see you soon here.