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).

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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.

Barganzo: The new Kosher in Madrid

A few days ago Barganzo, a new Kosher restauran, has just opened in Madrid.

The owner, Aviv, is not only a good man but very open and friendly, making this place a piece of Tel Aviv or Jerusalem in Madrid.

The menu is short but extremely tasty. Service quick and prices very moderate.

See you at Barganzo!!!

Where is it located?

Madrid will have the Jewish Museum


The mayor of Madrid, D.Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida, has made the oficial announcement of the location of the new Jewish Museum.

The Museum will be located in Paseo del Prado, 30, Madrid, just a few steps away from El Prado Museum, Reina Sofia Museum and Botanical Gardens.

It is great news not only for Madrid but for the Jews of the Whole World.

The Fundación Hispano Judía (Hispano Jew Foundation) has been the leader of this success of the Spanish Jewish Community and especially its President, Mr.David Hatchwell has played a decisive role in this journey that begins inmediately.




Chotis: the dance of Madrid

chotis at MadridChotis is a music and dance originating in Spain. Its name derives from the German term Schottisch (“Scottish”), a Central European social dance to which Vienna wanted to attribute origin in a Scottish dance.

The typical outfit for chotis dancers is very particular, becoming the Madrid uniform when May 15th arrive and the city celebrates Saint Isidro.

Jewish Community of Ceuta commemorates the 75th anniversary of Auschwitz liberation

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As you all know I always write about the Jewish Community of Ceuta (my born city) where the Jewish Community of Ceuta demonstrates to have a very solid level of coexistence with the rest of cultures who are populating this singluar Spanish enclave in the Northern part of Africa. Basically in Ceuta coexist Catholic, Muslims, Hindus and Jewish people.

Today, 75 years after the Concenctration Camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau were liberated by the Russian troops, every single developed city in the World commemorates this fact, because  THE WORLD CANNOT FORGET what human beings are able to do.

The act in Ceuta has the presence of the Rabi of Jewish Community, Rab Jacob Levy, the President of Munincipality, Excmo Sr. Juan Vivas, president of Jewish Coomunity and several local authorities belonging to both, civil and militar society.

Madrid will expand the Learning about SHOA in public schools

homenaje SHOA 2020 ISABEL DIAZ AYUSOLast week took place the act to commenorate the Holocaust organized by the local Government of Madrid Community. The President, Isabel Diaz Ayuso, announced that in coming years the Community of Madrid engages to expands the content about the Holocaust in all the Public Schools Madrid. Following the words of the President: “…Remember the dead People is not usuful if we don´t remember alive people too…” saying about the actual Jewish Community living not only in Madrid but across Spain.

Student of Colegio Ibn Gabirol, Madrid Jewish School participated in this sensitive act.


Speech of The King of Spain, Don Felipe VI, in the Holoucaust Commemoration

Felipe VILast January 23rd 2020, in the city of Jerusalem, took place the World´s Leaders meeting commemoration of the Shoa.

In this meeting the actual King of Spain, Don Felipe VI, addressed the following speech that I have wnated to share with you all.

It is a great honor – which causes me humility – to address you tonight, as we meet for the V World Holocaust Forum tomorrow. It is an outstanding meeting of world leaders committed to memory, with a just cause and a moral obligation.

Thank you President Rivlin. And thank you for your wise words, which are always a source of inspiration.

I am sure that each of us here would have thoughts to express in this historical event. I will only try modestly to condense some of them, with the hope that you feel represented.

75 years later, the world does not forget, the world still remembers and promises to be vigilant. This is what this impressive meeting here today has decided to proclaim firmly and clearly.

Our great Jewish thinker Moisés Maimónides, born in Sefarad, in the city of Córdoba, wrote in that Middle Ages, following in the footsteps of other great thinkers: “All the great evils that men cause each other, be original in ignorance” . Undoubtedly, Humanity has suffered its darkest hours when millions of innocent lives from many areas of life and countless communities were abruptly vanished by blind, perverse and ignorant hatred.

It is that there is no greater evil than that derived from ignoring that all women and men are equal and that every human being has been the recipient of the greatest dignity. There is no greater irresponsibility than feeling superior to others, when people believe they have the right to discriminate, to accept intolerance or promote resentment towards others for political gain, political extremism or racial hatred.

We can find the remedy to such malicious and immoral contempt of the dignity of the “other”, first and foremost, in the example of those who suffered from their murderous enmity. (…) And tomorrow in Yad Vashem we will have the honor of meeting some of the survivors of the death camps.

For decades, these men and women have enlightened us about the importance of keeping alive the memory of their terrible experience. Forgetting the Shoa would not only be a dishonor to the memory of millions of victims, but it would also be extremely dangerous.

However, we well know that despite the profound effort of those who gave us – or even give us today – their personal testimony (or that of their relatives), of the powerful inspiration that this means for us, just remember, unfortunately, no It’s enough. We also know that barbarism can grow when you least expect it, even in the midst of advanced technology and culture. We are never fully safe from it, and to varying degrees, we still see today how it hits hard in different parts of our world.

It is clear that we cannot look the other way. We must persevere in the implementation, teaching and life itself according to the principles and values ​​of the International Declaration of Human Rights.

We have come today, Mr. President, not only to present our respect for the survivors and our disgust for what happened – not so long ago – in Auschwitz-Birkenau and many other places.

We are here also – perhaps primarily – to show our unwavering commitment to devote all necessary efforts in our respective countries, to the fight against ignorant intolerance, hatred and the total lack of human empathy that made the Holocaust possible. Because preventing this disease of civilization is a collective responsibility, but also an individual one. There can be no place for indifference in the presence of racism, xenophobia, hate speech and anti-Semitism.

Sadly, we are witnessing today an increase in the despicable attacks on Jews in different parts of the world. So many times in history, animosity against Jews has proven, shamefully, to be a symptom and a clear example of intolerance and aversion to different ones.

Having a rich and complex Jewish past and a vibrant Jewish community, Spain has decided to create a solid framework of rules and initiatives to relentlessly combat anti-Semitism and all forms of xenophobia and racism. There are, of course, many other nations – both here and others – that are making similar efforts and moving forward.

But although I remain optimistic, I know – we all know it – that we will always need to persevere together so that those words, so often repeated, “never again”, remain our guide and our perennial principle.

Never again, Leolám lo Od.