The 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).
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.
What is Marzipan? For those of you who still dont know marzipan, let me tell you that you are loosing a great opportunity of tasting an incredible dessert. Marzipan consists of a pastry made up of Almonds (60%) and sugar (40%) and some honey. It is sold in small pieces drawing figures, and there are some other varieties of it depending of what do they fill inside. It could be natural (no filling), with egg yolk pastry, sweet potatoes jam, pumpkim jam and some others.
In Toledo (Spain) marzipan is one of the most typical food you may taste and as you can see looking at the indredients is naturally gluten free. The point is that marzipan usually is sold in patisseries selling all kind of desserts and patries. Santo Tomé, which is the Marzipan specialist in Toledo has just opened a new shop, outside the old city, where you can find a full assortment of maripan figures GLUTEN FREE GUARANTEED.
Dudi Sela dropped last Friday in the quarterfinals of the tournament in Shenzhen against Alexandr Dolgopolov. The Israeli was down 6-3 in the first set before winning the second set 6-4. At the start of the last set, Sela gave up after realizing that he would not finish his match before the start of Yom Kippur. The 77th world player had asked to play the game earlier in the day to be able to respect the fast, but his request was not respected. Sela preferred the Torah to tennis but as a result, he will be deprived of points in the ATP ranking and the amount that was to be attributed to him for his course ($ 34,000).
The Spanish music uses to come with a guitar, but this guitar is extremely enhanced when the hands of Master were playing it.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting this specail boutique Hotel, called “Entre dos aguas” (“between two seas”), as the famous song of Master Paco de Lucia.
The hotel has been built up into a XV century house in Toledo that was recently the home of Paco de Lucia, and of course the placer where he recorded his famous album “cositas buenas” with the cooperation of famous atists like Alejandro Sanz, Tomatito or Diego El Cigala.
The decoration is super, as you can see in the photos and there are only 5 rooms available, so if you are thinking a about a singular overnight location, you must consider this one.
The First Mitzvaton took place in Madrid, in 2009, ten years ago, when the Jewish Community of Madrid (CJM) decided to organize a day to involve anyone belonging to this beautiful Congregation to participate on any of several proposals in order to accomplish mitzvot, meaning performing actions dedicated to help your community, environment or any other area of our day to day life.
This year the Mistvaton has been again organised but they have had the initiative to set the date between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. As most of you know, these days are called “Atseret Yeme Tshuva” (“The 10 days of return”). The day started in the JCC (Jewish Community Center) in Balmes Street of Madrid with a global Shachrit and Selichot, conducted by Rabbi Moshe Bendahan SHLITA, Chief Rabbi of Madrid Jewish Community and FCJE(Council of Jewish Communities of Spain) and after that there was a quick breakfast and everyone went stright to their tasks. There were many ways to be involved in this day, such as visiting old people of our congregation who live alone, fixing up damaged prayer book from different synagogues, or even participating in giving used clothing taken from The Jewish Community of Madrid to a Catholic Parrish in Madrid, giving with this a sample of intercooperation.
Anyone who has been visiting Spain has already realized about how typical are Fans here. You can find the from souvenirs stores to high end boutiques all across Spain (specially in the South of Spain, to be honest).
I found this street artist who decorated the fans with own hands as you can see in this video.
The Alcala Gate (La Puerta del Alcalá) is one of the most visited and iconic monuments in Madrid. Located in Plaza de la Independencia and just in front of the main entrance to Parque del Retiro (Retiro Park), this monument is the remaining of the Walls around city during the Kingdom of Felipe IV (Phillip IV) from 1625 to 1868. These were not defensive walls, but essentially served for fiscal and surveillance purposes: to control the access of goods to the city, ensure the collection of taxes, and to monitor who went in and out of Madrid. The materials used for construction were brick, mortar and compacted earth. From the arquitechtonical point of view it has a very singular construction as both sides are different.
It is always a special spot , full packed of tourists and locals trying to get a nice shot, and yesterday I was able to catch this image and wanted to share with you all.
Are you still thinking about visiting Madrid, Toledo and other cities? Come on, visit and you will be able to tell by yourself that you have visited one of teh most amzing cities in Europe!!
Those people visiting Madrid las weekend had opportunity to visit the Chocolate Fair (CHOCOMAD), a place for Chocolate lovers.
Personally, chocolate is not my favourite dessert (I prefer main courses more than desserts) but I have to say that it was a nice overview about how many different possibilities and World origins we may find for something like Chocolate, whcih is not so simple as we may think.
“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.