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.
Hope to see you soon here.
Last 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.
Yesterday, I had the pleaaure to attend the presentation of the last Book of Jacobo Israel Garzon. Jacobo has been President of Jewish Community of Madrid and Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain. Nowdays retired and playing as active historian of the Jewish steps in Spain, Jacobo writes with a simplicity and clearness that makes his history book very easy going for readers; at the same time he brings enormous historical rigor in his job that makes a learning experience during the reading.
I have just started a few pages yesterday but I am really anxiuous to dive on it; specially across a few appedinxes with a personal research job of Mr.Garzon going so deep into the History of the Jews in Spain.
The book is only available in Spanish.
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.
Every year the Jewish Community of Ceuta invites to local authorities and representatives of the different cultures coexisting in this nice city(Hindu,Catholic and Muslim) to spend a Succa evening, enjoy and show to the rest of world what does coexisting consist of!!!
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.
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.
Please take a look (and like my blog if you can).
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!!