Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Confused, as usual

The guy who led the brachot/blessings when we lit Chanukah candles at Israeli folk dancing last night used a tune I'd never heard before. So I asked him whether he was S'fardi or B'nei Eidot HaMizrach (Children of the Communities of the East?/West Asian). Much to my surprise, he said he was neither, that he was Yemenite. Given his dance style, which is Middle Eastern, I wasn't surprised that he was Yemenite, but I was surprised that Yemenite is not considered B'nei Eidot HaMizrach.

I also didn't realize until this morning that I wasn't supposed to be saying La-m'natseiach (Psalm 20) in Shacharit/Morning Service during Chanukah. I don't suppose it's any news that I'm a slow learner. :)


Anonymous jdub said...

Two thoughts:

1) Yemenites are somewhat unique, since they alone (among all the Jews) follow the Rambam exclusively l'halacha (goes back to the Rambam's hortatory Letter to Yemen). So, they don't necessarily consider themselves part of the Edot ha'Mizrach crew, since they don't follow R. Yosef Karo and the Shulhan Arukh.

2) He could be objecting to it the same way some South American immigrants object to being called Latino or Hispanic. They're Guatamalan or Salvadoran. They don't want to lose their cultural heritage by being lumped in to the rest of the group. Keep in mind that two generations ago, we did that too. We were Litvaks, Poilishe yidden, Galizianers, Yekkes. Now were just a gemisht of ashkenazi jews.

3) He was just an ornery guy.

Tue Dec 15, 11:37:00 AM 2009  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

1) Yemenites follow the Rambam exclusively in matters of halachah/Jewish religious law? I didn't know that. Thanks for the info, JDub.

2) "They don't want to lose their cultural heritage by being lumped in to the rest of the group." It's true that some of us lazy souls do tend to throw everyone who's even slightly similar into the same pool.

3) He's an Israeli folk dancer. How ornery can he be? (Gotta defend my own, ya know.) :)

Tue Dec 15, 12:04:00 PM 2009  

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