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Oxford Jewish Thought

Lectures, essays, questions & articles

by Rabbi Eli Brackman

Ashkenazic & Sephardic Disputes on Passover

One of the divisive things amongst Jews today is the differences of customs and sensibilities between Ashkenazic (Western and Central European) Jews and Sephardic (from the Iberian Peninsula before the expulsion in 1492) Jews.

 

A well known anecdote comes to mind told amongst Ashkenazim but which might actually have its roots in a traditional dispute between Sephardim and Ashkenazim.

 

A young scholar from New York was invited to become Rabbi in a small community of elderly congregants in Chicago. On his very first Shabbat, a hot debate erupted as to whether one should or should not stand during the reading of the Ten Commandments in the Torah.

 

The next day, the rabbi visited 98 year-old Mr. Katz in the nursing… Read More »

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