Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Pessach In Mevasseret

I just got back from a fabulous Pessach in Israel with my children and grandchildren. We stayed in Mevasseret Zion and in a part of town populated by mostly Kurdish Jews. It was a different experience than staying at hotels in Yerushalaim and other larger cities. Here we were part of the general community and were able to experience living among the Israeli working class who have established themselves in the country. Our property owner was a simple Jew, a greengrocer in the Machne Yehudah Shuk. After talking to him a little, he disclosed that in the last six years he has not missed one day, except Shabbat, davening every morning at the Kotel.

I prayed at two local Shuls, both Sefardi. It was my first extensive experience among this friendly and warm group of our brethrens. I was impressed by the sincerity, simplicity, love and acceptance of each other. These were mostly hardworking people, taxi drivers, public employees and general workers that when met in the street would come across as secular. When they came into Shul they were transformed into sincere and dedicated Jews serving HKBH with all their soul and hearts. My Galut perceptions and sensitivities were completely shattered and I now understand the tremendous accomplishments of the Sefardi Rabbanim led by Rav Ovadyah Yosef. The voluminous Halachik compendium Yalkut Yosef, a compilation of ROY’s rulings written by one of his sons, is found in every home and Beit Knesset. It has been accepted as the Halacha by the whole population to an incredible level. His emissaries come periodically to each Shul and give short topical speeches and offer Shiurim. Our Chareidi leaders with their ridiculous and divisive pronouncements should take note and learn what Deracheiha Darchei Noam means.

It was an exhilarating experience and a great eye opener.


  1. Welcome back...I hope you'll check out some of my Pesah posts when you have a chance. Your feedback is always appreciated.

  2. RJM,

    I have started looking at them and they seem quite interesting. What you write though cannot be absorbed in a cursory read. It requires thought and focus. I will comment as I go through the posts carefully over the next days. Keep up the good work and thanks for returning after such long hibernation!

  3. I loved Mevesert when I lived there for a year.

    And I agree with what you said, I often wish I could convert to being sefardi.