Judaism is one of the ancient religions of the world. The followers of this monotheistic religion are called Jews. This group include those who are born jews and the ones who convert later to the Judaism. Jews are almost 0.2% of the total world population. Just like various religious groups, Jews are also divided on the basis of ethnicity. Jews of Spain and Portugal are called Sephardic Jews, Germanic Jews are called Ashkenazi Jews, residents of Yemen are called Yemeni jews and so on.
Who are Sephardic Jews?
The word Sephardic comes from word “Sepharad” which means Hispanic or Spanish. In modern Hebrew, the Sephardi means Spain, however, the location of the biblical Sepharad is disputed.
Modern religious definition of Sephardic Jews
The modern definition of the Sephardic Jews is much broader than their orthodox counterparts. In layman’s language, the Jews refer to the people who practice the traditions and customs of the Sephard. Some of the major Jew personalities settled in the state of New York are Ari Afilalo, Jack Warner, Woody Allen and more.
What makes Sephardic Jews different from other ethnic groups?
The Jews beliefs are in harmony with the traditional Jewish beliefs. However, the exegesis of the halakhah is different from those of other ethnic Jewish groups. During the holiday of Passover, the Jewish eat rice, peanuts, corn, and beans. Other ethnic groups avoid these food groups.
Unlike other groups, there is no formal differentiation in the Sephardic Jews. While some are observant, others are less traditional. There are a few who don’t believe in the long-established Jewish customs.
In the past, the Sephardic Jews were more integrated in the local non-Jewish culture. This meant that the Jews were more integrated with the society and thus faced less oppression and isolation in comparison with other ethnic groups in the Christian lands. The Jews were strongly influenced by the Greek and Arabic philosophies and science.
The Sephardic Jews use the pronunciation of the Hebrew words that are actually pronounced in the country of Israel. The Ashkenazi Jews are adopting this pronunciation as it is the traditional pronunciation. Even the prayers of Sephardic are different than there other ethnic counterparts. The Jewish use melodies in their prayers and have different holiday customs and food. The Jews prefer eating Sufganiot or jelly doughnuts rather than the Latkes (potato pancakes).
The present community of Sephardic Jews in the New York takes pride in their roots and still remain close to them. Want to know more about Sephardic Jews? Visit here.