Apr 23, 2008

Two websites and one article.

This is a completely random blog post. Enjoy!

Everyone should join SwapTree.com and pick up some of my books! There's some quality Judaica on there, folks, among other things. You can see what I have and what I want by clicking here. It's such a snazzy idea -- trading movies, music, books and games. Awesome!

On an unrelated note: If you love cupcakes, let me guide you to the Cupcake Project. There are recipes and delicious photos.

And finally, I think this article is incredibly fascinating. It's about a woman from an Ethiopian Jewish tribe who organized Ethiopian seders at a restaurant in Edgewater here in Chicago over the weekend. I wish I had known about the seders! Argh!

The Jews of Ethiopia, known as Beta Israel or “House of Israel,” are a community with ancient traditions. The earliest reference dates back to the Ninth Century.

Most of Beta Israel no longer lives in Ethiopia though. In the 1970s, the rise of a Marxist government led to civil war and famine spread through the Horn of Africa, leading to a series of historic Israeli airlifts – called operations Moses (1984), Joshua (1985) and Solomon (1991) – to save about 42,000 Ethiopian Jews and take them to safety in Israel.

This exodus from Ethiopia mirrors the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, and both stories were highlighted in the Seders [Zenash] Beyene hosted. ...

I miss everything,” she said. “I miss my people. I miss my religion.”

In Ethiopia, the Jewish culture was very strong Orthodox, she said. Their customs followed the rules and rituals laid out in the Torah, and are in line with Judaism practiced during the time of Moses.

This is because many Ethiopian Jews believe they are descendants of Moses, since his wife was Ethiopian and his relatives separated from the rest of the Israeli tribes after leaving Egypt. Others believe that they are descendants of Menelik I, the son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba.


Shimshonit said...

Thanks for sharing this, Chavi. There is a large Ethiopian community here in Beit Shemesh, and they also had a special seder this year. Most of them made their journey to Israel by plane, but others walked here on foot (as Sudanese refugees have also been doing for months). There is a poem, written by Chaim Idissis and set to music by Shlomo Gronich and the Sheba Choir, about the foot journey of the Ethiopians. We listened to it in ulpan last year, and it's heartrending. I think it's called "The Journey."

The moon is watching from above
On my back is a light bag of food
The desert beneath me has no end ahead
And my mother promises my little brothers
"A little more, a little more
lift up your legs, a last push
towards Jerusalem"

The moonlight stood fast
Our bag of food was lost.
The endless desert
Cries of jackals
And my mother comforts my little brothers
"A little bit more, a little more
Soon we'll be redeemed
We won't stop going
To the land of Israel"

And at night bandits attacked
With a knife and a sharp sword
In the desert, the blood of my mother
The moon is my witness and I promise my brothers
"A little bit more, a little more
The dream will be fulfilled
One last effort before we get to Jerusalem"

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