Beit RaMBam

 


Tishri 5778


 

Centuries of longing


On the third of August, 1492, the last Jew prepared to comply with the Edict of Granada that forced him and the entire Jewish population of Sepharad to abandon their land, adding even more sadness to the tragic commemoration of the previous day, the 9th of Av, Tisha b’Av 4251.

Thousands of Jews – men and women, young and old – walked along the dusty paths of Al-Andalus, under the suffocating heat of that torrid summer. They set off for the closest port, where they would board the ship that would take them to less hostile lands.

And in some cases they turned their heads and looked for the last time at their birth place, that where their ancestors had lived, worked, loved, dreamed, prayed and where they had been buried for so many centuries; and perhaps one of them, devastated, murmured:

We lost Toledo,
we lost Zion,
there is no consolation.

Keys

Reproduction of the keys of Seville
given to the King Fernando III by the Jews and the Arabs.
© Molarte / La judería de Sevilla

 

But on the ship, as it slowly moved away from that beloved land, perchance another allowed himself a hopeful thought and, moved, raised his voice in a brief prayer:

May Adonai want the Jews to return to Sepharad one day!

A period no shorter than five centuries had to pass, but the desire of that anonymous Jew, who expressed the sentiment of all of those that departed, came to be. At the beginning of the 20th century, little by little, the Jews began to return to Spain, both Sephardic and Ashkenazy, coming from all confines of the earth, and put down roots once again in the beloved and never-forgotten land of Sepharad.

Just as it had always been done, in the many countries in which they had to live during their numerous migrations, forced out because of intolerance, expulsions and their own desire to live in peace, they reunited in Jewish communities.

And so it happened in all of Spain: in Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga and so many other cities, among them Seville.

And it was in Seville, while we celebrated Sukkot on September 21, 2013 or the 17th of Tishrei 5774, that Beit Rambam, the Jewish Congregation of Andalusia was officially constituted, adding much happiness to this already joyous holiday.

Judería Street, Sevilla
Juderia Street, Seville.

Our congregation is still young and our materiel lack is great, but what we don’t have when it comes to experience and resources, we make up for with hopeful enthusiasm. And it is to that, our current reality, modest but of which we feel proud, which we give you our warmest welcome.

 

Will you come with us?