Friday, February 20, 2009

READ THIS AND WEEP.


"from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea..."

Amazing, just BEAUTIFUL story in today's JPost...A Jewish family from Yemen (a particularly ancient Jewish community there, we should remember) just arrived in Israel. Here's a bit of the story:

Greeted by a Yemenite rabbi who lives in Israel, [Said] Ben-Yisrael recited the "Sheheheyanu" prayer, which is said upon arriving at a particularly festive or joyous occasion. The crowd of reporters and cameramen who swarmed around the family as they entered the arrival terminal answered "Amen!"
...

Ben-Yisrael's wife and young children - the girls clad in traditional Islamic clothing and the boys in suits and ties - milled around, smiling nervously as reporters attempted to speak to them in Arabic.
...
Passersby, intrigued by the new arrivals, began to inquire about their trip.

"Can you sing a Shabbat song?" David Girafi, a cab driver from Herzliya, asked the children in Arabic. Girafi explained that his parents had immigrated from Yemen before he was born, and after witnessing the scene that unfolded at Ben Gurion Airport on Thursday, Girafi said it brought him back to the photographs that had once hung on the walls of his family's home.

"They remind me of my parents," he said, before breaking into song, as [Ben-Yisrael daughter] Esther, clad in her black hijab, joined him in a Yemenite rendition of "Ki Eshmarei Shabbat".

"It's very emotional," Girafi said."


Ohhhhhh, I bet it is, bro.

Let's review that a little more slowly, lovingly:

"Can you sing a Shabbat song?"

The most ancient Jewish, Hebrew tradition.

"David Girafi, a cab driver from Herzliya,"

Herzliya, named after a 19th century European Jew who had the fantasy of reviving a Jewish state in Israel about 130 years ago.

" asked the children in Arabic."

A lantsman from Yemen! Thank goodness he speaks Arabic!

"Girafi explained that his parents had immigrated from Yemen before he was born, and after witnessing the scene that unfolded at Ben Gurion Airport"

Named after a slightly more recent European Jew who actually migrated to the Promised Land and helped lead it to independence.

"Girafi said it brought him back to the photographs that had once hung on the walls of his family's home.

"They remind me of my parents," he said, before breaking into song, as [Ben-Yisrael daughter] Esther, clad in her black hijab, joined him in a Yemenite rendition of "Ki Eshmarei Shabbat".


Is that a beautiful spectacle or what? Unbelievable.

"It's very emotional," Girafi said."

Amen to that, my brother David.

2 comments:

GM Roper said...

You are correct, as I was raised as a methodist, I don't understand all of the Jewish song traditions, but I've heard them and have always been touched when I do. Thanks!

Yaakov said...

very touching. pls G-d these kids will stick close to their beautiful traditions.