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Archive for April, 2016

One of the many ties that bind us is the familiar songs, melodies and words we use during the Passover Seder. As Sephardic Jews from the Island of Rhodes, many of our prayers and songs are chanted in Ladino, the Judeo-Spanish of our ancestors. Based on an old Castilian Spanish, Ladino has moved with our people as we left Spain for the Ottoman lands. Ladino has acquired words and phrases from the host countries of our journey, including Turkish, Greek, Hebrew and Italian, and was, in fact, the language of a majority of the residents of Jerusalem in the 19th century. Today Ladino is still used in communities in the United States, Israel, South Africa, South America, Bosnia and other countries to which Sephardim have migrated. In most communities, it is a language of memory — words and phrases we remember our parents and grandparents using; in few places is it a language of common communication or commerce, although there are some who do, in fact, use it frequently. Thanks to modern day scholars, professors and communal leaders, Ladino is on the rise as a language of study, and being explored, conserved and spoken again in some circles. For most of us, it continues as a language of memory, nostalgia and connection.

At Pesah, we use Ladino as a way to connect to our family. It makes our gatherings special. The young people learn songs and phrases; guests quickly catch on to melodies and learn to follow the words. It is a remarkable opportunity for connection from one generation to another.

My father, Jack Israel (z’l), used to love beginning to tell the tale in Ladino. “Este es el pan de la afi-ision ke comieron muestros padres en tierra de Ayifto. Todo el ke tiene ambre, venga y coma. Todo el ke tiene de menester, venga y paskue. Este anyo aki, a el anyo el vinien en tierra de Yisael. Este anyo aki, siervos, a el anyo el vinien en tierra de Yisrael hijos forros.” This is the bread of affliction our ancestors ate in the land of Egypt….. Each time he read it, he grew teary, as the words reminded him so keenly of his father, the words and melody exactly as his dad had chanted it in their home when my father was a boy in the 1920’s.

After dinner and dessert, family, children and guests included, are anxious to return to the Seder table to conclude the service and sing the songs. From our family’s ‘Hit Parade’, we include the words and some clips for ‘Ken Su Piense’ ( Who Knows One? ) and ‘Un Kavritiko’ (An Only Kid)

“WHO KNOWS ONE?” (kien su piense)

Kien su piense y entendiense, alavar al Dio kriense,

Kualo es e1 uno?
UNO es el Kriador, baruch Hu uvaruch shemo!

Kien su piense y entendiense, alavar a1 Dio kriense,
Kualo son los dos?
DOS Moshe y Aharon, uno es el Kriador, baruch Hu uvaruch shemo!

Kien su piense y entendiense, alavar al Dio kriense,
Kualo son los tres?
TRES muestros padres son, dos Moshe y Aharon, uno es el Kriador,
baruch Hu uvaruch shemo!

Kien su piense y entendiense, alavar al Dio kriense,
Kualo son los kuatro?
KUATRO madres de Yisrael, tres muestros padres son, dos Moshe y Aharon, uno es el Kriador, baruch Hu uvaruch shemo!

Kien su piense y entendiense alavar al Dio kriense,
Kualo son los cinko?
CINKO livros de la Ley, kuatro madres de Yisrael, tres muestros padres son, dos Moshe y Aharon, uno es el Kriador, baruch Hu uvaruch shemo!

Kien su piense y entendiense a1avar al Dio kriense,
Kualo son los sesh?
SESH dias de la sernana, cinko livros de la Ley, kuatro madres de Yisrael, tres muestros padres son, dos Moshe y Aharon, uno es el Kriador, baruch Hu uvaruch shemo!

Kien su piense y entendiense alavar a1 Dio kriense,
Kualo son los siete?
SIETE dias kon el Shabbat, sesh dias de la semana, cinko livros de la Ley, kuatro madres de Yisrael, tres muestros padres son, dos Moshe y Aharon, uno es el Kriador,. baruch Hu uvaruch shemo!

Kien su piense y entendiense a1avar al Dio kriense,
Kualo son los ocho?
OCHO dias de la milah, siete dias kon el Shabbat, sesh dias de la semana, cinko livros de la Ley, kuatro madres de Yisrael, tres muestros padres son, dos Moshe y Aharon, uno es e1 Kriador, baruch Hu uvaruch shemo!

Kien su piense y entendiense, alavar al Dio kriense, Kualo son los nueve?
NUEVE mezes de 1a prenyada, ocho dias de la millah, siete dias kon e1 Shabbat, sesh dias de la semana, cinko livros de 1a Ley, kuatro madres de Yisrael, tres muestros padres son, dos Moshe y Aharon, uno es el Kriador, baruch Hu uvaruch shemo!

Kien su piense y entendiense, alavar at Dio kriense, Kualo son los diez?
DIEZ mandamientos de la Ley, nueve mezes de la prenyada, ocho dias de la millah, siete dias kon el Shabbat, sesh dias de la semana, cinko livros de la Ley, kuatro madres de Yisrael, tres muestros padres son, dos Moshe y Aharon, uno es el Kriador, baruch Hu uvaruch shemo!

Kien su piense y entendiense, alavar al Dio kriense, Kualo son los onze?
ONZE ermanos sin Yosef, diez mandamientos de la Ley, nueve mezes de la prenyada, ocho dias de la millah, siete dias kon el Shabbat, sesh dias de la semana, cinko livros de la Ley, kuatro madres de Yisrael, tres muestros padres son, dos Moshe y Aharon, uno es el Kriador, baruch Hu uvaruch shemo!

Kien su piense y entendiense, alavar al Dio kriense, Kualo son los doje?
DOJE hermanos kon Yosef. onze hermanos sin Yosef, diez mandamientos de la Ley, nueve mezes de la prenyada, ocho dias de la millah, siete dias kon e1 Shabbat, sesh, dias de la semana, cinko 1ivros de la Ley, kuatro madres de Yisrael, tres muestros padres son, dos Moshe y Aharon, uno es el Kriador, baruch Hu uvaruch shemo!

Kien su piense y entendiense, alavar al Dio kriense, Kualo son los treje?
TREJE son los Ikarim, doje hermanos kon Yosef, onze hermanos sin Josef, diez mandamientos de la Ley, nueve mezez de la prenyada, ocho dias de la millah, siete dias kon el Shabbat, sesh dias de la semana, cinko livros de la Ley, kuatro madres de Yisrael, tres muestros padres son, dos Moshe y Aharon, uno es el Kriador, baruch Hu uvaruch shemo!

************

AN ONLY KID (Un kavretiko)

Un kavretiko ke lo merko mi padre por dos levanim, por dos levanim. Chad gadya, chad gadya!

Y vino el gato, y komio al kavretiko, ke lo merko mi padre, por dos levanim, por dos levanim. Chad gadya, chad gadya!

Y vino el perro, y modrio al gato, ke komio al kavretiko ke lo merko mi padre por dos levanim, por dos levanim. Chad gadya, chad gadya!

Y vino el palo, y aharvo al perro, ke modrio al gato, ke komio al kavretiko ke lo merko mi padre por dos levanim, por dos levanim.
Chad gadya, chad gadya!

Y vino el fuego, y kemo al palo, ke aharvo al perro, ke modrio al gato, ke komio al kavretiko, ke lo merko mi padre por dos levanim, por dos levanim.
Chad gadya, chad gadya!

Y vino la agua, y amato el fuego, ke kemo al palo, ke aharvo al perro, ke modrio al gato, ke komio al kavretiko ke lo merko mi padre por dos levanim. por dos levanim. Chad gadya, chad gadya!

Y vino et buey, y bebio a la agua, ke amato al fuego, ke kemo al palo, ke aharvo al perro, ke modrio al gato, ke komio al kavretiko ke lo merko mi padre por dos levanim, por dos levanim. Chad gadya, chad gadya!

Y vino el shochet, y degoyo al buey, ke bebio a la agua, ke amato al fuego, ke kemo al palo, ke aharvo al perro, ke modrio al gato, ke komio al kavretiko ke lo merko mi padre por dos levanim, por dos levanim.
Chad gadya, chad gadya!

Y vino el Malach Hamavet, y degoyo al shochet, ke degoyo al buey, ke bebio a la agua, ke amato al fuego, ke kemo al palo, ke ahrarvo al perro, ke modrio al gato ke komio al kavretiko ke lo merko mi padre por dos levanim, por dos levanim. Chad gadya, chad gadya!

Y vino et Santo Bendicho, y degoyo al Malach Hamayet, ke mato al shochet, ke degoyo al buey, ke bebio a la agua, ke amato al fuego, ke kemo al palo, ke ahravo al perro, ke modrio al gato, ke komio al kavretiko ke lo merko mi padre por dos levanim. por dos levanim. Chad gadya, chad gadya!

*******

Also, a clip from one of our favorites, Yehoram Gaon: Ken Su Piense and Un Kavritiko

Words, melody, language —memory, nostalgia, connection. May this holiday bring us closer to our traditions, our families, and to each other. May the lessons of freedom remind us of our blessings and may our hands always be outstretched to all those in need. May we remember….”este es el pan de afri-ision….”

Make memories – make a difference.

~Bendichas Manos

Note:   Interesting discussion from The University of Washington, Sephardic Studies Program on The history of Had Gadya in the Ladino tradition.    Devin Naar, the Isaac Alhadeff Professor of Sephardic Studies at UW and Ty Alhadeff, Sephardic Studies Coordinator, are doing fascinating work and are generous with their research and findings. Follow their work – I do!

 

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Pesah is almost here!

Friday night, April 22, 2016, marks the first night of Passover – the first Seder. We’re all busy preparing our homes, shopping, and preparing to cook for the holiday.
This is a time for gathering together. We read the Haggadah and tell the story of our deliverance as a people from slavery in Egypt to freedom in the land of Israel. It is a cornerstone of our being a people. So central is the journey from slavery to freedom, from oppression to self-reliance, that we retell this story each year. We can only appreciate our freedom if we remember our enslavement. We can only appreciate our wholeness if we remember our brokenness. We can only appreciate our own land of Israel, a home for all the Jewish people, if we recall our desperation and desolation when we had nowhere else to turn.
So – we tell the story, year after year, from generation to generation. And with the telling, we serve our favorite foods. Again, passing from one generation to the next our savory dishes, favorite recipes, each with a special name, with special textures and flavors, and with their own memories. These are the stories – and the foods, that bind us together as a people and keep us connected as a family. How very strong is the bond that stories – and food – provide!
Our family Passover seder this year will bring together nearly 50 people – mashala! – all somehow connected to my grandparents, of blessed memory, Isaac (Hacco) Hasson and Sarota Benveniste Hasson. Both were born on the Island of Rhodes (at the time part of the Ottoman empire, Turkey), at the end of the 19th century. Could they ever had imagined that over a hundred years later, their children and grandchildren, down to their great great great grandchildren, would still be connected, gathering together (in person and via Facebook) to remember their names, remember their stories, and together carry on the family traditions that they, too, brought forth from the generations before them! How wonderful that is!
Our Seder will include readings, stories and songs in English, Hebrew and Ladino, the Judeo-Spanish of our Sephardic family. The foods will be leaven free with flavors and names related to our Turkish, Spanish and Mediterranean roots.
I am including recipes for some of our favorites – Haroset, Keftes di Prassa (Leek patties), Megina (Passover meat casserole), sweet treats like Masa di Vino (Passover wine cookies), Moustachudos (nut confections), Marochinos (almond macaroons), and the all time favorite for Passover or for ANY time, Ashuplados (meringues).
We hope you will take some time to try a new recipe or two for the holiday.
May you enjoy your time together with family and friends; may you tell the story of our people and the lessons of our journey. May you tell stories and remember those of our families who are no longer with us physically, so their memories stay alive in our hearts and those of our children and their lives continue to bless us. May we keep the traditions of our ancestors and create new ones with our children. May our gatherings bring blessings – and may our hands, the hands that prepare these foods that nourish our souls and keep our traditions alive, always be blessed.
Pesah Alegre!
~Bendichas Manos

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JLTV Presents: Sephardic Life in Film – A Celebration of Diversity

 

This Saturday night – sit back, turn on your TV, and watch some great movies!  Ladino songs, Sephardic culture and history – grab a handful of ‘bilibisis’, and enjoy!

Nationwide on DirecTV  (366) and on cable through Comcast, Time Warner and other multi-system operators. (To find the a cable network in your area visit http://jltv.tv/zip.php.) Or plan to watch us live streaming on your computer, iPad or smartphone at www.jltv.tv.

 

 

 

Sephardic Films

“The richness and diversity of the Jewish people is captivating, “ says Phil Blazer,founder and CEO of JLTV (Jewish Life Television). “We are pleased to make our platform available to film makers who want to share their work on the great diversity of Jewish tradition and culture around the world,” states Blazer.

JLTV is the only 24/7 Jewish-themed television network, available in over 47 million homes in all 50 states and in 127 countries via live stream on our website, www.jltv.tv

The Celebration of Diversity will premier with ‘Sephardic Life in Film’ in two segments, on Saturday nights, April 9 and April 16 and repeating on Monday nights, April 18 and April 25. This series will spotlight segments of the Sephardic experience in Seattle (The Sephardic Jews and the Pike Place Market) and Los Angeles (Once Upon a Time at 55th and Hoover), as well as offering the insightful story of Rabbi Ben-Zion Meir Uziel, the first Sephardic Chief Rabbi Of Israel – a visionary leader, merging tradition and modernity (The Visionary), a beautiful look at the Sephardic world through words and music (Song of the Sephardi), and a peek at the Bukharian Museum in New York, (Aron Aronov and the Bukharian Museum).

Excitement is growing and reaction has been strong. There is tremendous enthusiasm from viewers, sponsors and the public. We look forward to sharing more films on the diversity of the Jewish experience in May as we commemorate Yom HaShoah. We are also hearing from viewers and film makers about their desire to see films about the rich traditions of Jews in the Arab world, Mizrahi Jews, as well as communities in Africa, Asia, and South America.    We are seeking films and sponsors to indeed, make that a reality.

Check your cable listings to find us on Direct TV nationwide, Time Warner, Comcast, Atlantic Broadband and a growing list of Cable providers.

To find the a cable network in your area visit http://jltv.tv/zip.php.   Or plan to watch us online on your computer, iPad or smartphone at www.jltv.tv

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