Friday, 30 September 2016

Ari Afilalo- Exiled Sephardic Communities And Their Culture.

Sephardism is defined as a literary political metaphor which has been used by the cultural personalities and Jewish writers to express themselves and their views about the minorities and the dissidents in the world today. This term has been used by different authors from varied nationalities, religions and ethnicities from Europe, North Africa, America and many other parts of the globe.

The philosophy and logic of Sephardism dwells on the fact why Jewish and Gentile thinkers and writers have drawn Sephardic experience of the medieval era to express their discernments about the role of minorities in the modern world. In Europe, the exiled sephardic communities were largely founded in Venice, Leghorn, Hamburg, Bayonne, Bordeaux and London.

They originally spoke Spanish and Portuguese and later on adapted Western European culture. One of the most successful enterprises were started by Sephardic people. The Sephardic Jews were treated as the crème de la crème of the society during the medieval era in Europe and were known as a very prosperous community with secular education.

For centuries, Sephardic Jews lived as Dhimmis keeping peace with the muslim countries and the rulers of the Ottoman Empire and N. Africa. They were a privileged race there and were still allowed to worship their own religion and even take part in business. And the upper class Sephardic Jews were employed as translators in the Ottoman Empire.

Comparative to their European counterparts, the Sephardic Jews in the Arab countries were leaning more towards the modernity. In North Africa, the Zionist movement became popular and there was great support from Sephardic Rabbis from the Ottoman Empire and this movement expanded to Muslim nations such as Tunisia, Egypt and other countries of North Africa.

Ari Afilalo is a part of Sephardic Synagogue at the west side of the New York City and loves to analyse the literature and writings of Sephardic homilist and philosophers. He is a member of the French Moroccan community in the New York region.