Monday, December 12, 2011

Yemenite Synagogue in Tel Aviv

Yemenite Synagogue in the Yemenite Quarter / Tel Aviv

Photo: Miriam Woelke


  1. B'H

    Can you tell us much more about Teimani Jews in the Medinah. The so-called "Jewsih" Ethiopians are struggling hard to be admitted in Israeli society, but what about the Teimani community? Are they accepted into the society? Or do they tend to live only among themselves? Do they live as any other Israeli or are they included among the poorest citizens?

  2. B"H

    The Yemenites are accepted but sometimes many Israelis make fun of them. I don't know about incidents where the Yemenites are not considered Jewish. The Ethiopians, on the other hand, intermarried with Christians and only a small percentage of them remained halachically Jewish.

    The Yemenites are fully integrated into society just like Iraqi or Kurdish Jews. Despite the fact that also the Yemenites keep their own customes and have their own accent in Hebrew.

    It is the Ethiopians sticking to their own kind and living in ghettos such as the ghetto in Rehovot, in Gedera, in Mevasseret Zion or Beit Shemesh. I guess it is also the Ethiopian mentality which seems a bit strange to many Israelis. Their tribal ideology and that they don't try to get educated. The Yemenites came to Israel long ago and had a totally different mentality.

    As far as I heard, Satmar is bringing many Yemenites to the US but there are actually Yemenites making Aliyah.

  3. B'H


    In fact, there is NO DOUBT that they are 100% Jewuish. This is the obnly community without ANY intermarriage when they were in Yemen. They kept very old tradition, and this is a community we should be proud of as Jews.

    There are thousand of Teimani Jews who became Satmar and live within American Satmar communities in Monroe, Monsey, Williamsburg and Kiryas Yoel. I also know some hundred Teimani jews who became Lubavitcher. They have their own synagogue in crown Heights where they can keep their own Yemenite customs while being Lubavitcher (the same with ex-Satmarer who became Lubavitcher. They have their own synagogue in Crown Heights where they keep their old Satmar custom and garb). They all speak Yiddish. I find it quite amazing how they speak Yiddish with such easiness. My Mashpia told me that the reason was that the Ashkenazi pronounciation is quite close to the Yemenite pronouciation. That's why they are able to learn Yiddish quite easily. Some year ago, I invited a Yemeni Lubavitcher for Shabbos. It was strange, since every time, before putting some food in his mouth, he used to say "Likhvod Shabbos". He could say "Likhvod Shabbos" up to ten times during a mealn each time before putting food in his mouth. But it was great, as I learned a lot about their traditions.

  4. B"H

    This is the big difference between the Yemenites and the Ethiopians. Further, Ashkenazi Jewry in Israel has never accepted the Ethiopians as Jewish until they underwent an Orthodox conversion course. Thus the Ethiopians belong to the Sephardi part of Israel's Chief Rabbinate, as, years ago, Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef stated, that he recognizes Ethiopian Jews without any further conversion. However, only those who have a real proff of their Jewishness.

  5. B"H

    But there is the opinion in Israel that the Jewish Ethiopians are more Jewish than the Russians.

    More than 70 % of Russian immigrants are not halachically Jewish or not Jewish at all !!!