Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Jewish Diaspora

The story of the Jewish Diaspora began in the year 587 B.C.E., when the kingdom of Judea was conquered. It is commonly known that the history of Jews includes repeatedly relocating and dispersing world wide - hence living in Diaspora i.e. not living in Israel. There are currently about 13 million Jews in the world: over 8 million in the Diaspora, with the remaining 5 million in Israel.

SO ...
I was fortunate to attend Yom Kippur erev services with Generous Friend tonight at my Temple in the USA. We read from our siddur (prayer book) as the Rabbi lead us in the prayers. The Rabbi also gave quite the clever sermon on the state of the economy and the opportunity to now invest in our families, etc.

I called Husband and kids in Mexico. They put me on speaker phone as they lit candles for Yom Kippur. They read from our siddur as Husband leads the kids in the prayers. It was the EXACT same prayers I had just recited one hour ago. It was surreal. It made me feel closer to my family and to the Jews in both Israel and Diaspora saying the exact same words all over the world.

The only item not checked on our Decision to Move to Mexico Checklist was a Synagogue. There is not one in our area. However, we were comforted in knowing we would be able to maintain the Jewish rituals and teach our children with the same liturgy that Jews have used for centuries. It is a cultural practice that still binds us in the modern world.


Steve Cotton said...

"Invest in families." What a great ideal -- what a great reality. Again, I thank you for sharing. Your posts are always a blessing.

Bob Mrotek said...

American Mommy,
I love your stories about Judaism. I am a Catholic but when I read your stories I feel a bit wistful and a bit like I am coming home. There are lessons in your posts for everybody.

jillian said...

yours is quickly becoming my favorite blog. your strike this balance of profundity wit warmth and humor that I just adore.

CancunCanuck said...

I love this post. I am so glad you can maintain the important religious and family traditions in Mexico. You've made me wistful for my days in Toronto, most of my friends were Jewish, I miss the community and the rituals. I've only met one Jewish Mexican here (our pediatrician), there is a community, albeit a small one.

"Invest in your family" is now my mantra for the day. :)

American Mommy in Mexico said...

S - I also liked the "Invest in families" concept. We have a very gifted Rabbi.

B - We try to grab onto those concepts that are universal regardless of your specific belief structure.

J - What a kind comment - thanks to you!

C - there is a small Jewish community here but we have not really connected into it yet. We are grateful for the portable nature of the Judiasm.

All - You have all made me smile today with your generous comments!!

Anonymous said...

I am glad you guys are adjusting. As a non- believer, I admire the steps you go thru to follow your chosen faith. Your sons are very special and reflect their parents personalities a lot as they age. Luv you guys!


Kate said...

I really enjoyed going to shul (more specifically, the traditional/orthodox Ashkenazi shuls in the Condesa and Colonia Xola) when I was living in Mexico City. The similarity to home (northeast/midwest US) was a little eerie and extremely comforting.