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.
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.
5 months ago