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Apr 27, 2011

Intermingling Customs in Hebron

When I go to daven vasikin in Hebron at the Me'aras Hamachpela, I usually prefer to daven in the sefardi minyan. When I went this past holiday, for no particular reason I davened with the ashkenazi minyan.

I noticed something unusual, but it is very common in places like Hebron. Despite the fact that the minyanim were split between ashkenazim and sefardim, in our ashkenazi minyan one of the two torah scrolls used was a sefardic torah scroll. As well, some of the people davening in the ashkenazi minyan were sefardim and the sefardi calls one hears during sefardi davening were commonly called out even in the ashkenazi minyan.

When our minyan was finished, I went over to the sefardi minyan to see what they were up to (they were just about finished). I saw some ashkenazim davening with them. As well, the minyan was being led by someone dressed in yerushalmi garb. While I could not see his face and don't know if he himself was sefardi or ashkenazi, the uniqueness of the experience was not lost.

Despite the fact that groups formed and people split into sefardi and ashkenazi minyanim, the people were still mixed, davening together and accepting each other's customs intermingled into the "other" group. You don't see that in too many places.

1 comment:

  1. To the contrary, one sees this all over Israel. In the bus stations, minchah minyanim at work, shuls in many neighborhoods, there is a strong integration of people davening together, even tho, they may be davening different nuschaot. I think it is more: Outside of certain homogenous groupings of Orthodoxy, there is a real mix of ppl who daven together at any given minyan.

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