In this piece from Persian Rabbi, Josiane Marchand laments the dominance of Ashkenazi tradition in orthodox Judaism. The sad fact is, however, that orthodox Sephardim have had little choice but to borrow from Ashkenazi Judaism, given that they have been uprooted from their distinctive religious heritage.
“How many times I have asked myself “How come there are Sefardim within the ranks of the Lubavitch, Chabad, Breslov, Bobov, Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, etc.” Why, Why?
To be a Sefardi, means to be proud of what our parents and grandparents taught us, to know about our Tzadikim who had and continue to uphold our belief in the Torah.
To name a few, the list being so long, we should remember the Rambam, the Ramban, Rabbi Joseph Caro, Rabbi Haim Luzzato, Rabbi Haim David Azoulay, Rabbi Haim Benatar, Rabbi Amran Bendiwan, Rabbi Shalom Sharabi, Rabbi Yoseph Haim (The Ben Ish Hai)- may their memory live on forever and whose teachings are alive in so many Yeshivot today.
To be a Sephardi, does have one to forget one’s past?
Or, on the contrary, should we not share our heritage with all our brothers and sisters of different customs, without imposing on them our minhagim, as they sometimes do to us.
To be Sephardi, is to make sure that our Tzadikim live forever in our hearts and memories, for if not us, who will ever know about our beloved rabbis from Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Syria, Iran, Iraq and all the Mediterranean countries?
We, Sefardim, have the duty, the responsibility, the great privilege to remind ourselves by ways of writing about them (among other things) that our rabbis were and are great rabbis. ”