Who wants to play “Who can tell Emily what her minhagim are?”

7 03 2007

We’ll just abbreviate that to WCTEWHMA.  (Hey, it’s shorter that “WWTNGKOOTFTNEYFTS” or, ‘Who wants to not get kicked out of the family that’s not even your family, technically speaking?”  And yes, I’ve played that.  And won.  I didn’t get kicked out of the family that wasn’t even my family, technically speaking.  This just goes to show that you should ALWAYS remember where your friends keep their blenders. Trust me.)

Anyway, the question here is what are my traditions?  I’ve heard two things about this.  The first one is that I just take the traditions that my Rabbi holds by.  This is probably the simplest options, since I then have a clear answer on all things. 

However, I’ve also heard that I could choose to take the minhagim that are from the area that my family is from.  This would either be Italy, or Austria.  Now, Italian minhag is fascinating.  There are several really interesting differences, since it broke off from the rest of the Jewish community much earlier than any other tradition.  (Before the fall of the second Temple)  There are a few differences in the text of the Amidah, and of Aleinu, and in the selection of psalms that are said in different services.  Also in Italian tradition, you light candles before saying the blessing on Shabbat.  Odd, no? If you say the blessing first, the presumably, Shabbat starts when you light the candles.  Wouldn’t that then mean that you wouldn’t be able to blow out the match, and would have to set it on some fire proof surface till it went out on its own?  Hmmm.  Anyway, it’s a bit tricky if I choose to go that route, since there’s really no information out there (in English at least) about Italian Jewish tradition, so I’ll probably just do the easy(er) thing and go with taking my Rabbi’s traditions.  And this is all a bit of a moot point anyway, since when I get married, I can just take my husband’s traditions. 

And now, I need to go study.  Boo midterms season.  Have a good evening, all!

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2 responses

9 03 2007
muse

From what I’ve been told by friends who have converted, you take the minhagim from the Beit Din which converts you. Jerusalem converts are sfaradim.

9 03 2007
Emily

OK. For me, that’s the same as taking my Rabbi’s traditions, since he’s the Av Beis Din of the Beis Din I’ll convert with. Thanks!

As for the Israeli Rabbinate, I think perhaps that is a subject I’ll stay away from for now, since I’m not sure it’s a subject I can talk about and still be even remotly respectful. Perhaps later…. We’ll see.

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