Calabria judaica - Sud ebraico

Calabria judaica ~ Sud ebraico
Storia, cultura e attualità ebraiche in Calabria
con uno sguardo al futuro e a tutto il Meridione

Secondo una leggenda, che attesta l'antica frequentazione orientale della nostra regione, Reggio fu fondata da Aschenez, pronipote di Noé.
La sinagoga del IV secolo, ricca di mosaici, di Bova Marina, è la più antica in Occidente dopo quella di Ostia Antica; a Reggio fu stampata la prima opera in ebraico con indicazione di data, il commento di Rashì alla Torah; Chayim Vital haQalavrezì, il calabrese, fu grande studioso di kabbalah, noto anche con l'acronimo Rachu.
Nel Medioevo moltissimi furono gli ebrei che si stabilirono in Calabria, aumentando fino alla cacciata all'inizio del XVI secolo; tornarono per pochi anni, richiamati dagli abitanti oppressi dai banchieri cristiani, ma furono definitivamente cacciati nel 1541, evento che non fu estraneo alla decadenza economica della Calabria, in particolare nel settore legato alla lavorazione della seta.
Dopo l’espulsione definitiva, gli ebrei (ufficialmente) sparirono, e tornarono temporaneamente nella triste circostanza dell’internamento a Ferramonti; oggi non vi sono che isolate presenze, ma d'estate la Riviera dei Cedri si riempie di rabbini che vengono a raccogliere i frutti per la celebrazione di Sukkot (la festa delle Capanne).
Questo blog è dedito in primo luogo allo studio della storia e della cultura ebraica in Calabria; a
ttraverso questo studio vuole concorrere, nei suoi limiti, alla rinascita dell'ebraismo calabrese; solidale con l'unica democrazia del Medio Oriente si propone come ponte di conoscenza e amicizia tra la nostra terra e Israele.

IN PRIMO PIANO: eventi e appuntamenti


24 gennaio, Reggio; Mostra 24 gennaio-12 febbraio: Giorno della memoria al MaRC

24-29 gennaio, Ferramonti di Tarsia: Celebrazione del giorno della memoria

24, 27 e 29 gennaio, Castrovillari; Mostra 24 gennaio - 2 febbraio; 28 gennaio, Morano: Per il giorno della memoria


25 gennaio, Vadue di Carolei (CS): "Vedere l'Altro, vedere la Shoah"

25-27 gennaio, Catanzaro Lido e varie località della provincia: Iniziative dell'Anpi provinciale


1° febbraio, Roma: Il viaggio del Pentcho

24.11.2016 - 10.3.2017, Napoli: Progetto Wajda

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giovedì 13 marzo 2008

Reggio sul Jerusalem Post!

Ringrazio di cuore Bennauro, che mi ha informato che sul blog del Jerusalem Post qualche giorno fa si è parlato, tra l'altro, del nostro stampatore, Abraham ben Yitzhak ben Garton, che ha stampato il commento alla Torah nel 1475.
Sono molto contento che sempre più si vada conoscendo l'antica realtà ebraica della Calabria.
Pubblico ora il testo direttamente in inglese, proponendomi di tradurlo nei prossimi giorni.

The Sephardi Perspective: Reclaiming the Jewish word
Posted by Ashley Perry (Perez)

While we look forward to Purim, there are many other reasons that Adar is such a celebratory month. The third of Adar commemorates the completion of the Second Temple, the seventh is the hilula of Moses and the 28th of Adar is a Talmudic celebration to commemorate the rescinding of a Roman decree against ritual circumcision, Torah study and keeping the Shabbat. However, another important date is often overlooked that goes to the root of the 'People of the Book' in the modern era.
Next week is the anniversary of the creation of the first printed and dated Hebrew book ever published with movable type on the 10th of Adar, Feb. 17, 1475. The book is a copy of Rashi's commentary of the Five Books of Moses. It was printed by Abraham ben Yitzhak ben Garton in Adar 5235 in the city of Reggio di Calabria, Italy. The sole copy of this book that still exists is kept in the Palatine Library in Parma, Italy. The method of type was called incunabula, which is a block-book printed from a single carved or sculpted wooden block for each page, made with individual pieces of cast metal movable type on a printing press, in the technology made famous by Johannes Gutenberg.
Relatively little is known of Garton, although most historians claim that he was a Spanish Jew who had escaped to Italy because of the wave of anti-Jewish hatred asserting itself in the Iberian Peninsular. Reggio di Calabria had become a haven for those Jews who fled Spain firstly because of the anti-Jewish violence and then the Spanish Inquisition.
Interestingly Garton used what has now become known as 'Rashi Script' which differs from other written forms of Hebrew. The type-set became known as Rashi Script because of this event; Rashi himself never used such a script. The script was known to be used by early Sephardi Jews and also became the type-set for Ladino, the language of the Iberian exiles.
This book set the tone for a cultural, intellectual and Judaic revolution. While the bastion of Jewish civilization which had been Spain was being literally burnt at the stake, the printing press in Central Europe allowed the Ashkenazi world to rise in dominance. Many Iberian exiles took the printing press to the Ottoman Empire and other parts of the Mediterranean. However, this venture did not permeate the Arab world in significant numbers.
The Arab world did not adopt a significant printing press for many centuries after Johannes Gutenberg first created the printed word. One reason is that the cursive nature of the Arabic script and certain of its other peculiarities made its adaptation to printing difficult. Another reason was the Western trend toward printing and the development of ornamental and sometimes elaborate type faces. In Islam, the drawing or depicting of human or animal forms was forbidden and writers and artists were forced to resort either to what has since come to be known as "arabesque" (designs based on strictly geometrical forms or patterns of leaves and flowers) or, very often, to calligraphy. This made writing the religiously preferred mode of copying texts.
While Christian Europe was undergoing the Renaissance and the Reformation, the Arab world had already been in decline for a couple of centuries. The 15th century Reconquista of Spain by the Catholic monarchs was the final nail in the coffin. The disruption to the cycle of equity based on Ibn Khaldun's famous model of Asabiyyah (the rise and fall of civilizations) points to the decline being mainly due to political and economic factors.
Tolerance of differing ideas and concepts had greatly reduced from the great Arab polemical debates at the turn of the millennium. This is perhaps best demonstrated by al-Ghazali's polemic work The Incoherence of the Philosophers.
This decline also affected the Jews within Arab lands as they were faced with more intolerant neighbors. While colonialism brought with it a rebirth in the standards of education for many Jews in the Arab World, centuries of lagging standards meant many were behind their European brethren. The Alliance Israélite Universelle, an organization created to combine the ideals of self-defense and self-sufficiency through education and professional development among Jews, disconnected many Jews from their traditions which in turn made sure they played little part in a Jewish intellectual renaissance.
Jewish printing presses from the Arab World during these centuries of decline were almost non-existent. This had a dramatic effect on the modern Jewish state. While religious life was largely unaffected due to the fact that large portions of the Sephardi service are sung or intoned in unison and thus had less use of printed prayer books, very few Jews of the Arab World had access to large compendiums of Jewish works.
While there was a time where almost all of the great Jewish treatises were Sephardi, recent times have proven the opposite is true. Today we see that most of the recent well-known works of Judaica are of Ashkenazi origin.
It is time for the great Sephardi mind to recapture their place in the Jewish world and not just in Halacha, where they have made inroads out of necessity. The great works of the Rambam, Ramban, Aboulafia, HaLevi and many others demonstrate that Sephardim have a rich history to rest on. The anniversary of the first Jewish printed book should be a good time of reflection for the Sephardim to share in the dissemination of the Jewish word.

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