Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Take a Break and Enjoy this Ladino Hip-Hop Music Video

Since we were just speaking of Sephardim, you should know about this really cool band! I feel like I should put air quotes around "band" because this doesn't strike me as your average make-money-sell-merch-get-groupies band stereotype I have in my head. It feels kinda...educational. But in the enjoyable way. The really enjoyable way! No really, I love this.

Check out this article and video interview on Arutz Sheva about them:

"A Seattle-based hip hop group is looking to change the way Jews view both rap, and traditional Jewish music. Founded by a rabbi and a Mexican-American Jewish rapper, Los Serenos Sefarad is breathing new life into a language and culture many younger Jews today never even heard of. Judeo-Spanish, sometimes called “Ladino”, combines elements of Old Spanish, Hebrew, Arabic, Aramaic, and other languages common in the Mediterranean.
"Like its Ashkenazi equivalent, Yiddish, Judeo-Spanish was once widely-spoken amongst Sephardic Jews and was even used for portions of the Sabbath prayer services in some communities. Also like Yiddish, Judeo-Spanish went into steep decline in the 20th century, with the number of speakers falling to some 150,000 by the early 21st century."

A fun trivia fact you can put in your hat: Whenever someone talks about Ladino/Judeo-Spanish, the Seattle community will almost always come up. They've done a great job of promoting/preserving it within their community. You may also hear about Rabbi Marc Angel, who has also done a lot of great work on behalf of conversion candidates and converts.

As a former Spanish major and adult convert, I get warm fuzzies experiencing something Jewish that connects to something from my childhood, as Spanish does even though I only learned it in school. But then move to France without knowing French and ruin your ability to speak Spanish...

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