Sunday, August 06, 2017

Aviv HaTora Celebrates the Bnei Mitzvot of Ethiopian Olim

Thanks to Yonatan Boofty, at Israel National News Arutz Sheva, I learned about Aviv HaTora, a institution dedicated to fostering religious community life in Tel Aviv. Among its many programs, which include a gan yeladim (kindergarten), a yeshiva and a seminary for women, Aviv HaTora has a project to prepare the children of the Ethiopian Aliyah living in Tel Aviv-Yafo for their Bnei and Bnot Mitzvah (plural of Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah, when a Jewish boy reaches age 13 and a Jewish girl reaches age 12, and they assume responsibility for observance of the commandments). The following video shows their recent celebration of Bnei and Bnot Mitzvah. Honored guests included the Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv Yafo, Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau (who is also former Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel and the father of the current Chief Rabbi of Israel, David Lau), the Chief Rabbi of the Ethiopian community in Tel Aviv-Yafo, and the Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo. The celebrants and their families were then bussed to HaKotel HaMaaravi (the Western Wall in Jerusalem), where the boys received their tallitot and tefillin, put them on and were called to the Torah. A festive mesibah [party] and seudat mitzvah [feast celebrating a Jewish life cycle event] followed. Here is a video of the celebration. I especially enjoyed the dancing of the Ethiopian men.   For more about AvivHaTorah, go to its website,  to http: www.avivhatora.org.

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