Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
Life Arts

New Film Chronicles the Surprising Story of Jewish Renewal in Africa

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Bernard Starr       (Page 1 of 4 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   1 comment

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; (more...) ; ; ; ; , Add Tags  (less...)
Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 1   Inspiring 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H4 2/10/17

Author 56926
Become a Fan
  (10 fans)
- Advertisement -

[[Prayer]]

Suppose you're a young Jewish woman on a six-month volunteer mission with a women's rights group in Ghana, West Africa. Your passion for women's issues helps you dismiss your initial wariness in this strange setting. Then the Jewish New Year celebrations -- Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur -- approach, and you long for the holiday celebrations back home.

So what does a wandering Jew do? She looks for a synagogue. But a synagogue in Ghana?

So she asks about one.

- Advertisement -

Most people are puzzled, saying that they've never seen or heard of any Jews. One man says that he knew a few Jews, but could not provide any details.

This is what happened to Gabrielle Zilkha, until an age old Jewish resource came to her: a Jewish mother.

Gabrielle's mom searched the Internet and found a brief reference to a Jewish group in a small rural village quite far from Accra, the capital of Ghana, where Gabrielle was staying.

- Advertisement -

Although skeptical, Gabrielle called and arranged a visit. After a day-long bus ride to the remote village, she asked a cab driver about a man named Joseph, the contact name she was given. It drew a blank. She added, "he's a Jew." The driver's face lit up: "Oh, OK." He drove her to a house where she was welcomed and taken to a guest room. When the door opened, she was staring at a large Star of David on the wall.

This is where filmmaker Gabrielle Zilkha's journey into Judaism in Ghana --and the inspiration for her documentary film, Doing Jewish: A Story From Ghana -- began.

In that moment, though, looking at the Star of David she wondered: "Is this just a token or do they really practice Judaism?" That question was answered the next morning, the Sabbath, when Gabrielle entered a small crude building that was their synagogue.

To her astonishment she saw a Torah, men with yarmulkes (skull caps) and talits -- and the entire congregation of black African men, women and children chanting prayers in Hebrew.

[[Yarmulke]]

I interviewed Gabrielle to find out more about this intriguing community.

- Advertisement -

Bernard Starr: That synagogue experience must have been quite a shock.

Gabrielle Zilkha: It was indeed. I'm not a frequent synagogue-goer but there was something quite beautiful about finding a sense of familiarity as a foreigner. This synagogue also felt so remote from other Jewish communities and institutions, and I found it quite moving to see a people so dedicated to their Jewish culture in what seemed like a vacuum.

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 1   Inspiring 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Bernard Starr, PhD, is a psychologist and Professor Emeritus at CUNY (Brooklyn College). His latest book is "Jesus, Jews, And Anti-Semitism In Art:How Renaissance Art Erased Jesus' Jewish Identity & How Today's Artists Are Restoring (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Corporations Plan for Post-Middle-Class America

Mind Control: How Donald Trump Has Transformed Americans into Pavlov's Dogs

The Pandemic Disease of the 21st Century Is on the Rise

Reza Aslan: Why Aren't You a Jew?

Why Have Art Historians Been Silent About the Falsification of Biblical History in Artworks?

Response to Bill O'Reilly: Jesus Didn't Start a New Religion