Demystifying Differences Between Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jews
by Rabbi Haim Jachter
$29.95 / NOW $25.50; Hardcover
As the rabbi of a Sephardic synagogue for over twenty years who is himself of Ashkenazic descent and trained in Ashkenazic yeshivot, Rabbi Haim Jachter has a unique vantage point from which to observe the differences in customs and halachot between Ashkenazim and Sephardim. In Bridging Traditions, Rabbi Jachter applies his wide-ranging expertise to explicating an encyclopedic array of divergences between Ashkenazic and Sephardic halachic practice, while also capturing the diversity within different Sephardic communities.
Throughout, Rabbi Jachter explains the opinions of both earlier and contemporary poskim and demonstrates how halacha unfolds in often unexpected ways. Moreover, in developing the rationales for both sides of each issue, this book sheds much light on the dialectical back-and-forth of the halachic system as a whole.
Bridging Traditions is essential reading for Jews of all origins who are interested in understanding their own practices and appreciating those of their brethren, and in seeing the kaleidoscope of halachic observance as a multi-faceted expression of an inner divine unity.
Review from Rabbi Hayyim Angel