The terms Ashkenaz and Sefarad are found in the Bible, but most likely refer to areas of present-day Turkey and Armenia, respectively. How did they come to signify Germany and Spain? Why did the Jews of these two lands develop distinct customs and liturgies? Why do Jews of Middle Eastern origin often identify as Sephardim even if their ancestors never lived in Spain? Listen to Lawrence Schiffman address these questions and others. (Audio, 1 hour and 18 minutes.)
Why Are Jews Divided into Ashkenazim and Sephardim?
The UK’s Ban on Hamas Is a Belated Step in the Right Direction
Twenty years after Britain outlawed Hamas’s military wing, the home secretary, Priti Patel, has decided to proscribe the entire organization. Stephen Daisley applauds this decision, but observes that London does not yet seem to recognize the dangers of what Hamas represents: