Rav Aviner on… I Want to be Sephardi

Rav Shlomo Aviner, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Ateret Yerushalayim.
Rav Shlomo Aviner, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Ateret Yerushalayim.

[Be-Ahavah U-Be-Emunah – Devarim 5770 – translated by R. Blumberg]

Forgive me, Rav Berger,

Forgive me, Rav Meltzer,

I’m really trying,

I’m really striving

to get my son into your institution.

I don’t know exactly what’s involved,

But I’m not succeeding.

Could it be my name?

My accent?

My skin color?

But I WANT to be a Sephardi!

I want to very much!

Forgive me Rav Krieger,

Forgive me, Rav Veltzer,

I’m really trying

to have my daughter marry one of you.

I don’t know exactly what’s involved,

But I’m not succeeding.

And I don’t know why.

Maybe it’s my name?

My accent?

My skin color?

But I very much want

To remain a Sephardi.

You teach, “Love your fellow Jew.”

You teach of a “Jewish soul”.

So maybe you can explain

Why there’s an ethnic rift?

Why am I called

“The Second Class Israeli”?

I want to be a first-class Israeli.

So I’m sometimes

A bit confused.

I don’t know how you do it.

Forgive me, Rav Weiner,

Forgive me, Rav Peltzer

But you say that all Israel

Have a share in Heaven.

So I wanted to know.

Please give me a clue,

A recommendation

On how to get there?

But I’m not succeeding!

Maybe it’s my name?

My accent or skin color?

But I very much want

To remain a Sephardi.

What’s better to be?

Ashkenazic or Sephardic?

Or perhaps Yemenite?

What should my name be?

My accent?

My skin color?

For I’m very happy

To be a Sephardi.

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