Fondazione M



Emerging Jewish Communities in Sicily, with Judith Cohen


Dr. Judith R. Cohen is a Canadian ethnomusicologist specializing in Judeo-Spanish Sephardic music and its relationship with other traditions such as Balkan, Yiddish and Medieval Iberian music, and pan-European balladry. In her seminars and performances, Judith sings songs from all of these sources and also accompanies herself on traditional string, wind and percussion instruments. Although much of her work has been focused on the Iberian Peninsula, notably Portugal, this week she is speaking with us about a new project of hers, in which she is researching emerging Jewish communities in Sicily. For more info about her activities, see the web page.

[thanks to Suzana Glavas]

Jew of a Lost Tribe – [ Initiation in Suphism and Qabalah ]

Ny name is Davide Crimi. An ancestor of mine was the last Dayan Kelali – which means “Chief of the Alyamas” (Alyama was the Jewish community in Sicily) before the Galuth (the Hebrew term for the expulsion by Ferdinando il Cattolico, King of Spain and Sicily, 1492).

Well, this is about the origins. I discover all this simply (?) studying the Torah (I’m still a student) and hearing to the connections of this Deep and Holy Book: this is what leaded myself in finding origins and ancestor’s tracks.

I was some years ago on the point to make Tiqqun (which can be improperly translate as “conversion”) but, after spending Pesach in Rome with Jewish friends and families, something in my deep consciousness stopped me to complete this step.

I come back to Baruch Spinoza’s experience in Amsterdam (I suggest to see this page or some analogical, about Spinoza and Uriel Da Costa, like History of the Jews‎ – P. 635 (Simon Dubnow, Moshe Spiegel) or Diaspora: The Post-Biblical History of the Jews‎ – P. 321 (Werner Keller, Ronald Sander).

I desire to take focus on the psychology of the Jew who wants to come back to his father Israel but he is rejected. I’m aware of the history of the Second Temple, when the exponents of the Tribe of Juda refuse to have partecipation of the “Ten Lost Tribes” in the rebuilding of the Temple, and I can agree if you remind the conduct they demonstrate then.

But this is modern time. I identified myself (perhaps also because my ancient ancestors were Qaraimi, Turkish Jews) in the history of Shabbatai Tzevi, as told by Gershom Scholem, the Messiah who converts to Islam (and, if you want see deeper, the way Scholem tell the story is also a way to correct the mistakes done by guys like Aleister Crowley introduced the Qabalah in Western consciousness). Suphism and Qabalah are not so far. The Tree of Life is a perfect symbol even in Buddhism and Inca’s traditions, because, as the Zohar states, the Garden of Eden is nothingh but the brain.

Perhaps, this is not philosophy. Perhaps this is only rock’n’roll. But even because of this, I’m able to imagine a world where people lives for the day, without no possession, and no religion too.

I mean that if religion is an instrumentum regni, a power’s tool, we don’t need for.

I think nationalism (you know, nationalsocialism) was a terrible disgrace for Israel during the XX century (see the introduction to the Manifesto of Ventotene, an important document for modern Europe’s peace ideology). And you know, nationalism is the way to transform people in soldiers. I don’t believe in this. Prophet Jeremy says “Accursed be the man who trusts in men”. So I do. I don’t believe in nationalism, and I hope that Israelian enlightened people do not believe in it too anymore.

After all, this is not an original way to think. You know, Jewish thinkers like Samuel Bergman, Hermann Cohen, Yehezkel Kaufmann state this position, even before the institution of the modern Israel in 1948.

I think that Europe have to be the place for Jewish people to build a new Israel in the Holy Land, which can’t be a nationalist one, but an international protectorate.

With all the berakoth,

Lost Jew
Qabalist and Suphi
Frater Verbvm Est Lvx
In the Conseil of his Ancestor

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