Join Centro Primo Levi and
Join Centro Primo Levi and Kehilah Kedosha Janina for Quabbalat Shabbat, Shabbat service and Selichot with Rav Alberto Funaro and Rav Nissim Elnecavé. Service will be held according to the Roman and the Spanish traditions.
Service is open to all. Seating is limited. Please let us know you will be attending: email@example.com. There will be a kiddush on Friday night and refreshments will be served for kiddush on Saturday.
The Minhag Benè Roma
Italian Jews are under many respects an island in the Jewish world. Even the name of the land that has given them home for over twenty-two centuries was traditionally interpreted as a Hebrew word: I-tal-ya: “Island of the divine dew.” The liturgy of the Italian Jews sets them apart from all of the other communities in the Diaspora. Jewish liturgy is typically divided in two main categories, the Sephardic and Ashkenazic rites. The names of the two groups derive from their lands of origin, Spain and Germany, two major areas where Jewish civilization flourished in the Middle Ages. But this simple view does not account for the complexity of migratory currents of Jews and the presence of different Jewish groups in the same territory.
As a cultural and geographical crossroad, Italy has known most Jewish rituals and ethnic variations. However, the Italian communities have somewhat remained loyal to their particular nusach, prayer rite. Most notably Italian Jews have kept a unique set and order of prayers, cantillation style and original liturgical songs. They also developed their own specific legal codes, Judeo-Italian dialects and folkloric traditions that are not found elsewhere. The Italian rite represents a specific chapter in the Jewish liturgical world. Even though it is kept alive only by a small population spread between Italy, Israel and the Americas, it cannot be considered less important than the more commonly known representatives of the Jewish liturgy. This multilayered set of traditions, melodies, liturgical repertoire and cantillation style is known by different names: minhag Qahal Qadosh Roma (“of the sacred community of Rome”); minhag lo’ez or lo’azim (literally: “those who speak a foreign language”, probably in Latin); or minhag Benè Roma (“of the sons of Rome”), indicating the original centrality of Rome. It is currently maintained in Rome, Turin, and Milan, while in Florence and Venice it has merged with Sephardic and Ashkenazic traditions which imposed a different flavor.
Adapted by Eitan Fiorino from the introduction to the Siddur Benè Roma by Rav Riccardo Di Segni