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Sephardim

Judy Frankel, 1942 - 2008

Like so many other people in the Jewish music world and beyond, I was astonished, before disbelief gave way to sadness, to read a brief note in a Ladino discussion group about the death of Judy Frankel on March 20, 2008 at age 65. She left no immediate family, but many friends who had become her family over the years. A gentle, gracious and discreet person, she had, I learned a little later, not told many people besides her close friends about her illness, cancer.

Iraqi Jewish Women

“When Rachma had a son the well-wishers congratulated the family with ‘B’siman Tov’ [good fortune] and ‘Tesewihum Sab-a’ [may there be seven], but when she had a daughter they merely said ‘Mazal Tov’ [good luck], sometimes adding what were in effect words of sympathy, ‘Al-Hamd Lilah Ala Salamitha’ [thank God the mother is well] and ‘Ala Rasa Libnin’ [may boys follow her]” (Cohen 1973, 1996; Zenner 1982). Sons were preferred to daughters and this is still the case, though it is no longer expressed so openly. When Rachel gave birth in Israel to her first child, a girl, her parents-in-law decided to cancel their planned visit from America. Rachel commented “My in-laws may consider themselves educated and modern [they were born in America], but they behave as if they were living in Iraq.”

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Sephardim." (Viewed on October 22, 2014) <http://jwa.org/tags/sephardim>.

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