Halakhot, Minhagim and Tefila

Halakhot illo
Halakhot illo

Halakhot, Minhagim and Tefila

Expose students to the wide tapestry of Sephardi customs, interpretations, and laws

Sephardic religious traditions developed as rabbinic and communal figures systematically responded to the needs and contexts of their communities. Incorporate Sephardic texts and rulings into the classroom as valuable and informative in and of themselves, and not only as a counterpoint to Ashkenazic tradition. Teach about contemporary Sephardic halakhic rulings and customs to illustrate the scope of Jewish practice today.

The Mishne Torah and Shulhan Aruch remain the primary sources of Sephardi halakha. More recent sources of Sephardi legal rulings can be found in the following books:

Ben Ish Hai by Rabbi Yosef Hayim (1835 – 1909) Baghdad, Iraq

Sha'arei Ouziel by Rabbi Ben-Zion Meir Hai Uziel (1880  – 1953) Jerusalem, Israel

Yalkut Yosef by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef (1920  – 2013) Jerusalem, Israel

El gid para el pratikante: Livro de denim sovre las tefilot de entresemana ṣabatot i fiestas i de todas las preskripsyones relijyozas by Nissim Behar (1848 – 1931) Jerusalem, Israel

Incorporate Sephardi and Mizrahi customs into your school programming

As the school community celebrates Jewish holidays, add Sephardic and Mizrahi customs, foods, and melodies to school programs. Here are some suggestions for ways to include Sephardi and Mizrahi traditions in your holiday celebrations:


See the following resources for more information about Sephardic minhagim:

Keter Shem Tob by Rabbi Shem Tob Gaguine (1884-1953) Jerusalem, Israel; Manchester, UK

Exploring Sephardic Life Cycle Customs (Sephardic Studies, University of Washington)

Provide students with opportunities to pray in accordance with Sephardi customs

Encourage students to pray using the tunes, styles, and texts of their families’ traditions. Ascertain the backgrounds of your student body, and make available a wide range of siddurim to ensure that all students feel comfortable and welcome to pray. Teach students to wrap tefillin and/or wear a tallit in accordance with their families’ customs.

Students can delve into various Sephardi and Mizrahi siddurim and mahzorim provided here:

Siddur of Rabbi Saadia Gaon (892 – 942), edited in Fallujah, Iraq

Orden de bendiciones, published in Amsterdam, 1687

Sefer Sha'are Kodesh, published in Salonica, 1799

Siddur Kol Yaakob: According to the rites of Jewish community of Aleppo, Syria

Siddur Zehut Yosef: According to the Turkish & Rhodes Tradition, edited by Isaac Azose

Siddur Tefillat Shemuel: According to the Moroccan Tradition

Siddur Kol Sasson: The Orot Sephardic Shabbat Siddur

Tiklal: Baladi Siddur: According to the Yemenite Custom

Sephardic U’s Daily Siddur: Shacharit, Arvit and Rosh Hodesh

The Sephardic Studies Library at the University of Washington includes Hebrew and Ladino prayerbooks and haggadot from Serbia, Vienna, Salonica, Amsterdam, Livorno, Istanbul, Baghdad and more.