Rabbi Mendy Chitrik Profile picture
Chairman of Alliance of Rabbis in Islamic States @RabbisAlliance/İstanbul Aşkenaz Hahami/Jewish/American/Husband/Father of 8 • Kişisel görüşüm/Personal opinions
Dec 17, 2021 20 tweets 6 min read
Aron Kodesh, or Holy Arc, is where the holy Torah is placed in a synagogue...

'Arcs of Turkey' - from synagogues of @tyahuditoplumu in the following thread.

Enjoy and Retweet!

Shabbat Shalom!

Starting with the oldest one, from Sardis, an 1800 year old Aron Kodesh: Rabbi Izak Peres in front of the Aron Kodesh at the Tiferet Yisrael - Yenikoy Synagogue of Istanbul
Dec 14, 2021 27 tweets 11 min read
"Are there Ashkenazi Jews in Turkey?!"

I hear this question often after I introduce myself as the rabbi of Istanbul's Ashkenazi community - after all, Turkey is the bastion of Sefardi Jews!

So what's the story of the Ashkenazi community of Turkey? Thread 🧵👇 When Sefaradi Jews found refuge in the Ottoman Empire after the Spanish expulsion of 1492 and Portugal 1497 - and trickles of Anusim, former converts, in the centuries after - They were welcomed by the two local Jewish communities:

Romaniot and Ashkenazim.
Oct 25, 2021 10 tweets 6 min read
An interesting find in a heirloom book...

Thread 👇for #Judaica lovers...

This book, Responsa by Rabbi Yosef Colon, known as Maharik, (Sadiklov 1834) belonged to my Great-great-grandfather, Rabbi Nathan Gurary of Kremenchuk, Ukraine... Confiscated in 1920' with his huge library when the communist regime nationalized his tobacco factory - it ended up in a flea market in Odessa, when his son in law, my Great-grandfather Rabbi Eliezer Karassik saw it en route to Istanbul...
Sep 17, 2021 13 tweets 7 min read
The Mikve (Ritual Immersion Bath) at Bet Yisrael synagogue in İstanbul

Thread👇 It is customary for men to immerse in a Mikve before Yom Kippur - for lack of time on the eve of Yom Kippur - here is a little bit about Mikve's of Turkey...

When we visited Kilis on the #TurkeyJewishRoadtrip at Mehmet and Büşra's house we were told about the Mikve in the Hamam:
Aug 9, 2021 8 tweets 4 min read
Night 15 of #TurkeyJewishRoadtrip:


I usually share a day post, but meeting with Metropolitan Gregorios Melki ÜREK of Adıyaman and conversing with him in Aramaic, deserves a special thread... Metropolitan Gregorios looks over a small, dwindling community in the Adıyaman area - a community that is native to this region, as he explains "We are Arameans, we are from this region, so we speak, write and read in Aramaic. This is our home".
Aug 9, 2021 6 tweets 2 min read
Day 15 of #TurkeyJewishRoadtrip:


Did you know that Kayseri, aka Mazaka,
the capital of the Kingdom of Cappadocia, was in antiquity home to a very significant Jewish community? The Talmud, discussing the laws of mourning over great tragedies, writes that King "Shavor Malka" killed in Mezget Kayseri 12 thousand Jews! But never the less, Shmuel, one of the great sages and confidant of Shapur did not mourn upon hearing the news!
Aug 8, 2021 17 tweets 7 min read
Day 14 of #TurkeyJewishRoadtrip:


Did you know that the Jews of #Cappadocia have an ever lasting impression on every Jewish home celebrating #Shabbat?

Rosh Hodesh Tov 😂

(enjoy the beautiful scenery while you read...) Image You see, some Jewish communities of Anatolia left their mark etched in stone. Some left significant buildings, cemeteries, books (we will talk about that too), but some were so significant that the Talmudic scholars have enhanced Jewish law to accommodate their specific needs! Image
Aug 7, 2021 13 tweets 5 min read
Day 13 of #TurkeyJewishRoadtrip:

Relaxed Shabbat...

After an intense week Chaim and I had a relaxing Shabbat... We prayed, ate, relaxed, but mostly read books... What books did we take on this trip? Image A rabbi's day starts with the morning prayers... for this one needs a prayer book... ImageImageImage
Aug 4, 2021 10 tweets 5 min read
Day 10 of #TurkeyJewishRoadtrip:

Gelibolu and Thrace

Driving through the Gallipoli Peninsula - I am thinking about the words that allegedly Atatürk said in 1934: "Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives ... You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours ..."
Aug 3, 2021 18 tweets 9 min read
Day 9 of #TurkeyJewishRoadtrip:

Ayvalık/Troy/Çanakkale/Dardanelles Strait

Waking tp to the view of the Agean sea and #Cunda was quite amazing - not to say pretty relaxing... We are going to Çanakkale! Last night me and Chaim were walking in Ayvalık - a coffee shop owner noticing the Kipah on Chaim's head walks over:

- "Are you guys Jewish by any chance?" - "Of course!" we say.
- "Let's have coffee, its on me. Last year I got stuck in Israel for 8 months during the pandemic."
Aug 2, 2021 10 tweets 7 min read
Day 8 of #TurkeyJewishRoadtrip:

Bergama (Pergamon)

Guess who rebuilt this beautiful synagogue of #Bergama? Image This is of course the beautiful synagogue of Bergama... Just a few years ago it was used as a barn, after most Jews have left the city.

While my friend Selim Ozturk was arranging the synagogue to open, @ChaimChitrik and I went up the acropolis to see the ruins of #Pergamon Image
Aug 1, 2021 27 tweets 15 min read
Day 7 of #TurkeyJewishRoadtrip:

Ephesus, Priene, Milas.

Most people heard of Ashkenazi, Sefardi or Mizrahi Jews. Not many heard of Romaniote Jews: Image Roughly translated as Jews of the Roman/Byzantine Empire - the Romaniote community preceded the Ashkenazim (est. 1250) and Sefardim (est. 1492).

Romaniote Jews lived, for thousands of years, in Asia minor - Anatolia - some Jews in Izmir and Istanbul are their descendents.
Jul 27, 2021 14 tweets 10 min read
Day 2 of #TurkeyJewishRoadtrip:

On the road from Bursa to Çeşme

While on road lets talk😊

Did you know that #Turkey is an important source of #Kosher food? Hundreds of manufacturers all over the country produce anything from raw material to ready to eat products. By the way: Kosher food does not mean food that is blessed by a rabbi!

Rather it is food that has been prepared according to Jewish law - there are no mixtures of meat/milk, it is insect free, meat or chicken have to be prepared properly according to Jewish law and more...
Jul 26, 2021 18 tweets 9 min read
Day 1 of #TurkeyJewishRoadtrip:


"Every day one should work so that Judaism should thrive - and it will" says in a mixture of #Ladino and Turkish Mr. Leon Elnekave - the head of the 60 strong Jewish community of #Bursa... Leon bey looks over the Geruş or Expulsion synagogue - named after the various Jews expelled to Bursa - first by the byzantines and later by the Sefardi Jews who arrived from Spain in 1492... Image
Jul 26, 2021 4 tweets 4 min read
Turkey Road Trip 2021:

Join me here for the next three weeks for a daily thread of #Jewish Heritage sites in #Turkey as we, inşallah, explore and discuss #History, customs, ancestry, origins and Jewish life in Turkey! #coexistance

#TurkeyJewishRoadtrip Image We will also visit #Kosher food manufacturers on behalf of @DenetGida for the @tyahuditoplumu and the @OrthodoxUnion - we will visit ancient #synagogues and archeological sites

Follow me here for regular updates and recommend others too 😊

@TCKulturTurizm #diversity Image
Jul 22, 2021 71 tweets 26 min read
Finally, after 2 years, we were able to spend some time with my Zeide, Chief Moshe Lieberman of Antwerp... Ill share here some insights here in the coming days... Image Zeide is a great scholar, just look at these much used books at his home office... Image