Ok, I know that many of you are sick of the videos that I am putting up here but bear with me, this one is actually worth watching (at least thats what I think and dont tell me if you disagree!!!)
So as I discussed in my previous blog posting, we went to the synagogue for the remaining Ethiopians hoping to make Aliyah in order to celebrate Chanukah with them. Despite all the other differences between this synagogue and those that I am used to at home, I was most taken aback by the way that davening is lead. Instead of everyone praying from a siddur (which would be impossible considering that most of the community can’t read Hebrew and even if they could there are only enough sidurim for about 1/50th of the community) they pray by repeating after the Rabbi. I dont mean that the rabbi says an entire prayer and they repeat it, or that they just respond with Amen, I mean that the Rabbi will say one word of the prayer in hebrew and they repeat that word, over and over again until the prayers conclusion. Watch the video for a better illustration of what I mean.
Also, it should be noted that the Rabbi is an Ethiopian man who made Aliyah to Israel many years ago and is back for a few weeks to act as the leader of the congregation. Apparently (from what I understood using my limited Hebrew skills), there is a rotation of Rabbis that come from Israel to lead the congregation.