Asian Jewish Life - A Journal of Spirit, Society and Culture

Five Star Refuge
A Week at The Pen
by Erica Lyons

The lobby of Hong Kong’s Peninsula Hotel (or “The Pen” as it is often fondly referred to as) suggests the height of colonial elegance, framed by gilded columns with its marble flooring and high ceilings complete with ornately carved scenes. As the string quartet hums from the grand balcony above, over shiny silver threetier stands of high-tea treats, with its grandeur and elegance, it is difficult to imagine that the Peninsula Hotel was once a temporary shelter for post-World War II Jewish refugees. [...] [read online...]

Manila Memories
History of the Jews in the Philippines
by Bonnie M. Harris, Ph.D.

In the late 15th and early 16th centuries, Portuguese vessels carried Sephardic Jewish merchants for the first time down the West Coast of Africa, around the hornand up the East Coast, and the across the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean to India, China, the Spice Islands of Indochina, and to the as yet unnamed islands of the Philippines. These Crypto-Jewish merchants escaped the persecutions of their time by migrating ubiquitously from the Iberian Peninsula to commercial ports scattered throughout the world. [...] [read online...]

Feeding the World with Jewish Wisdom
A look at American Jewish World Service
by Erica Lyons

There seems to be an implicit understanding that our planet is divided into two entirely separate worlds, there is an ‘us’ and a ‘them’. The third world is the ‘them’, which we can tune > out, address or not address, engage with or ignore. But Ruth Messinger, CEO/President of American Jewish World Service (AJWS), an international development organization motivated by Judaism’s imperative to pursue justice, does not divide the world in that way. As she explains, as Jews we simply can’t do this. “Jewish texts are very clear about this. Jews have a clear obligation to work towards global justice, to help both Jews and non-Jews.   […] [read online...]

A Musical Journey to Andhra Pradesh
Understanding the Bnei Ephraim
by Irene Orleansky

I have always been fascinated by the story of the lost tribes and wished to contribute to their return to Zion. Being neither an anthropologist nor a politician, I decided to go about it using my own talent, music. That is how in January of 2012, equipped with a small mobile studio, I came to start my journey through Africa and Asia to record a CD of music of the lost tribes. After visiting the African Hebrew communities in Ghana, Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia and then Kaifeng, China my next destination was India.

After visiting and recording the music of the communities of 
[…] [read online...]

Biblical Influences in Chinese Literature

by Tiberiu Weisz

What bound Judaism and China into a seemingly yin and yang cultural relationship? The more I research these two cultures, the more they seemed to revolve around the perpetual changes created by yin and yang. Initially, I thought that the key might lie in mastering the Chinese language. But, once I felt proficient in Chinese (I was already proficient in Hebrew) I realized that even the two languages were following the yin yang pattern. Both languages are built on a similar system, the root words. Hebrew uses three letters for the “root” called shoresh, while Chinese uses 214 basic “radicals” called bushou. But the similarities in terms of language end here.

In Hebrew we form words by adding
[…] [read online...]

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Asian Jewish Life shares regional Jewish thoughts, ideas and culture and promote unity. It also celebrates our individuality and our diverse backgrounds and customs.

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