Orient trif Okzident. Sephardische Autoren begegnen aschkenasischen Juden

Elvira Grözinger

In this paper, I am going to present three contemporary Sephardi authors and their encounter with the Ashkenazi Jews: Marcel Bénabou (born in 1939 in Meknès, Morocco, living and writing in France), Andre Aciman (born 1951 in Alexandria, Egypt, living and writing in the USA), and Mario Levi (born 1957 in Istanbul, Turkey, still living there). The three have writen memoirs of their childhood, youth, and about the lives of their Jewish ancestors (…). The wanderings of Ashkenazi Jews from one country to another in order to escape the historical upheavals, have made them immigrate into France, the USA, and also into the Orient where they met their Sephardi coreligionists, so far total strangers for them. The Ashkenazi Jews from Europe, mostly speaking Yiddish, had thus experienced a similar destiny to the one of their Sephardi brothers and sisters, with their Spanish-Jewish culture. When many of them found shelter in the Jewish quarters in the oriental countries so far populated mainly by Sephardi Jews, the descendants of the Jews once expelled from the Iiberian Peninsula, they discovered a new world. These two hitherto considered as di?erent and strange societies, languages and values of the Jews from Orient and Occident, thus came closer to one another within the families and made them into companions in fate.