A Rosh Hashanah prayer book incorporating the liturgy and customs of some Brazilian Jews has been published.
The machzor created for Sephardic Jews living in northern Brazil’s Amazon region also will benefit other Portuguese-speaking Sephardic communities as well as the Bnai Anousim, those whose ancestors were compelled to convert to Catholicism at the time of the Inquisition and are known as Marranos throughout Brazil and Portugal.
Ner Rosh Hashanah, prepared and edited by Rabbi Moyses Elmescany and Cantor David Salgado, includes the traditional Hebrew text of the Jewish New Year prayer services with a transliteration and translation into Portuguese.
“Brazil’s Jews of the Amazon are still using the same rite and following the same customs as they were practiced in Morocco in the 19th century,” said Salgado, who moved to Israel from northern Brazil with his wife and children.
The prayer book was published primarily for use by the Jewish communities of Belem and Manaus in Brazil, which have 450 families and 220 families, respectively. It was published with the support of Shavei Israel, a Jerusalem-based group that assists small Jewish communities as well as “lost Jews” seeking a return to the Jewish people.