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Learning Tamei Mikra for Torah readings



Tamei Mikra (Torah cantillation notes) is one of the basic necessities for Jewish education; it helps the person how read the Torah according to the tunes. Tamei Mikra is marked that appears in printed books of the Torah (The first five Books of the Hebrew Bible) that tell you how to chant the verses when read publicly in the Beit Knesset (Synagogue). These notes or tunes indicate how the words of the verse should be sung, with each sign having its own distinctive melody.

There are various cantillation tunes in Torah according to the Minhagim (customs), for example, there is Ashkenazic cantillation, Sephardic, Moroccan, Yemenite, Yerushalmi, etc.

In Sderot the Bnei Menashe Community prepare their children from age 5, to read the Torah cantillation according to the Yerushalmi minhag. Children are taught how to chant these notes when they are learning for bar mitzvah (a Jewish religious ritual and celebration when a Jewish boy turns 13, he has the religious obligations of Jewish adulthood, including the commandments of the Torah). However, the Torah scroll has no vowel marks and no cantillation marks, so all word pronunciations and their associated notes must be memorized.

The children come to attend the class twice a week. After the class, each child receives sweets and various gifts from their Melamed (teacher), Rabbi Tzuriel Baidani Shlita, who studied in Kollel Minkhat Yehudah, a long-time study partner (Khevruta) of Rabbi David Lhungdim, the Bnei Menashe Community Rabbi in Sderot.

It should be noted that the community began this project in 2015 and is still functioning today in order to lift the children spiritually, apart from Torah cantillation the children also learned Musar and enjoy stories of Tzaddikim from their Melamed.

Thanks to Rabbi Menakhem Gamliel Shlita Rosh Kollel Minkhat Yehuda, who give encouragement to Rabbi David to take care of the community with his advice and encouragement one can come and see and enjoy the children of Benei Menashe today in Sderot reading the Torah cantillation according to the Yerushalmi tunes.

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