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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Sephardic Heritage Trip to Spain 2014/5774: Day 2

We started off the second day of our Spain trip with the best breakfast Flatbush has ever offered. It didn't matter that we all got seven hours of sleep the night before because as we boarded the bus for our 4 hour bus ride everyone slowly dozed off. When we awoke we arrived at the ruins of the "medinat azahara" palace. We first watched an introductory video that showed us how the Umayyad palace looked over 1000 years ago. We then walked through the palace remains. Without a doubt, this was a breathtaking piece of architecture.
Statue of Maimonides in Cordova, Spain
Next we drove to the city of Cordova where we walked through the same gates hundreds of Jews walked through many years earlier. Amongst these Jews was the well respected walked through the same streets as  Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimon or Maimonides. While walking these culturally rich streets we all stopped by the Rambam's statue. It was here where Rabbi Beyda gave a very meaningful speech about how great of a person the Rambam was and how helpful he proved to be to the Jews, not only during his time but during ours too. We spoke about his many written works and the impact it had on past, present and future generations. Rabbi Beyda read an actual letter the Rambam wrote to his translator describing the demanding daily schedule and the difficulty of incorporating his prestigious medical profession with his rewarding Judaic work. After the presentation, in commemoration of the Rambam each student read one of his 13 established philosophical principles of the Jewish life "ani maamin be-Emunah shelemah..." Afterwards we had an opportunity to walk through actual Spanish shops to buy ourselves souvenirs. Special thanks to our tour guide, Moses, for traveling so many hours to get back the food we left in our hotel last night. Today was amazing, and we can't wait to see what else Spain has to offer! ~Fortune Mosseri