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Who now is Leviy? Part 7 – The Gypsies?

Posted by Stephen Pidgeon on Monday, November 10, 2014 at 12:20 PM

The following information is taken from the website http://www.imninalu.net/Gypsies.htm.

The term “Gypsy” is commonly used as designation for the people whose correct ethnic name is Roma. However, the same word is employed also to indicate different non-Roma groups whose lifestyle is apparently similar; like some “Travelers” and other itinerant people. They are distinct groups.

The Roma are a well-defined ethnic community, composed by groups and sub-groups having a common origin and common cultural patterns ? that in many cases have been modified or adapted, according to the land of sojourn and other circumstances along history. There is a common Romany Law. The language and the degree of observance of the “Zakono” (the Romany Law) are essential for the largest group of Roma worldwide. Taking account of the geographic areas and the population, there are three main blocks and some autonomous groups that cannot be included in any of them:

1. Eastern Roma, mainly represented (by number and geographic distribution) by Kalderaš/Curari/Lovari-related groups;

2. Central European Roma: Sinti and Romanichel families;

3. Calé (Spanish and Portuguese Roma).

There are other groups of Roma as well: Khoraxané, Boyaš, Carpathian Roma, Kaale, Southern-Italian Roma, Balkan Roma, Greek Roma, Armenian Lom, etc. This first general classification refers to European Roma, who are the overwhelming majority (the communities in the American Continent and some other areas of the world descend from European Roma).

Romany ethnic names are derived within the regions of the Caucasus and Eastern Anatolia, where Roma sojourned before reaching Europe through at least two ways ? one crossing the Bosphorus and the other going north across the Volga-Don Basin into Russia.  The Roma were viewed by the locals in association with the Magi, and were often referred to as “Kaldu” or “Kalyb” (“Chaldean”, original nation of the Middle East Magi).  These terms were applied to them by non-Roma people, however.

The Ruska Roma are an endogamic group who keep the Romany Law. They are the main representatives of the Romany culture in Russia, with many families of famous artists, musicians, dancers, and having established their own folk style and artistic patterns. Horse trading is another of their ancestral professions. A distinctive characteristic of this group, which is unique among Roma, is that joining the army is not unusual among them, a tradition that they keep from the past, when ethnic Romany men were found among the Cossacks.

Sinti / Manuš Group

The “Germanic Roma” are also known as the “Sinti.” They call their language “Romanes” and apply the ethnonym “Sinti” to all Roma. Sinti are a Roma group, not a different people. Their original ethnonym was “Manuš” (which is still the denomination of French Sinti, “Manouches”), a term that in Romany means "human being" ? even more general than "rom.″

The Sinti sub-groups are defined by historic-geographic areas:

Gáckane, also called Teyc, are the Sinti of Germany, who are present also in all the neighboring countries and in Italy. Their élite is represented by the Eftavagarya (the ″Seven Caravans″), the largest family clan, usually having by surname Reinhardt, to which belong outstanding musicians and artists.

Estraxarya (from “Éstraxa”, Österreich), are the Sinti inhabitants of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, still present in the same historic territories, namely Austria, Northern Italy, Czech, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Transylvania and Western Ukraine.

Lalere: The Czech Sinti were almost completely exterminated in the concentration camps during WWII, the few remaining moved to Germany after the war ended.

Válštike, better known as Manuš or Manouches, are the Sinti of France, actually an offshoot of the Gáckane, that settled in France. They are also great musicians, so that the Gypsy Jazz is also known as Jazz Manouche.

Piamontákeri are the Sinti of Northwestern Italy, who have developed their own identity as a Sinti sub-group, and are important keepers of the Old Piedmontese dialect, that is always less spoken by their native Italian speakers. In compensation, they have almost lost their own Sinti-Romany dialect. They are also present in Provence.

Sinti Lombardi and Veneti: An offshoot of the Estraxarya, the Sinti of North-Eastern Italy that once were under Austrian rule, have developed a separate identity and their dialect has adopted a Northern-Italian structure, so that it is not easy to be understood reciprocally with the other Sinti.

The Roma / Sinti Zakono (law) is summarized by several researchers.  The following roster of the laws followed by the people known as Roman or Sinti, is taken from the website address: http://dnaconsultants.com/_blog/DNA_Consultants_Blog/post/Do_You_Have_Gypsy_Matches/

Customs and Beliefs of the Roma and Sinti

Strict monotheism similar to Jews

Keeping the seventh day holy

Lighting candles on the evening of Parashat (Friday)

Blasphemy a sin, as is cursing an elder

Beng (Satan) the enemy of God and of the Roma people

The Evil One called bivuzhó (impure) and bilashó

Code of Law

No social classes, only a division into Roma and Gadje (non-Roma)

A court of justice called Kris (Judiciary Council), composed of clan representatives as judges

Both men and women serving on Kris

Issues between Roma to be judged only by the Kris, not by Gadje

All Roma equal before the eyes of the Kris

Belief in blood revenge and compensatory payment for clan of victim

Banishment from territory of victim’s clan for wrong doing

Forfeiture of protection if banished offender reenters

Roma not even to acknowledge or greet one who is banished

Accursed or banished called mahrimé (impure)

Roma not to ask interest for loans to other Roma, only from Gadje

Sexuality, Marriage and Childbirth

Nudity is taboo, allowed only with a husband and wife

Showing naked legs before an elder disrespectful

Homosexuality an abomination

Not allowed to wear clothes of the opposite sex, even as a joke or disguise

Virginity before marriage essential

Tokens of virginity shown to the assembly after wedding

Prostitution strongly condemned

Incest taboo, defined in the same way as Mosaic law (including step-siblings and in-laws)

Permissible to marry your cousin

Members of the Kris must be married

Lack of a spouse makes a man or woman incomplete

Groom’s family pays dowry to the bride’s family

Dowry for a widow amounts to half that for a virgin

A man dishonoring a woman should pay the dowry to her family anyway

Runaway couples considered legitimately married

Marriage endogamic, even within the same clan

Clan recognized by a common ancestor within a few generations

Divorce admitted:  husband sends wife out or she leaves

Remarriage expected after divorce

Levirate law practiced (Deut. 25:5-6)

Devariym 25:5-6

If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her. 6 And it shall be, that the firstborn which she bears shall succeed in the name of his brother which is dead, that his name be not put out of Israel.

Childbirth impure, must take place outside the home

Mother giving birth isolated with baby for seven days strictly, followed by 33 days of less strict isolation (cf. Lev. 12:2, 4-5)

Vayiqra 12:2-5

Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean. 3 And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. 4 And she shall then continue in the blood of her purifying three and thirty days; she shall touch no hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying be fulfilled. 5 But if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her separation: and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying threescore and six days.

New mother cannot show herself in public or attend religious services

Funeral and Mourning Rituals

Dead to be buried intact (autopsy or cremation sacrilegious)

Close relatives of the dead impure for seven days

Not to touch a dead body

Family and relatives of deceased forbidden to bathe, comb their hair, cut their nails for three days

On third day after a death, relative must wash thoroughly, and then not again until seventh day

All food in house where a person died is thrown away as defiled

On third day after a death, the house is purified (“the ashes of the burning of the sin”) and a virgin sprinkles running water

The same ceremony repeated on the seventh day after a death, with food brought to the mourners from another dwelling place

Mourners stay at home

Sitting on low stools

Covering mirrors

Not using oils or perfumes or cosmetics

Not wearing new clothes

Not listening to loud music

Not painting, cooking, and cannot greet people

Day mourning extended after seventh day remembrance ceremony until thirtieth day

Another remembrance ceremony on thirtieth day, closing the strict mourning period

Beliefs in Afterlife

Death is final, no reincarnation or return

Soul goes to Paradise or Hell

Purity and Impurity

Concept of marimé (similar to kashrut)

Lower body and things associated with it impure

Sleeping regarded as an impure state

Not to greet anyone upon waking until washed

Disrespectful to greet anyone in an impure state

Dogs and cats impure

Horses, donkeys or riding animal impure

Carnivorous animals impure

Avoidance of horseflesh

Shoes, pants, hose, skirts, trousers, etc. impure

The camp pure

Restrooms built outside the home

Clothes for the lower body and menstruating women washed separately

Dishes washed in a different place from clothes

Other Practices

Custom of mangel, asking for favors from Gadje (Goyim or Gentiles)

Painting doorposts of dwelling with animal blood to protect against angel of death

Invoking the Prophet Elijah, particularly when seeing lightening or hearing thunder

Firstborn son considered a special blessing to the family

Wearing of whiskers

Left hand related to the public domain (Gadje), impure

Separate dishes and cups for Gadje

Only eating ritually slaughtered animals (Kosher)

Slander considered very a very serious offense, worth taking to Kris

Lack of belief in divination (contrary to general view of Gypsies)

Practice of Tarot cards and crystal balls for Gadje only

Having a Gypsy name besides a civil name

Names that are Hebrew, Greek, Russian, Spanish, Hungarian, Persian, never Indian or Hindu

Beef a favorite food

Interest in bullfighting

Middle Eastern music and dance with zithers, etc. (Flamenco in Spain)

Fingernails and toenails filed with an emery board, not a clipper

Going to a church called Filadelfia (Brotherhood)

http://dnaconsultants.com/_blog/DNA_Consultants_Blog/post/Do_You_Have_Gypsy_Matches/#sthash.iob2Udeb.dpuf

One constant among the Roma and the Sinti is the perpetual lack of inheritance in the land, and yet they maintain the inheritance of the sacrifice of praise.  Are they not the Leviyim?

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