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Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel in visit to Gibraltar

The world’s most senior spiritual leader for Sephardi Jews, the Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef, was in Gibraltar this week to visit the Rock’s Jewish community.

The visit coincided with the completion of a seven and a half year learning cycle of the Talmud, which has been completed by a number of members of the Community.

Each day during the cycle participants study a page of the Talmud, an ancient text of Jewish sayings, ideas and stories written in Aramaic and dating back thousands of years.

Rabbi Yosef visited Jewish community institutions and paid courtesy calls on the acting Governor and the Chief Minister.

His visit culminated with a celebration dinner held at the Europa Special Olympics Hall, attended by large members of the local Jewish community and Jewish communities of the surrounding area.

The Chief Rabbi left Gibraltar on Thursday and his visit was kept low-profile until after his departure for security reasons.

Similar events marking the end of the Talmud reading cycle have taken place in London, New York, Jerusalem and many other parts of the world.

The Talmud includes the Mishnah, which means oral law, and the Gemara, or completion.

The Mishnah is a large collection of sayings, arguments and counter-arguments that touch on virtually all areas of life.

The Gemara is known as a 'sea' of learning, a collection of stories about biblical characters, sober legal arguments and descriptions of the world of old and the world to come.