פרסומי ניסא – Publicizing the Miracle(s)

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11 Responses

  1. Shades of Gray says:

    “One of the highlights of Chanukah in Washington Heights is… the singing of Maoz Tzur by the KAJ choir between Mincha and Maariv… Every move and every note is performed precisely as was done in Frankfurt, where the congregation originated…The liturgy and tunes employed by each community affect one’s emotional response to the High Holidays and constitute the Mesorah of the Nefesh.”

    An interesting irony is that “the Maoz Tzur tune that is by now considered to be “traditional” in most parts of the Jewish world, is an adaptation of a German folk song”(chazzanut.com). As R. Adlerstein explained in “Lipa, Lead Belly, and Adar”(3/08), “I see no reason to stop singing Mishenichnas Adar, or the Protestant hymn we know as Maoz Tzur. I believe they serve as cultural examples of עמון ומואב שטהרו בסיחון. “

  2. Ben Waxman says:

    If we preserved all of our minhagim the way Yekkim preserve those in Tefilla, the yeshiva world would 10% (or some much smaller number) of its current size. How many of us would be eating glatt meat? Plus even the Yekkim have changed minhagim. They recite Kabbalat Shabbat, amongst many other changes.

  3. Brooklyn refugee sheygitz says:

    By the time of WWII most of the austritt community in Frankfurt was no longer religious. All that austritt meant to them was that they would not pray in the same synagogue as the ostjuden.

    I hear the point of your article but there is certainly a lot of historical hyperbole in it.

  4. Nachum says:

    Unfortunately, this comes at the price of exclusivity. I’ve davened at KAJ a few times and felt like I could simply not “join in” with the tefillot.

    (The nusach and mood are quite different than those of Eastern European/most American shuls. It can be hard to adjust to. I feel the same way when I daven at Sephardic minyanim. It is a function of what one is used to. – AG)

  5. dr. bill says:

    The German community values traditional behavior wrt to various items but changes ( sometimes radically ) wrt to others. They have modified their Torah im Derech Eretz stance substantially consistent with their shift to the right, have modified their anti- Israel/Zionism stance, etc. The claim by R. Shimon Schwab that he represented the true views of RSRH were decisively debunked by Prof. Katz as far back as the 1930’s and Prof. Leiman half a century later. I believe these changes matter more than synagogue service minhagim.

  6. Sarah Elias says:

    As a proud member of the Israelitische Religionsgesellschaft Zürich, also known as Kehal Adas Jeshurun, also an offshoot of the original KAJ of Frankfurt, I was glad to read this article and to listen to the candlelighting at KAJ Washington Heights.

    I would just add that in our kehilla, the baal tefillah in the beis knesses is required to daven with the yekkishe prounuciation (ow, not oy or oh) and there is a goodly number of kehilla members whose everyday pronunciation in lashon kodesh is yekkish. Leining is done in the yekkishe trop… and all announcements are made in German, naturally. We and our sister congregation in Basel probably sound the most like our Frankfurter mother kehilla.

    (I am far from a scholar of German-Jewish customs, but I believe that “oh” is how the Cholam was pronounced in Frankfurt, as explained by R. Hamburger in Shoroshei Minhagei Ashkenaz. He explains that “au” was used in other German communities, as far as I recall. – AG)

  7. David says:

    I think it’s a case of everyone to his own.

    I also remember with fondness the Hadlokas Neiros at Munk’s (aka Golders Green Beth Hamedrash) together with the recitation of Mizmor Shir Chanukas Habayis LeDovid after Hadloko.

    It’s difficult to re-kindle (excuse the pun) those memories, but I have been attending Ohel Moshe on Kings Road in Manchester, where they said Yotzros on Shabbos Chanukah with gusto (no, not the name of the Chazzan), with the highlight being the special tune for Shabbos Chanukah for the Me’orah (said before Ohr Chodosh), listen at http://www.kayj.net/nusach-internal/mm/25830.mp3.

  8. Bob Miller says:

    “(I am far from a scholar of German-Jewish customs, but I believe that “oh” is how the Cholam was pronounced in Frankfurt, as explained by R. Hamburger in Shoroshei Minhagei Ashkenaz. He explains that “au” was used in other German communities, as far as I recall. – AG)”

    R. Hamburger wrote that “oh” was the original Frankfurt pronunciation (and the correct one), and that “au” was imported from northern Germany (Rav Hirsch ZT”L used “au”, as he was from from Hamburg, so his kehilla followed his practice).

  9. Steve Brizel says:

    R Gordimer once again hits the nail on the head. For those of us who live in the US, unless you daven in a kehilah like KAJ, the best alternative is when I walk down my block on the way home and see so many menoras in the windows.

  10. Yossie Nemes says:

    Yasher Koach for this, very warm, very personal. Makes me want to visit KAJ for a Mincha-Maariv,

  11. L. Oberstein says:

    If you come from that kehilla , I am sure it is nostalgic. A few men tried very hard to establish a kehilas Ashkenaz in Baltimore but they had to give up. First of all, not all German origin Jews daven the nusach and tunes of KAJ. Our venerable Congregation Shearith Israel which has been in existence since the 1850’s had a different set of tunes. Even today, under Rav Yaakov Hopfer, we still sing several of these ,when we take out and return the Torahs and for Yigdal. If we had stuck to the old ways, we would have an empty museum instead of a living shul. For some reason, which I am sure you can explain, unlike Chassidim, most second generation German jews who went to lakewood,etc. have no desire or interst in davening like KAJ. The whole ambiance is gone from the next generation. Not only that, but they all will tell you that Rabbiner Hirsch would be against Torah Im Derech Eretz if he were alive today.Why have the Satmar produced doros and the Yekkes not?

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