The Kehilla has maintained a section in a cemetery in Clifton, N.J. almost since its inception. Jews who arrived in the United States during and after the war were encouraged to join burial societies to ensure themselves a plot for their hereafter. But those that belonged to an organized community such as our Kehilla were already covered.   This week […]

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Two important minhagim to quickly mention. Before the start of Shemoneh Esrei (the silent Amidah prayer) an appointed member of the synagogue committee will announce either “Ya’aleh Veyavo” if it is the frist day of Rosh Chodesh (in a two day situation) and “Rosh Chodesh” on the second day, or if there is only one […]

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In the early days of the fax machine my father was asked to receive a fax of a sheiloh (halakhic querry) to Rav Schwab Zt’L from Rabbi Snieders of the IRG Shul in Basel. The question being wether to follow the nekudos (annotated pronunciation) of the Roedelheim Machzor which has the gramatically preferable “Zochreinu LaChaim”, […]

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  The year was 1981 and the Torah world was preparing to stand and recite the Bircas Hachamah- the blessing on the sun that can be recited only once in 28 years, when the sun arrives at the point it was hung during creation on a Wednesday morning.   Rav Schwab penned an article for the […]

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When I was a young Yeshiva student and beginning to learn Torah earnestly, a friend of mine approached me and showed me something devastating in a sefer. The book was quoting the words of the Sifsei Kohen (or “The Shach”, 1621-1662) in Yoreh Deah (91) that states “one must wait 6 hours after eating meat […]

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Sorry for the delay. One of the previous posts has sent me on a journey. The post citing the relationship between YU and Breuer’s in polemics piqued my interest in the contentious times that were the 80s, when the Agudah convention drew crowds of Yeshiva bochurim alongside the Balabatim and conflict between brands of Orthodoxy […]

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I recently encountered an article by the late Jonah Frankel, an authority on piyut who is known for editing some volumes of the “Goldschmidt Machzor”.  The article was written over a decade ago on the occasion of 200 years since the publishing of the Heidenheim siddur. The article points out the lack of attention scholars […]

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The German Jewish community of Washington Heights recites the Bircas Hatorah each morning at the juncture between the bracha “Mekadesh es Shimcha Barabim” and the beginning of the recital of korbanos. This is at odds with the minhag recorded in the standard Roedelheim siddur. In the essay linked here I have suggested (this was written […]

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This past week  Jews the world over sat down to the traditional Shavuot-night learning.  Some traditionally say the “Tikkun” a prescribed booklet for the occasion. Others sit down with their Daf Yomi groups or with a friend.   In Washington Heights there is a third activity to be found at the “lernin”. The activity of […]

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Blog Entry The “skinny” on our Sefira Minhag This article is not being written based on research, but is being written to convey our minhag as espoused in Washington Heights, with some verbal tradition that I have picked up when learning among the community members in the Beis Hamedrash over the years. Our sefira minhag […]

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