This is where I hope we can exchange important information and thoughts regarding minhag, Jewish thought and German Jewish history. These are all topics that I enjoy and have had some exposure to. There are some excellent sites in the Frum blogosphere that handle these subjects with very capable academic authorship. I don’t have much […]

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The year was 1981,  Rabbi Professor Leo Levi was an accomplished scientist in the area of physics. More specifically he had published and lectured in the field of applied-optics.  Rabbi Levi, was also a musmach of Rav Hutner and a former member of the kolel Gur Aryeh at Yeshiva Chaim Berlin. He also was a […]

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I have recently shared a group of recordings with the family of our recently departed Chazan Kenner z’l. Besides for his appearance in several videos here and on the YouTube channel, I am sharing a few recordings of note. he can also be heard on one of the posts on this site of the “Songbook […]

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Here is a memory from my days in elementary school in the mid-eighties. Rabbi Avi Weiss had just returned from Poland, where he bravely protested the opening of a monastery on the grounds of Auschwitz, which is essentially the largest Jewish graveyard in the entire world. The school called an assembly and Rabbi Weiss was […]

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Transcribed from a lecture by Rabbi Benyamin S. Hamburger Shlita on Chol Hamoed 5778. Video here. Please excuse that this is written in the flow of a spoken lecture and not as an essay or even a blog post.   In the study of minhag we need to be discerning. For example, the minhag of […]

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Here are two recordings in my possession one is a cassette recorded many years ago by the Leo Baeck Institute of Cantor Erwin Hirsch of the  Congregation “Habonim” (Conservative), As the institute does not have any record of this recording in their catalog both digital and physical I present it here for preservation. Songs include: […]

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Rav Hirsch wrote his first work under the pen name “Ben Uziel”. In the leaf preceding the work he quoted the Talmud megilah 3a “ But You know very well that I did it not for my own honor, nor for the honor of my father’s house, but rather I did it for Your Honor, […]

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I recently came into posession of several records of German Chazonim. Cantor Binyamin Z. Barsilai in record above. A Cantor Shlomo Barzilai officiated at the Great Synagogue in Vienna. Today his son  Shmuel Barzilai has this position. The record does not identify where this chazan prayed. Click here for a record that seems to have […]

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Before this Yom Tov passes I want to share a “shtikel Torah”. That is not the standard for this Torah blog, but I don’t have confidence that my yeshivah styled derech halimud would qualify my Aschkenaz oriented pieces to the pages of the revered Torah journal that is devoted to this (Yerushaseinu). So, part of […]

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  The Shofar is blown during the repetition of the Amidah. There are several opinions mentioned in the rishonim as to just what to blow.   The source for this practice is the Talmud hRosh Hashana 17a. “Say before Me (G-d) the malcios, zichronos and shofaros on Rosh  Hashana…MAlchios, to make Me your King, Zichronos […]

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  A quick thought that I once had. Rav Hirsch in his commentary to the 24th Psalm, explains the repetition and nuance of the last few verses: Seu She’arim Rasheichem – Let the gates lift their heads Vehinasu  Pischei olam– Let the portals of the world be raised up Veyavo Melech Hakovod– and the Glorious […]

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