Friday, September 21, 2018

Kenes in Bene Brak, 5th day chol moed

בית הכנסת כמנהג אשכנז
רחוב הרב בן יעקב 25 ב"ב

ביום חמישי י"ח תשרי
ידרוש בין מנחה למעריב
מורנו הרב בנימין שלמה המבורגר שליט"א
זמני התפלות
מנחה                       6:00
מעריב                      7:15
לאחר מעריב זמירות לכבוד המועד

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Yom Kippur Yekke Style

I had the privledge of enjoying a yekke Yom Kippur this year. This means start at neitz and go without stopping to neilah, at least this yekke minyan does it that way. It's quite a haul. Most of us had white tallisim and white kaepchens, that is, a head covering that looks like the Litvish yarmulka that R' Moshe Feinstein wore, only white.

There are lots of piyutim and the melodies are major key with a sort of bounce to them, lending cavod and grandeur to the occasion.

We used Rabbi Aumann's minhag Ashkenaz Machzor and he lead most of the davening. It's not often one can daven with the author of a mazchor.

My favorite part is the end, not because it's the end, but when the Yekkes do Hashem Hu HaElokim, it's disciplined, in unison, with a consistent melody that gets louder but is never out of control.

Duchaning also has special melodies, again with a bounce to them, major key, and uplifting, and responsive with the Chazan who not only tells the Cohanim the words of the bracha but sings it to them and the Cohanim sing back. This responsive exhange is common in Ashkenaz davening, such as on Friday night when the verses of Tehillim are said responsively, and such as during kiddushah where again Chazaon and tzibur don't talk over each other, they recite words responsively, one to the other.

Yekke davening is very Hirschian, positive, collective, dignified. and Hashem is front and center.

Friday, September 7, 2018

a no less ill-fated, completely un-Jewish direction

“As we look back today, it was more than one hundred years ago that European Jewry also faced a trying time. A generation filled with human kindness sought to make good on crimes committed in past centuries against the Jewish people, and opened the gates of emancipation into European culture for our people — which had abundantly clear consequences. Spokesmen for emancipation were leaders of the so-called Reform movement, resulting inevitably in total estrangement and mass baptism. God’s eternal wisdom has always shown that assimilation would lead to a rekindling of anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism led to the Zionist movement, which hung a different flag on assimilation and guided it on a no less ill-fated, completely un-Jewish direction.” R’ Joseph Breuer, “At the End of the Year,” Mitteilungen, Vol. 2, September 1940 in A Unique Perspective, Rav Breuer’s Essays, pp. 291-2.