Monthly Archives: February 2013

Tricorn revival at Bevis Marks?

City-of-London-20130223-000882It is many years since tricorn hats were worn regularly at Bevis Marks Synagogue, but I reintroduced this Purim as Visiting Rabbi.

When their use was discontinued in favour of top hats, some 200 years ago, certain members were so upset with this “pandering to modernity” that they formed a breakaway tricorn minyan. However, it has been made clear that this new development does not represent a regression, and that from now on both tricorns and top hats are equally acceptable. Continue reading



Bendigamos is a popular Sephardi table hymn. Below is the Spanish text as it appears before Grace after Meals in the Prayer Book of the Union of Sephardic Congregations (of America), edited by David de Sola Pool (black text). Dr. de Sola Pool did not provide a translation; the English is based on one by Professor Alan Corre. Continue reading

The Montefiore Sefarim

MonteAs Visiting Rabbi of Bevis Marks for Purim this year, I made an interesting discovery.

The portion read for Parashat Zachor is fairly near the end of the Torah, so when the shamash and I were getting the sefer ready for the Shabbat reading, we had to roll it right to the end. That was the point at which I noticed something unusual in the final column of writing that I’d heard about before but never seen. Can you spot what it is? Continue reading