Rabbi Simon Schwab (1908-95), sion of Hirsch’s “Torah and Derekh Eretz” Community in Frankfurt, and leader of Khal Adath Jeshurun in Washington Heights, USA, composed a moving Elegy on the tragedy of the Holocaust, for inclusion among the others traditionally chanted on the Fast of Av, the saddest day of the Jewish Year.
R. Schwab’s elegy is structured like the well-known kinah “Betseiti Mimitzrayim” (also known by its opening words “Esh Tukad”), and intended to be chanted to the same chant. The S&P chant for “Esh Tukad” also fits the R. Schwab’s kinah well. Continue reading
Historical recordings of a service of thanksgiving held 58 years ago at Bevis Marks Synagogue, London, in celebration of the 300th Anniversary of the resettlement of the Jews in Britain are now available online, and on an inexpensive CD. For more details click here.
Recordings from the service held 50 years later, for the 350th Anniversary, can be heard here.
The London Sephardi Centre have recently digitized and made available a set of recordings made on four vinyl “singles” in 1951. The choir is led in these recordings by Jacob Hadida, and the soloist is Abraham Beniso.
The eight “sides” (of the four records) are summarized in the cover below, and from the fact that it is entitled “Volume One”, it would seem that further volumes were planned (but apparently never released). Continue reading
On the evening of 26 August the Cardozo Academy in Jerusalem organised a shiur on the topic of the unique S&P custom of Evening Selichot, followed by a choral Evening Service incorporating those selichot. Continue reading
In this six minute podcast I discuss one of the best loved of the S&P New Year melodies: “Et Sha’arey Ratson”, with some thoughts about what makes it so special. 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
On Saturday evening 15 December, the 8th day of Hanukah, Bevis Marks Synagogue hosted the S&P Community’s Choral Hanukah Service and Concert. This was a great success with over 200 people in attendance. The synagogue looked magnificent with all the candles and menorah lights lit. Rabbi Jonathan Cohen led the service and lit the menorah, and Eliot Alderman conducted the choir in the traditional S&P accompaniments to the service. Continue reading