Saturday, September 07, 2013

And no one died...

A note in the Koren machzor compliments 13th century Jews for making a smart change to the liturgy:

In a brilliant stroke, without changing a word of the usual  Shabbat and festival prayers at this point, the overarching theme of Rosh HaShana – God’s kingship – is signaled by the emphasis placed on this one  word, HaMelekh, “the King,” often by the main shaliaĥ tzibbur taking over at this point, sometimes singing the word as he ascends the bima, and by the music itself which begins softly in a minor key and rises to a triumphant major. This practice dates back to Rabbi Meir of Rothenburg in the thirteenth century

No mention is made of the Rabbis who protested, of the communities who refused to embrace the innovation, or of the polemics published by Jewish newspaper men who opposed it.

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