The Special Experience of Chanukah Lighting at Khal Adas Jeshurun (‘Breuer’s’) – הדלקת נר חנוכה בק”ק קהל עדת ישורון, וואשינגטאן הייטס, ניו יורק

The הדלקת נר חנוכה at KAJ (‘Breuer’s’) is traditionally a special experience.

Now, thanks to the generosity of GWCTD, those who could not experience it in person can get a taste of it even from afar.

Here is a video from the first night of this year’s Chanukah.

Note the following.

1) The beautiful בית הכנסת.

2) The chazan is wearing a tallis in the evening (I believe it is a short while after shekias hachamah). This is in accordance with Minhag Ashkenaz, in which the chazan/shliach tzibbur wears a tallis for tefillos mincha and arvis, as well as the morning tefillos (as we discussed in the past).

3) The way he is wearing it – draped over his arms (as opposed to a common practice among some of throwing back that part of the tallis back over the shoulders, leaving the arms uncovered by it).

4) The beautiful way the brachos are chanted by the chazan, following a traditional nusach. Each one takes close to a minute!

5) The special portable mini platform, upon which the chazan stands when lighting the menorah, after ascending three steps.

6) How the chazan descends after the lighting, taking special action to avoid turning his back to the aron kodesh.

7) The general decorum.

This is a great example of זה א-לי ואנוהו, upon which חז”ל comment התנאה לפניו במצות, as well as כבוד בית הכנסת ושמירת מנהגים קדושים.

Hopefully others will learn from this great example and act similarly. ומהם ילמדו וכן יעשו.

א ליכטיגען און פרייליכען חנוכה

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20 Responses to “The Special Experience of Chanukah Lighting at Khal Adas Jeshurun (‘Breuer’s’) – הדלקת נר חנוכה בק”ק קהל עדת ישורון, וואשינגטאן הייטס, ניו יורק”

  1. Dannie Klompsma Says:

    Shkou’ech! IY”H next year we’ll have a Yekkishe lighting in Passaic, NJ!

  2. Ruben Vis Says:

    Nice reporting. Did the Chazzan say lehadlik ner shel Chanuka, Chanuka or shelaChanuka? Difficult to hear.

  3. Nachum Says:

    I’m not sure we were watching the same video. The noise didn’t seem to stop.

    • Treasures of Ashkenaz Says:

      Okay, granted, there is some noise in the recording …

      I believe the situation was as follows.

      The video was taken from the balcony עזרת נשים, some distance (vertically as well as horizontally) from where the Chazan was. It is an amateur video made with amateur equipment, as opposed to a professional video made with professional equipment and under ideal conditions.

      I think that the noise is mostly from the balcony and suspect that it comes from young children near the videographer. If a small child near the microphone closes the wooden cover of a compartment where mispallelim store things, it can seem like a loud noise on the recording, but that doesn’t mean that it was heard that same way down below in the main Shul.

      The adult decorum seemed excellent. בעזרת השי”ת the young children will attain that level in the future as well.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    They don’t say Haneros Halalu?

    • Yekke Says:

      The Chazan says Haneros Halalu quietly in Minhag Ashkenaz.

      • Yisroel Strauss Says:

        I asked around KAJ today and was told the Chazan does not say it quietly (only the people at home say/sing it).
        As far as schul is concerned, Divrei Kehillos, a 1818-1819 diary of Frankfurt am Main, does not mention it nor Maoz Tzur as far as schul is concerned but only the berachos.

  5. Yisroel Strauss Says:

    Some of the Chazzanim of KAJ did fold the Tallis over their shoulders when they lit (but not at the Ammud). Peissachowitz did fold it in Frankfurt am Main 1937, as printed in the Rav Breuer biography.

    Haneiros it seems is a home minhag, not a shul one, and before Rav Hirsch it is very likely that even Maoz Tzur was not sung in Germany at a shul hadlakah.

    • Ruben Vis Says:

      Only after the German refugees came to Holland in the ’30s, did the singing of Maoz Tsur come into practise in Dutch synagogues.

    • Anonymous Says:

      The reason Chazzan Peissachowitz folded his tallis back was probably because he was wearing a long robe underneath. The Chazzanim in KAJ do not wear robes, therefore they drape their talleisim.

  6. YDL Says:

    I have been to KAJ for lighting and the Chazzanim clearly say shelachanuka- even if it is not as clear on the recordings. This is the KAJ custom, and as far as I know the standard German custom – it would be super odd for anyone to say anything else.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Re the standard German custom. See the book Laws of Chanukah by Aryeh Kaplan. He mentions the Shelachanuka as German custom but at the same time notes (in a note) that the Hirsch Siddur doesn’t write it in that way, as is also the case with the Heidenheim editions of the Roedelheim sidurim.
      It seems only Baer says (and explains) Shelachanuka. Looking forward to be referred to any other sidur with Shelachanuka.

      • YDL Says:

        The Hirsch siddur, although it has R’ Hirsch’s commentary and some differences according to Minhag Ashkenaz, can hardly be considered a “Yekkish” siddur – it does not even compare to a Roedelheim siddur. R’ Heidenheim’s siddurim also should not necessarily be confused with old Ashkenaz or standard German practice. He was marketing his siddurim to a large audience and also had a love for Sephardic Minhagim…so one must be careful and examine his siddur closely (I believe there was an article on this specific topic on the KAYJ forum, but do not remember the post). That being said, I do not know how old the nusach of shelachanuka is, or how far back it can be traced. If I recall, it is mentioned in the MB in the name of Maharshal, but I need to double check. There are a few experts that should be able to provide much more on the history of Shelachanuka – I will attempt to find out more from them.

  7. Dannie Klompsma Says:

    Sholoum Ngoleichem,

    Dutch Yekkie Dannie from (now) Passaic, NJ, here……
    (quickly to explain, according to the Dutch tradition the Ayin is pronounced as a NG-sound; as in the word kiNG; ie Le’ngoulom wo’nged, as opposed to le’oulom wo’ed)

    I have a question:
    What is a proper Yekkishe niggen for Channukah’s ‘hanerous halolu ‘ ? And where do I find it?

    Thank you,

    Shkouech and keep up the good (gut ;-) work!

  8. Treasures of Ashkenaz Says:

    Hi -

    A good place to look for such things is at the KAYJ nusach project at the website of Khal Adas Yeshurun of ירושלים עיה”ק. They have this there for הנרות הללו. If you need more info, you can write to them, or post a query at their fine Ashkenaz discussion forum.

    • Ruben Says:

      Ngaleichem sholoum!

      I guess that relevant as well are books like Schirei Jeschurun by I.M. Japhet and other such cantorial music books from the 19th and early 20th century.

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