(Possible) Remnant of Beis Hamikdosh disappearing! !שריד בית המקדש הולך ונעלם

(Endangered minhog #1)

The strains of an ancient melody, preserved for eons, reputed to be from the בית המקדש, are heard less and less these days.

I am referring to the tune for תהלים קמד (Psalm 144), לדוד ברוך, and תהלים סז (Psalm 67), למנצח בנגינות, traditionally sung in Shuls just before ברכו on מוצאי שבת.

There is a tradition that this tune comes from no less than the לויים (Levites) in the Beis Hamikdosh!

Gevald! געוואלד געשריגען!!!!!!!!

Where are all the activists and committees to save this priceless part of our heritage?

We beseech הקב”ה to rebuild the בית המקדש. But here we have a remnant of it, that is, in many places (not everywhere, ברוך השם in some places it is still lovingly preserved) neglected and ignored, forgotten and unknown.

There are people that learn the portions of the תורה related to the בית המקדש. Some have even been working on figuring out how to make בגדים and כלים for it. Such work can be difficult and expensive. Here we have a simple melody that we can use to keep a connection to that Holy Place, costing no money, and taking just a short amount of time. In addition to other great benefits of this minhog, which are explicated in שרשי מנהג אשכנז חלק א, and in the new English Shorshei Minhag Ashkenaz synopsis volume.

So how about it folks? Why not speak to people in your Shul/minyan about this? Speak to the Rav and the gabbaim. What a beautiful way to transition at the end of Shabbos, right before ברכו, to serenade the departing שבת המלכה, and ease the shift from קודש to חול! And if your grandfather, and great-grandfather, and great-great grandfather, and on and on, going back, did so at the end of Shabbos, hey, that can’t hurt, can it? Oh, you say, it is not your minhog. I don’t want to introduce a new minhog. Well, I have news for you. It is your minhog, and it is not new at all. It has just, for some reason, been lost in some places, for a relatively short period of time, relatively recently. But it can be brought back! להחזיר עטרה ליושנה is not just a concept for ספרדים (who, by the way, have a minhag of לדוד ברוך as well). And this is not a Yekke minhog either (although they do it too). It is a minhog of Eastern European Jews, which the משנה ברורה praises highly (סימן רצג, סעיף קטן א) , and of Central European Jews (such as those of Oberlander heritage), as well as Western European Ashkenazim. So that means אשכנזים of American, European and ארץ ישראל background. So basically all of us.

Here are the ancient sounds, as sung by ר’ מיכאל פרידמאן, the chazan of K’hal Adas Yeshurun of ירושלים עיה”ק.

לדוד ברוך and למנצח בנגינות.

There is almost a full week left to practice, to be ready to sing this ancient tune next motzaei Shabbos, the first motzaei Shabbos of Nissan, in a way the first motzaei Shabbos of the year. Start the new year off with a bang!

The traditional way to do it is בציבור. However, if for some reason the tzibbur you are with is not singing it, I don’t see why you couldn’t do it yourself, individually, respectfully. Until such time as the tzibbur arises and does it as well.

In the zechus of preserving this remnant of בית ה, we should be zoche to ביאת משיח צדקנו and בנין בית המקדש, בב”א.

Cf  Endangered minhogim list

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15 Responses to “(Possible) Remnant of Beis Hamikdosh disappearing! !שריד בית המקדש הולך ונעלם”

  1. curious cat Says:

    For some reason, i doubt that this is truly from the Beit Hamikdash since it totally lacks any middle eastern flavor and is missing many maqamat notes, it is totally based on European musical scale which is considered less advanced and more so, it actually sounds like classical church music used for ecclestiacal liturgy. The maqamat gives the middle eastern music its emotional content.
    To quote disraeli when he was speaking to the British parliament, “while your ancestors were barbarians running in the marshes picking wild mushrooms, mine were priests in the temple of Solomon.”
    Taking this and applying it to our own scenario, while the people that are the originators of the music style you are advocating were busy picking wild mushrooms, our ancestors were singing true middle eastern music in the beit hamikdash.

    • Treasures of Ashkenaz Says:

      I am not a musicologist, so cannot comprehensively analyze the music based on notes, scale, etc.

      However, believe it or not, a main source for the claim that the ניגון is a remnant of ancient days, is actually a Sepharadic Rav it seems, Rav Yisrael Moshe Chazan, who was a Rav in Corfu, Rome, and ירושלים עיה”ק תובב”א, who writes as much in his sefer כרך של רומי. You can see his words on the upper right side of the page here.

    • S. Says:

      >For some reason, I doubt that this is truly from the Beit Hamikdash since it totally lacks any middle eastern flavor and is missing many maqamat notes,

      While you are surely correct that Bais Hamikdash music did not sound like medieval European music, I question whether it sounded like “Middle Eastern” music. A lot of time has elapsed since then, for one thing. Secondly, the dominant influence in the region was ancient Greek, not Arabic. Even assuming that there was some other Near Eastern music not heavily influenced by the Hellenes, there’s little reason to assume that it bears much resemblance to what we know as “Middle Eastern” music.

  2. Zvika Says:

    The Shtieblach in Katamon sing both of those perakim of Tehillim on Motzai Shabbatot, as I recall.

  3. Snag Says:

    Since you are so opposed to modern barbarities, why would you provide a link to a tune containing the monstrous non-word ‘adaushem’?

  4. yaak Says:

    In our Sephardic synagogue, we sing this every Motza’ei Shabbat. I’ve heard different variations of the tune by both Separdim and Ashkenazim and they’re all similar, even if off by a few notes.

    • Treasures of Ashkenaz Says:

      Thank you very much and שלום.

      If I may ask, what kind of Sepharadic synagogue is it (e.g. Turkish, Greek, Syrian, Egyptian, Moroccan, Western Sepharadic…)?

      How widespread is this minhag among ספרדים?

  5. YDL Says:

    I was not going to add my two cents, but I guess I will. The “proof” that this song is from the Mikdash is not by the specific sounds that are used in each country. I.e. the tune used by the Yekkes, Sephardim, Yerushalmis, and perhaps others – are, of course, all somewhat different. Very probably because each country was influenced, throughout time, by its surrounding music (or similar reason). The proof is that all the variations sound very similar and have the same meter when they are sung.

    Once I’m on the subject, I have been told (but have not seen any source for this – and the person who told me had no source either), that when Dovid Hamelech went out to war, the people would form two lines that he would walk through – and they would sing L’dovid Baruch. How cool is that?

  6. harryer than them all Says:

    When I once davened at R’ Elyashiv’s home on a Motsai Shabbos they also sung Lamnatze’ach Be’niginos with a similar melody, while for Le’dovid baruch one that I was unfamiliar with.

  7. Dr. Yitzchok Levine Says:

    This morning after davening a fellow who davens Nusach Sefard asked me why Nusach Ashkenaz does not say Morid ha-Tal. I did not have an answer for him. Can anyone help?
    Yitzchok Levine

  8. Shmuel W Says:

    The Young Israel of Riverdale sings both kapitlach as sung in the link.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Thank you for uploading a link to a good recording. I have been looking for one for a while.

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