(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.
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.