Friday, May 22, 2009

A Yahrtzeit Seudah In Modzitz

On Tuesday night, a yahrtzeit seudah in honor of the Zvoliner Rebbe was held in Brooklyn at the Modzitzer Shtibel. Rav Newmark spoke divrei Torah about the niftar and related to the coming Yom Tov of Shavuos, and the legendary baal menagen, Rabbi Ben Zion Shenker, led the singing to an enthusiastic gathering of Jews from all backgrounds, Chassidim and non-Chassidim alike.

From (abridged):

Upon the passing of Reb Chaskale Kuzmir zt'l, his son the Zvoliner Rebbe, Reb Shmuel Eliahu, was called upon to lead the Chasidim. Reb Shmuel Eliahu lived in Zvolin, Poland. From his youth, Reb Shmuel Eliyahu was outstanding in his Torah scholarship and his musical abilities. When he davened before the amud in his father's Beis Medrash, the place shook. People then said that they experienced the meaning of "and the entire nation saw the sounds" (a description in the Torah to describe the giving of the Torah).

Nevertheless, he didn't continue for long to daven before the amud, to the dismay of the Chassidim. Precisely because he understood the value of niggun, he refrained from singing. Even so, he composed many niggunim, especially for Shabbos and Yom Tov that were known thoughout Poland and attracted many people. He was the first of the Polish Tzaddikim to concentrate his creative powers in negina. With his awesome memory, he was able to remember everything he composed.

His attitude towards negina was as if the singer were standing in the Beis HaMikdash, and the Leviim were accompanying him in the shira v'zimra. He passed away in 5648 [1888], leaving behind five sons: Rebbe Moshe Aharon, who succeeded him in Zvolin; Rebbe Yisrael of Modzitz; Rebbe Yaakov of Radom. The other two sons, R. Ovadiah and R. Chaim Benyamin, did not have a Chassidic following. He passed away on the 26 of Iyar 5648 or May 8, 1888. Modzitz as such, started with his son, Reb Yisrael Taub of Modzitz.


At May 22, 2009 at 7:09:00 AM EDT, Blogger yitz said...

Great, ASJ! Were YOU there, or was this written by someone else?

At May 22, 2009 at 7:14:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

I knew you would like that one, Yitz. Unfortunately, I was not at this event.

At May 22, 2009 at 7:27:00 AM EDT, Blogger Unknown said...

I am told by "yodei davar" in Modzitz that the Zvoliner didn't stop davening for the amud, but in fact he stopped composing niggunim, for the reason you mention - that he appreciated the value of negina and didn't want to taint it in any way.

You might find it worth mentioning that the Rebbe shlita in Bnei Brak "also" held a tish for this yahrtzeit. It was actually webcast by an organization that webcasts lots of shiurim etc. and found that Modzitzer tishes are a very special addition to their fare.

At May 22, 2009 at 9:49:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Yekkishe Bekishe said...

Now I know why Reb Dovid Sears was running taking pictures during the Seudoh!

At May 22, 2009 at 11:14:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Dovid Sears said...

Dear Yekkishe Bekiche

I tried to email them to you and to the website three ways without success. Will try to burn a CD and bring it to you, be"H.

At May 25, 2009 at 9:16:00 PM EDT, Anonymous A modzitz music admirer said...

Please excuse me for contacting you like this but do you know how I can obtain a recording of the nigun "Ezkeroh"?

At May 26, 2009 at 10:09:00 AM EDT, Anonymous schneur said...

At the Bar Mitzvah of the only grand child of the 6th Lubavitcher rebbe the late Bere Gourary held in either Warsaw or Otwock, in the late 1930's the Lubavitcher rebbe Rav Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn was mechabed the Modsitzer rebbe Rabbi Saul Yedidya Taub by saying Modsitzer rebbe "zogt a Niggun", the Modsitzer rebbe replied "Lubavitcher rebbe bei unz zingt men a niggun"

At May 26, 2009 at 3:32:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Dovid Sears said...


You might check with Mendy Oestreicher of Artek Appliances on 16th Ave. in Borough Park to see if he has it one of the vintage Moditzer tapes and CDs he sells.

Or you could ask Rabbi Shenker personally if he has an extra cassette with the "Ezkeroh."

He is a very nice, approachable person, don't be bashful!

His address is on East 12th St, near the corner of Ave. L in Flatbush, I believe.


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