Ashkenazi cantorate

Maoz Tzur: The Mystifying Wandering of a Hanukkah Anthem

This Song of the Month for Hanukkah, in video lecture format, reveals the fascinating story of the well-known Maoz Tsur. This lecture, originally presented by Prof. Edwin Seroussi on December 13, 2020 as part of a American Friends of the Hebrew University program, examines (with audio examples) dozens of versions of the holiday classic drawn from different communities and eras. Not only a fascinating lecture, here Prof. Seroussi offers a master class on contemporary Jewish music scholarship and methodology.   

Yeruham Blindman

Cantor & composer

Yeruham Blindman served as a cantor in Kishnev, Tarnopol and Berdichev. By 1834 he was touring extensively as a cantor for Synagogues throughout Poland and the Ukraine. He became known as “Yeruham Hakatan” (the little one) because of his small stature. Blindman was admired for his tenor voice with unlimited falsetto range and his improvisatory vocal style. Although he only had a basic musical education, he composed many arrangements for liturgical music using melodies from Jewish folk songs.