The Rav Forbade Congregational Singing

In his part two lecture on Rabbi Esriel Hildesheimer for Torah in Motion, Dr. Marc B. Shapiro says: “Congregational singing wasn’t even done in Germany. It was choir singing. It’s an American thing. It might be a development of the Young Israel movement. If anyone likes it and you go to a yeshivish minyan, it’s a matter of principal that you don’t sing. They are the traditional ones. They won’t even sing Lecha Dodi. The chazan sings and you’re supposed to mumble.”

Rabbi Kellerman: “The Rav did not allow any congregation singing in Maimonides… Almost nobody follows it.”

Marc: “The Briskers [the Rav was one] were dour. They did not sing zemirot on Shabbos.”

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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