Thursday, April 11, 2013

A brief account of the traditional Orthodox synagogue and new Reform temple in Hamburg from 1820

This account, all too brief, is interesting because it comes so shortly after the establishment of the controversial Temple (1818) and only just before the appointment of Chacham Isaac Bernays, a modern (small m) Orthodox rabbi (1821) as Chief Rabbi of Hamburg.

In his account, Downes describes the hats worn by "the rabbies" (more likely, the rabbi and community notables) and which is probably the schabbes deckel, as I posted about here. He describes the bowing gesticulations of the cantor, presumably at the end of the Amidah.

He also contrasts the lighting in the old and new synagogue. In the old one, ten yellow tapers stood on each side of the pulpit. In the Temple, the lighting consisted of candlesticks painted blue and gilt. He also describes part of the prayer service, which consisted of German hymns, with occasional Hebrew and Aramaic phrases.


  1. The "rabbies" are mentioned in the context of the bimah, they would have been the baal koreh, the gabaim, and maybe the rabbi too.

  2. To my ear, there is no English quite so wonderful as the English of the British in the late 18th and 19th century. More, please.

  3. What do you think was in that manuscript?

    1. A siddur/ machzor. Many main shuls in European cities had magnificent manuscripts that were used by the shaliach tzibbur. By the 20th century I think most of these were no longer used at the amud, but kept by the shuls - if they hadn't been sold. And of course many were probably lost, stolen or destroyed during the war.

  4. Most of you hunger to know more about the glitzy life styles of glamorous celebrities and sensual models.
    However there are several troubleshooting steps you need to perform in order to determine the problem.

    He covers gossip on celebrities, actors and musicians.

    Feel free to surf to my web-site :: latest celeb news

  5. Hello, this weekend is fastidious in support of me, for the reason that this time
    i am reading this impressive educational piece of writing here at my

    Feel free to surf to my page :: fake ray ban sunglasses

  6. The Butler Report ( is a world news summary website site
    which, in addition to headline news, publishes US and worldwide events not covered by mainstream media.
    He was instrumental in MTV showing African American artists.

    "The boys said they'd been out collecting frogs when something approached from the saw grass.

    my page ... Latest Daily News

  7. It was remarkable that the Hebrew in the siddurim had vowels? I thought that that was the rule, rather than the exception.

    1. Remarkable to *him*. This was probably the first siddur he'd ever seen. This isn't a knowledgeable ethnographer of the Jews, just a traveler who went to the synagogues. The reference to the vowels though is because the antiquity and authority of the vowels in the Bible was a big scholarly topic, and that was probably why he even thought of it.



Related Posts with Thumbnails