The shabbes trio herschelsstag


(#430) The visit to the Rabbi
Moshe goes to see his Rabbi. “Rabbi, last week I missed saying grace after meals.”
“Why,” asks the Rabbi.
“Because I forgot to wash my hands before the meal.”
“That’s twice you’ve broken the law but you still haven’t told me why.”
“The food wasn’t kosher.”
“You ate non-kosher food?” asks the Rabbi.
“It wasn’t a Jewish restaurant.”
“That makes it even worse,” says the now angry Rabbi. “Couldn’t you have eaten in a kosher one?”
“What, on Yom Kippur ?”

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While folk songs in general tend to be categorized according to national or regional characteristics (, Scottish ballads or American protest songs), Jewish folk songs reflect the hundreds of years of acculturation within a diverse range of geographic, ethnic and cultural contexts. In very general terms, Jewish folksongs can be divided into three basic interlocking groups: Ashkenazi, or Yiddish-based, including songs emanating from Germany, spreading throughout Europe and, eventually, to the US and other Western countries; Sephardic, or Ladino-based, including songs originating in Spain and spreading eastward throughout the Spanish diaspora to Turkey and the Balkan countries or westward to north-African countries; and Oriental, with songs in Jewish languages of the East, including those based upon Arabic, Persian and Kurdish speaking cultures. Jewish folk songs spread as far afield as Ethiopia and India. While most Jewish folk songs are secular, reflecting circumstances of life wherever Jews have lived, a common thread between Jewish communities around the globe has always been the connection with Jewish heritage – the Jewish domestic life cycle and the Jewish annual festival cycle, each with their characteristic texts. Jewish folk-music is extremely dynamic, constantly adapting within changing environments. Most noticeably, Israeli popular music is in a continual state of flux, reflecting a wide range of universal influences and tinged by constantly evolving ethnic contexts as well as orthodox and neo-Hasidic styles.  Here is an extensive description of Jewish folk songs and, in particular, of women's songs, written by Professor Amnon Shiloah of the Hebrew University. 




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