Alekhem 'Eda Qedosha - rav Belgrado, Firenze


Alekhem 'Eda Qedosha - rav Belgrado, Firenze

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Y 00139

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Santa Cecilia collection number, item number

raccolta 052, 180

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Catalogo Sommario delle Registrazioni

raccolta 052, 195

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Born in Firenze, 31/05/1913. Studies at the Collegio Rabbinico di Firenze and Collegio Rabbinico di Roma. Chazan in Firenze since the early 1930s, then assistant rabbi to rabbi Nathan Cassuto. Acting Chief Rabbi in Firenze since after the war, is formally Chief Rabbi from 1963 to 1978. Dies in Firenze, 11/04/1998.

A. Zimmerman, Belgrado, David Fernando , Encyclopaedia Judaica 2, voi. 3, col. 289 (born 1918)

Piattelli, Angelo Mordekhai. “REPERTORIO BIOGRAFICO DEI RABBINI D'ITALIA DAL 1861 AL 2011.” La Rassegna Mensile Di Israel, vol. 76, no. 1/2, 2010, pp. 185–256. JSTOR, Accessed 4 April 2021.

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Commentators have often pointed out connections between different festivals in the Jewish calendar, connections that help uncover new layers of meaning. Such is the case of Yom Kippùr and Purìm, or Hanukkà and Sukkòt. One more such connection, as pointed out for example in Echà Rabbà 3:5, is the connection between Tishà b’Av and the first night of Pèsach. On the surface, nothing could be more distant than these two nights: one spent in dreary contemplation of the destruction of Jerusalem, the other in recalling the deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery; one spent in darkness and fast, the other in a festive meal; one where we sit on the ground, denying ourselves even the comfort of chairs, while on the other we are invited to drink and eat reclining as ancient noblemen. Where Pèsach is centered around family and community, on Tishà b’Av we are even forbidden to say goodbye to our fellow members as we walk away from the synagogue. Such exact antinomies hint at the connection between the two nights that always recur on the same day of the week in any given year, as if to prod us into noticing these correspondences. Ekha Rabbà, the collection of midràsh on the Book of Lamentations, comments on the verse “He has fed me with bitterness, he has satiated me with wormwood.” הִשְׂבִּיעַניִ בַמְּרוֹרִים הִרְונַיִ לַעֲנָה (Lamentations, 3:15) The word for “bitterness” in the text is the same word, maròr, that indicates the bitter herbs we are to eat at the Pèsach sèder ; this leads the midràsh to say: “He has fed me with bitterness: this is the first night of Pèsach... He has satiated me with wormwood: just how He fed me on the first night of Pèsach, so He shall satiate me with wormwood on the night of Tishà b’Av; thus the first day of Pèsach falls on the same day as Tishà b’Av.” From this, commentators have inferred teachings concerning the concepts of exile and redemption – how the latter has its roots in the former. Just as the festival that commemorates liberation is an occasion to remind us of the bitterness of slavery, so the moment when we recall punishment and destruction is also the occasion to begin to build future salvation. This qinà, again by an unknown author, but probably coming to Livorno from the Syrian tradition and the community of Aleppo, plays on one of the most well-known moments of the Passover sèder, the singing of Ma nishtanà. This builds a sort of reverse parody of one of the sweetest and dearest moments of the Jewish calendar: we hear ringing in the darkened synagogue the same words, a spectral echo of the merry voices of children singing during the festival night— why is this night different from all other nights? (EF)


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“Alekhem 'Eda Qedosha - rav Belgrado, Firenze,” Thesaurus of Jewish-Italian Liturgical Music, accessed March 29, 2023,