Volume 21 Number 72
                       Produced: Tue Oct 31  0:16:33 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Aleinu (2)
         [Edwin Frankel, Louise Miller]
Aleinu and the Problem with Non-Unique Solutions
         [Joe Goldstein]
Aleinu Melody
         [Ian Kellman]
Aleinu Tune
         [Steve Wildstrom]
Alenu Tune
         [Steve White]
Davening Tunes
         [Benyamin Cohen]
Israeli census
         [Ari Z. Zivotofsky]
Israeli Census
         [Shmuel Himelstein]
Israeli Government Status as Melech
         [Carl Sherer]
Melodies for Alaynu
         [Zal Suldan]
Tune to Aleinu
         [Donnie Stuhlman]


From: <frankele@...> (Edwin Frankel)
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 1995 08:10:36 -0100
Subject: Aleinu

First, I received my first digest, and found the entire group interesting.

Regarding the alenu, it ws interesting seing the discussios of melodies.
Yes, eensie weensie spider is the end of the first paragraph.  Similarly
the v'neemar is sung to three blind mice.  But as for the first section,
I remember attending a musicology class a few years back.  If I remember
correctly, it was composed about seventy-five years-hundred years ago by
a noteworthy chazzan/composer in Vienna.  He was a major composer of
modern siddur music.  His most famous meolody, one which many regard as
of ancient origin, is the tune sung to Shma, especially during Shabbat.

As for other zany sources of traditional tephillah tunes, anyone ever
note that the classic Adon Olam melody was written as a German beer
drinking tune.  Imagine yourself with a stein in one hand and swaying to
the melody.  (I wouldn't do it, but the tune works.)

Gut Shabbos!

Ed Frankel
<frankele@...>  or   edfrankel@jtsa.edu         Uvahem neh'geh
101 Brae Glen Lane SW  Calgary, Alberta T2W 1B6         For they are our

From: <miller@...> (Louise Miller)
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 95 09:54:02 PDT
Subject: Aleinu 

I doubt the rumor is true about ANY of the standard American Ashkenazi
Aleinu melody being derived from Gregorian chant.  I'm no expert,
but I did study chant in college (music major) and chant is based
on an entirely different melodic scale.  Please take my word for
it if you can't hear it - this much-discussed melody is relentlessly
major.  Chant is also not rhythmic. 

It sounds very grandious to me.  I agree with the writer who says it
sounds like it ought to have an organ accompaniment.  There were
several composers of synagogue music who did melodies like that.
I used to have the music to a S'u shearim that only needs trumpets
to be worthy of a DeMille movie.  Actually it makes lovely concert

I was in a conducting class once where we used the Mennonite hymnal
as a "textbook," and we were asked to sing a hymn that was really
Yigdal (but VERY slow.) I was ROTFL, much to the annoyance of my

Our shul and the Chabad shul near us both use a Yom Ze Michubad
melody for Al Kein.  (The one that sounds vaguely Chinese on the
part ki vo Shabbat tzur olamim.)  Problem is, it goes too fast to
get the words out.

Now - does anyone have a NICE melody for HaMapil?  (Kriyat shma 
at bedtime.)  At camps they use the Marine Corps Hymn.  Fine if
you want your kids marching around the room.

Louise Miller


From: Joe Goldstein <vip0280@...>
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 95 08:05:50 
Subject: Aleinu and the Problem with Non-Unique Solutions

 Mechy Frankel writes: "As a number of recent correspondents have noted
the gematric ...... identification of "varik" with "yeshu" ............
the word "yikaro" is merely a permutation of "varik" with, of course, a
identical gematria. Then the substitution of yeshu into that other
Aleinu phrase "umoshav yikaro bashamyim mema'al" conveys a somewhat
different sentiment.'

If one looks in the Siddur Hagra from the Vilna Gaon one would see that
his Nussach is "Vikisay kevodo bashomayimm memaal" (His throne of glory
is in the heven above) instead of "umoshav yikaro bashamyim mema'al"
specifically because Yikro is the Gematriya of Yeshu.



From: Ian Kellman <kellman@...>
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 1995 07:15:50 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Aleinu Melody

I don't understand why everyone is so upset with the origin of the Aleinu 
melody. Borrowing melodies is an ancient tradition throughout the world. 
Where does the melody for Hatikva come from? In fact, musicologists say 
the origin of the gregorian chant is sephardic religious music from 
medieval Spain. What goes around comes around. There is nothing new under 
the sun, etc.
Shabat shalom
Ian K.  <kellman@...>


From: Steve Wildstrom <swild@...>
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 95 09:23:15 est
Subject: Aleinu Tune

In MJ21:70 <Wassermen@...> (Marsha Wasserman) writes:

>Regarding Alainu, I once heard someone explain that the opening
>melody was a Gregorian chant.  Any music people out there have any

It's certainly not Gregorian chant, a very specific form. What whoever
told you that probably meant is that like Gergorian chant, the Alainu
tune is plainsong, a free-flowing form that lacks the regular metrical
structure that most Western music has had from the 17th century on.
Most hazzan chants are plainsong, at least in the Ashkenazic tradition.

The closest trhing I know to Jewish Gregorian chants is some of the
music of Solomeo Rossi Ibreo (Solomon Rossi the Jew), a 17th century
composer in Mantua who wrote Jewish liturgical chants very much in the
style of Palestrina. Recordings are a bit hard to find, but it's
fascinating stuff.


From: <StevenJ81@...> (Steve White)
Date: Sun, 29 Oct 1995 18:05:49 -0500
Subject: Re: Alenu Tune

In #70, Elozor Priel wrote:

>About 15 years ago, I heard from someone who took a course at the Belz School
>of Jewish Music (then known as CTI- Cantorial Training Institute) at YU that
>the tune we use for Alenu is actually identical to the sheet music of a
>Gregorian chant.  Can anyone confirm or refute?

I'm not in a position to, although I have an idea of someone I can run
this by (a good friend who's a parish music director in the Boston area)
if no one can confirm in the next week or so.  However, I have to admit
that by ear I find it far-fetched, as it sounds to be in a Wester major
key, and has Western cadence resolutions and the like.  It's not at all
unlikely that this is a massaged, Westernized melody with sources in
Chant, though.  I'll hang on, and if no one can confirm by about Nov. 5,
I'll go tickle a source.

Steve White


From: Benyamin Cohen <gs01bac@...>
Date: Sun, 29 Oct 1995 17:28:23 -0500
Subject: Davening Tunes

Since we're on the subject of davening tunes (the melody for Aleinu was
discussed in the last few issues), I had a question to ask. Thanks to MJ
we now know that the origin of the Aleinu tune comes from a children's
song. I once heard that Anim Zemirot was also a children's tune, but I
can't seem to remeber which song it was. Can anyone help me figure it


From: <azz@...> (Ari Z. Zivotofsky)
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 1995 09:44:06 -0400
Subject: Israeli census

The news has had several items recently regarding the current Israeli
census. It was mentioned that the Haredi community in Yerushalayim was
participating, following such a psak there, while the Tel-Aviv (Bnei
Brak?) community was not, following their poskim. Could someone in
Israel clarify, who the poskim are, specifically what are they
disagreeing about and how, from an halachic perspective, this census
differs from previous ones.

From: Shmuel Himelstein <himelstein@...>
Date: Thu, 19 Oct 1995 17:00:06 GMT
Subject: Israeli Census

Today, Israel starts its census, which for some reason - although
supposed to be held every ten years - was last conducted in 1983. Of
course, it's not without controversy. As I understand it, this is the
first census which the Haredim are willing to have their people
participate in. The permission to do so (from Rav Elyashiv, among
others) was given after a question asking people's religion was
removed. The Government Bureau of Statistics claims it has better data
on that anyway, from the population register.

The Chief Rabbinate has officially approved the census. (Does this 
qualify as an unusual hechsher?)

The Yesha Council has called for people to boycott the census, as a way
to show civil disobedience.

Rav Mordechai Eliyahu today called for people to boycott the census (I'm
not sure whether this was a p'sak - rabbinic ruling) or just an
expression of sentiment. His objection (and a very easily understood
one) is that when the census calls for listing one's spouse (or whatever
terminology is used), people will be able to put down the name of
someone of the same sex - i.e., homosexual or lesbian partners.

Also for the record, the census questionnaire is 5 questions long, but
20% of the people will be given a much more detailed questionnaire, to
get a much broader picture of the country. This will deal with income,
family possessions, educational level, etc. The government states that
no other authority (such as the income tax authority) will have access
to the data of individuals.

           Shmuel Himelstein
22 Shear Yashuv Street, Jerusalem 97280, Israel
    Phone: 972-2-864712: Fax: 972-2-862041
   EMail address: <himelstein@...>


From: <adina@...> (Carl Sherer)
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 95 0:40:16 IDT
Subject: Israeli Government Status as Melech

Gilad Gevaryahu writes:
> I equated the rules of a modern Israel with the rules of the king as to
> authority, [and I know that some will call that equation into question].
> Therefore, if you hold that dina de'malchuta dina does not apply to
> Israel, the rules of the king do.

I don't think this is correct.  Whether or not dina demalchusa applies
to the Israeli government I think it's pretty clear that at least
according to the Rambam the Israeli government could not possibly have
the status of a King.  See, for example, Hilchos Mlochim 1:3 (the
appointment of a King requires a Sanhedrin of 71 and a Navi), 1:4 (a ger
- and certainly a non-Jew [my addition] - may not be the King or be any
sort of government functionary) and 1:7 (appointment of a King requires
annointment with Shemen Hamishcha).  I think the return of a King will
have to wait for Mashiach BBYA.

-- Carl Sherer
	Adina and Carl Sherer
		You can reach us both at:


From: <z-suldan@...> (Zal Suldan)
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 1995 11:15:54 -0500
Subject: Melodies for Alaynu

>Jeff Finger (<jfinger@...>) wrote:
>>1. Does anyone know the origin and age of the melody that is so commonly
>>   sung in the U.S. synagogues for "alaynu"?
>>2. At "she'hu note shamayim" after "va'anakhnu kor'im", people switch to
>>   another melody that fits very poorly with the words, making me think
>>   that it goes with some other words. Any info here on the origin and
>>   age of this second melody?

I can't say anything about the first part of Aleynu except that to my
NON-musicologist ear, it sounds very much like "extended" nusach,
"recitative-like" if I remember my opera terminology correctly. If
however, as Elozor Preil says, there is a gregorian chant that has the
same music, I'd be interested in seeing the notation for that chant! For
the music historians on this group (are there any??), do not gregorain
chants have keys/scales specific to the chants and that are different
from the major/minor scales we use nowadays?  Does the melody we use
nowadays for Aleynu match up with one of those scales?

As for she'hu noteh shamayim, according to "Zmirot Anthology" by Neil
Levin and Vevel Pasternak, the melody we use for it comes from the song,
"He Said He'd Sink the Bismarck." (I've never heard this song,
myself. Is this possibly a civil war vintage song maybe??) The authors
claim that the use of this melody was introduced at summer camps and
worked its way into the American synagogue from there. Itsy Bitsy Spider
as some on MJ have suggested only works to my ear for 2 phrases.

>From: Kenneth Posy <kenneth.posy@...>
>personal pet peeve. In a dwindling number
>of US shuls, the kahal sings a special tune for the last line of Aleinu.
>This tune ends with the word "u'shmo" repeated three times.

Interestingly, the authors claim that the melody to this last line
(Bayom HaHu) actually arises from the "Farmer in the Dell" motif, and
its introduction into the syanagogue also a byproduct of the Jewish
summer camp. Personally, I think that claim is a bit farfetched, but if
you listen closely, it sure does sound a lot like Farmer in the Dell.

I'm kind of rushed for time right now what with shabbos on its way, so I
won't be elaborate too much on MY pet peeves and melodies used in
shul...  but I do tend to agree with Steven White that it would be VERY
difficult to subtract out from liturgical music the non-Jewish
influences and that in fact music can have a very positive effect in
davening (I can vividly remember the excitement in the air as the whole
kahal sang ViChol Maminim in unison at my parents shul!! Now that was
Rav Am Hadras Melech!).

That having been said, I find annoying the use of music in the liturgy
in an inappropriate manner such as when the music becomes more important
than the underlying tefilla/piyut. Such as a common trend in the States
nowadays to squeeze as many different melodies as possible into Shabbos
Musaf Kedusha.... no matter what happens to the "syl--LAH-bles" and
proper accents, or meaning of the words. Or where the rhyming scheme of
the Paiytan (poet) is lost on the shaliach tzibur (listen carefully to
"Omnam Kayn" next year Yom Kippur night!)

On that note, good shabbos to all....

Zal Suldan
Tri-Institutional MD/PhD Program - Department of Cell Biology and Genetics
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center / Cornell University Medical College
Replies to: <Z-Suldan@...>    or   ZSuldan@Stud.Med.Cornell.edu


From: <ssmlhtc@...> (Donnie Stuhlman)
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 95 09:10 CDT
Subject: Tune to Aleinu

Gregorian chant has roots in the tunes used in the Temple.  Chant the
Kaddish and then listen to the similarities to medieval Gregorian

The tune for Aleinu probably has roots in the Yom Kippur service of the
2nd Temple.

Donnie Stuhlman
Hebrew Theological College Library
Skokie, IL  60077   708-674-7750


End of Volume 21 Issue 72