A Liturgy within the Liturgy: The German Torah Service in Past and Present

Europäisches Zentrum für Jüdische Musik (EZJM) at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien in Hannover (HMTMH)

And the Jewish Music Research Centre, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Faculty of Humanities

Invite you to an international open study session

A Liturgy within the Liturgy:  The German Torah Service in Past and Present 

In the framework of the collaborative project German-Jewish Sacred Musical Intersections funded by the German-Israeli Foundation for Scientific Research and Development/Deutsch-Israelische Stiftung fur Wissenschaftliche Forschung und Entwicklung (Grant No. I-1467-112.4/2018)

Conveners: Prof. Dr. Sarah Ross and Prof. Edwin Seroussi

Sunday, November 21, 2021; 17 Kislev 5782 at 11am (USA, EST) 17:00 (CET); 18:00 (Israel)

The Torah Service in the German Jewish liturgy evolved in the past two centuries from a humble affair into a major event endowed with pomp and circumstance. The dramatic musical evolution of this service is one of the topics addressed by the German-Jewish Sacred Musical Intersections project.

This study session will introduce its participants to some of the preliminary results of this join German-Israeli project.  Studied from both an historical perspective based on written sources and an ethnographical standpoint based on fieldwork carried in German synagogues in 2019-2021, the evolution of the Torah service illuminates less-studied aspects of Jewish modernity. Changing patterns of socialization within synagogue rituals, the aesthetization of the reading of scripture and the public display of ceremonial devotion are among the subjects to be discussed amid the musical analysis of selected approaches to this liturgy among German-speaking Jews throughout Europe and in their American and Israeli diasporas.

"Das Pfingstfest (Tora-Aushbung) in festlich geschmucktem Gotteshause," a nineteenth-century postcard taken from the collection of the National Library of Israel.