Grapevine: Twin Jaffe brothers lead musaf at the Great Synagogue

In the absence of cantor Chaim Adler, Jaffe led the Musaf prayers, while his twin brother Zalli, who has an impressive singing voice, led the morning service.

Moufleta: the traditional Mimouna pancake (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Moufleta: the traditional Mimouna pancake
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
USUALLY SEEN conducting the choir at Jerusalem’s Great Synagogue, Elli Jaffe, who has a great singing voice to complement his talents as a conductor, composer and musician, did not conduct the choir last Saturday but left this task to musical arranger Raymond Goldstein. In the absence of cantor Chaim Adler, Jaffe led the Musaf prayers, while his twin brother Zalli, who has an impressive singing voice, led the morning service.
Zalli Jaffe is a well-known lawyer and vice president of the Great Synagogue.
IN CHABAD circles, the final meal on the last day of Passover is eaten late in the afternoon and is known as the Meshiach Seuda. The custom was initiated by Rabbi Yisroel Ben-Eliezer, better known as the Baal Shem Tov, who is considered to be the founder of Hassidism. The Meshiach Seuda symbolizes faith in the coming of the Messiah. In Chabad tradition, the first Passover meal is the Seder, which celebrates redemption from slavery in Egypt; the last Passover meal, namely the Meshiach Seuda, celebrates the final redemption of the Jewish People.
Many such meals were celebrated throughout Israel and beyond, with participants bringing what remained of their matzot plus bottles of wine and grape juice. Just as one is required to drink four cups of wine at the Seder, so one is required to drink four cups of wine at the Meshiach Seuda and to consume as much matza as possible.
Among the various functions of this kind was one organized by Chani Canterman, codirector of Chabad Talbiyeh, who invited all and sundry to the home of Chaya Gross, where participants shared stories about the various rebbes in the Chabad dynasty and sang Chabad melodies.
WHEN WORD went out in Har Nof that President Shimon Peres would be visiting the home of Shas leader Aryeh Deri on the night of the Mimouna, the large dining room in Deri’s apartment on Hakablan Street quickly filled with people of all ages, as well as dignitaries, including the new Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Shalom Cohen, who heads Jerusalem’s Porat Yosef Yeshiva, and Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yosef Yitzhak, who came dressed in his ceremonial robes. Both Deri and his wife, Yaffa, were elegantly attired in traditional Moroccan costume. A plate piled high with moufletas stood on the table, but Yaffa Deri, who had not anticipated so large a gathering, immediately began laboring on the countertop alongside the stove to make more moufletas so that there would be no shortage.
FRENCH-BORN photographer Frederic Brenner, who is Jewish, has spent more than 20 years documenting the Jewish Diaspora in some 45 countries.
Brenner is of mixed descent, coming on one side of his family from Sephardim who migrated to France from Algeria, and on the other from Ashkenazim of Russian background. During World War II, his mother was a member of the French Resistance against the Nazis, and his father was in hiding.
Brenner received both a secular and a religious education. In his photographic wanderings, partially in search of his own identity and partially to document Jewish life in the lands of dispersion, Brenner came to Israel, where he found himself in another dilemma of defining his identity. His questioning of himself and of how Israel affected his Jewish identity, which had initially been nurtured in the Diaspora, led to a group exhibition called “This Place” in which he and a diverse group of internationally acclaimed photographers that included Wendy Ewald, Martin Kollar, Jungjin Lee, Gilles Peress, Fazal Sheikh, Stephen Shore, Rosalind Solomon, Thomas Struth, Jeff Wall, Nick Waplington and Josef Koudelka wandered through Israel and the Palestinian Authority capturing a fascinating variety of images. Of these, 500 have been selected for the “This Place” traveling exhibition, which will open at the DOX Center for Contemporary Art in Prague in October and will come to the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in May 2015, after which it will continue to the Brooklyn Museum in early 2016.
Meanwhile, Brenner, who is currently in Israel, will be the guest of The Jerusalem Press Club on April 29. A series of books based on the exhibition will be published throughout the year.
IN A press release published last week by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe to coincide with the Fourth High Level Meeting on Transport, Health and Environment, it was stated that more than 76,600 people would be employed in green and healthy transport each year if major European cities reached the cycling modal share of Copenhagen, which is one of the leaders for cycling in Europe and is rivaled only by Amsterdam.
The release gives a breakdown of major cities throughout Europe (as well as Israel and the US) with population figures, the percentage of current cycling modal share, the estimated number of existing jobs associated with cycling, the potential number of additional jobs and lives saved because cycling is a healthy form of transport that is not only good exercise but also helps to reduce air pollution, which is largely caused by motorized traffic.
Although Tel Aviv has ranked relatively high on the list with a current cycling modal share of 9 percent, no statistic is given for Jerusalem, whose population is twice that of the White City and whose ever-increasing number of cyclists who choose to use the sidewalk rather than the road is making life difficult for pedestrians, especially at night when many of the cyclists do not have lights or helmets.
Where Jerusalem may have an edge on every other city in the world is in the number of haredi cyclists who are quite a sight with peyot and tzitzit flying in the wind as they ride the streets of the city.