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Azharot Around The World

with S&P Hazzanim from around the globe

Sunday, May 24


Shabu`ot celebrates the giving of the Torah. According to ancient tradition, the Torah enumerates 613 mitzvot:  248 affirmative commandments and 365 prohibitions. In the Sephardic tradition, several poems enumerating each of the commandments have been written by various poets, these are called "Azharot" - Admonitions. Our custom is to read the version written by Solomon ibn Gabirol (1020-1069) with an introduction by David ben Eleazar Bekuda (12th c.) Traditionally, in the synagogue, we chant the Azharot "round-robin" style on the afternoons of Shabuot (reading the affirmative commandments on the first day and the prohibitions on the second day.) 
This year, since we cannot meet in the synagogue, we have joined together with our sister congregations and hazzanim from around the world to host a special joint Azharot service in advance of the holiday, on Sunday, May 24th. 
Rabbi Meir Soloveichik will give a brief introduction and Rabbi Ira Rohde will chant the Azharot together with Hazzanim from Philadelphia, Montreal, Paris, Bayonne, Florence, Amsterdam, London, and Israel. This type of joint service brings together almost all of the Spanish & Portuguese communities extant today something that has never been done before!  With thanks to the American Sephardi Federation for hosting this service via its Zoom Webinar platform.  We hope you will join us for the very special rendition of the Azharot.  
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Commemorative Synagogue Plates

Plates depicting Shearith Israel's five historic synagogue buildings as well the Touro Synagogue in Newport, RI.

Gershom Mendes Seixas

Gershom Mendes Seixas (1745-1816) was the first American-born spiritual leader of Shearith Israel.