This is the complete Choral of the big Synagogue of Basel in Switzerland. Hearing to their sounds recall us all jewish values we shared through time, in the most pure Ashkenaz tradition.
I first receive an email from Mr Charles Sobol, telling me that that is a choral in Basel and that choral would sing in the Rosh Hashanah (jewish new year) services.
In that message, mr Sobol offered us the CD they build to show their work and I am sure, to rise some more funds for the Synagogue (that is allways necessary, in every synagogue).
I was surprised with such a professional sound and arrangements. And more, I was surprised with the story they tell in the folder that comes inside the CD, teaching us how hard it was to be a jew in Basel, some time ago. The choir has the support of :
Bernard Bessermann, Jean-Pierre Bloch, Pierre Bloch, Raymond Brunschwig, Ralf Eichin, Simon Erlanger, Gilbert Goldstein, Armand Horowitz, Steven Karger, Marcel Klotz, Philip Rotschild, Benjamin Sobol, Pierre Sobol, Charles Sobol, Emmanuel Ullman and Joel Weill.
The CD title after Ya'aleh is perfect; The choir has another previous CD called Ma Tovu, but I dont know what exactly comprehends this other work.
Chazan Issachar Helman
is backgrounded and has his voice relevated by the choir. Really a chrystal voice. He was born in Bnei Brak - Israel in 1965 and since 1991 he is the chief cantor at the Jewish Community of Basel.
Conducting and arranging all themes, there is Mr Michel Uhlmann
, doing a great job, with all potentials presented in the choir. I feel I would like to be there any Shabat or Festival, just to hear them sing. Mr Uhlmann was born in Strasbourg and is the head over the Ensemble Baroque of Limoges (that recalls me that fine porcelain).
This is the Great Synagogue of Basel
itself, located at Leimenstrasse. I want to transcribe here some words from the folder, so people will learn more about how jews get to Basel, and what they pass through, during all this time, untill nowadays, time of relative peacefullness.
Just as an interesting thing, a cemetery is called "Beit Ha'Chaim" (house of the living), and most of this story was told by jewish gravestones and cemeteries found in the area, as many other stories of communities around the world.
Maybe jews at that area appear for the first time around the 2nd century. Gravestones discovered in 1928, showed that a jewish community lived in that area around year 1220. The oldest gravestone dates from 1104. As other communities story, the jews were prohibited to own land and thus do farmoing or produce goods and all that was left to them was monetary transactions. Hurted by the Black death in the middle ages, burnt alive around 1349, a flourish jewish community was destroyed. The children were forced to christian baptism and hidden in monasteries while jews were not allowed to live in that area for 200 years. A big earthquake in 1356, brought the "allowance"to the jews to live there again as financiers for the reconstruction.
More persecution in 1398, spread out the jews from Basel to what is called today the canton of Baselland and canton of Solothurn.Again from 1398 to 1805 no jew lived in Basel. The evolution of Basel as an important Hebrew printing center, brought some more jewish suls to Basel. More jews came runing away from the sectarism of the French revolution. As other communities around the world, the Jewish Community of Basel was reborn and reborn so many times, as a real G-D's miracle. 1805 was the year of foundation of the community as it is today. Swiss jews received freedom of residence in 1866, freedom of worship in 1874 abd full civil rights in 1879.
The synagogue at Leimenstrasse was built by Hermann Gauss in 1868. It was expanded up to 1892 to acomodate 700 worshippers.
There is a lot more to tell, but I guess worth it to ask the CD and have it as a collector item. Quality of music and history are the main items of this work.
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