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Monday, October 02, 2006

The Music of Hogros the Levite

On Yom Kippur we read from the Talmud tractate Yoma, the section dealing with Yom Kippur in the Beit HaMikdash, the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Chapter 3 mentions Hogros ben Levi, one of the Levites in charge of music in the Holy Temple:

"Hogros b. Levi - We have learned in a Boraitha: When he had to render his voice melodious, he placed his thumb in his mouth, and the index in his mustache. When all his fellow-priests heard his voice, they bent to the ground (from ecstasy)."

Other translations state that he put his thumb under his tounge to create a most beautiful melody.

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