Jahres Yigdal of Moshe Schnerb

Every year, once a year, the jahres yigdal is sung on the festival of Simchas Torah. Jahres refers to the custom of incorporating all the tunes of the yearly cycle into the various tefillos of the day, often by the chazan masterfully switching between tunes of the holidays and such- 

 

There is a Yigdal sung on the eve of Simchas Torah in Breuer’s that  creatively and seamlessly switches between the tunes, subtly- weaving the motifs into a continuous melody. This jahres Yigdal was composed by the choir leader in Frankfurt, Moshe Schnerb. Moshe Schnerb was the son of Godschaeu or Chaim Gershon Schnerb the well known Chazan and choir leader  of Merzig, originally from Alsace. 

 

Moshe’s son – Dr. Godscheaux Schnerb was the first choir leader in the Breuer’s shul in New York, and his son Walter succeeded him in this task. 

 

When I was a young adult, I asked MR. Walter Schnerb if he could write out the list of tunes incorporated in the jahres Yigdal. Mr. Schnerb, a skilled bookbinder by profession, took the time to photocopy and cut out the lines of Yigdal from a Roedelheim siddur, and paste them to a paper and write the names of the melodies below each line. 

 

In the spirit of Jahres the tune flows in the order of the Jewish calendar from Simchas Torah, through the year, and back again to Simchas Torah. In the recorded version presented hereschnerbyigdal-2, the piano intro is taken from maoz tzur. I don’t know whose arrangement that was. 

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