If Mayer Davis needed proof that music can fill in the spaces between the words in our lives, he found it one Shabbat morning when, after leading the services as cantor at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun on the Upper East Side, he visited his ailing mother.
Esther Frankel Davis, whose husband, Avrum, is a well-known cantor, was by then seriously ill and no longer able to speak or recognize family members. But she loved when her son sang to her, and sometimes she would hum along, with eyes closed.
George Robinson |
Special to the Jewish Week
Jim Guttmann was there at the beginning.
In 1980 he ran into Hankus Netsky, who was looking for a bass player for a new venture. Guttmann, a bassist, was "working at Rosie's Bakery" in Cambridge, Mass., so when Netsky asked if he was interested in playing Jewish music, he quickly replied in the affirmative although, he admits today, "I didn't know what he was talking about." He found out soon enough; the band had a concert two weeks later, at which Guttmann played.
George Robinson |
Special To The Jewish Week
Readers will no doubt recall a long-running advertising campaign for a fur company that posed famous women with the slogan, “What becomes a legend most?” Not, we grant, a campaign you’d be likely to see in these more animal-friendly days, but the question is a good one, “What becomes a legend most?”
If the legend is a musician, the answer is simple: play the music. Anything extra is nice, but nearly extraneous.
Standing on the bima behind a golden menorah, an emerald green leprechaun read from the megillah last Purim, a plush green top hat perched on his head and a red Irish-chasidish beard glued onto his flushed cheeks.
For any visitor to Dublin’s rustic Irish Jewish Museum, the warm-natured, red-bearded curator Raphael Siev was more than a familiar face: he was a fount of information and an admired Irish-Jewish leader.
Siev, 73, died of a short illness in the last week of January, during which he had insisted upon speaking at a Holocaust memorial event, The Independent newspaper in Dublin reported.