October 21, 2020 ~ Shabbat NOAH. SIGAH.

Ezekiel Albeg

 

Ezekiel Hai Albeg - יחזקאל חי אלביג

 


Biography

1910-1995

Ezekiel Hai Albeg was a prolific composer of pizmonim.  Born in Baghdad in 1910, he learned in the Talmud Torah Al Zalka.  He moved to the Old City of Jerusalem in 1925 at the age of 15 and eventually attended the Porat Yosef Yeshiva.  By age 17, he published his first pizmonim book called “Rinat Yehezqel” - רינת יחזקאל.

His style of composing pizmonim was unique compared to other composers of this time.

Albeg immigrated to the United States in 1937; he regretted moving away from the Holy Land for the remainder of his life.  In the United States, he lived amongst the Syrian Jewish community.   From 1940-1949, he officiated as cantor at Congregation Ahabat Ahim.  In the 1950s and 1960s, he was the cantor of Congregation Ahi Ezer of 71st Street.

He composed hundreds of pizmonim and 8 books: (1) “Kenaf Haaress”, Jerusalem, 1935, (2) “Kenaf Renanim”, New York, (3) “Mizmor Shir”, 1960; published by Shaya Raphael Dweck, (4) “MeAram Naharaim ‘Ad Yerushalayim”, 1963, (5) Siddur “Shabbat Shalom”, 1941, (6) Mahzor “Shelom Yerushalayim”- Rosh Hashana, (7) Mahzor “Shelom Yerushalayim”- Yom Kippur, (8) Mahzor “Shelom Yerushalayim”- Sukkot.  Albeg was a significant contributor of pizmonim to our community’s Pizmonim Book entitled “Shir uShbaha Hallel veZimrah.”  He lived in Los Angeles, California, in the later years of his life until his passing in 1995.

Pizmonim

Section Pizmon Page Song CommentaryRecordings Application
Rast 167 144 נאוה יפה צביה This pizmon (RAST, page 144), whose title translates as "Lovely, Pretty Gazelle," is the first, and possibly only, pizmon to be written in honor of a baby girl. In the 1950's, some complained that there were many songs written for baby boys, yet nothing for girls. In 1954, master poet Ezekiel H Albeg corrected this by composing this for the birth of his daughter, Nina. Today, this song is used for an Abi HaBat before going up to the Torah. There are four stanzas in this song; corresponding to name "Nina." The first stanza also serves as a chorus; to be repeated after each subsequent stanza. The melody of this is from the Arabic song "Ya Widel Widalakh." In this song, there are many references to Shir HaShirim; containing imagery that illustrates the relationship between God and the Jewish people. One such reference from Shir HaShirim is the repeated phrase at the end of each stanza "Bo'ee Legani, Legani Beshir, Mizmor Halleli" (Come to My garden in song...); referring to Israel's joyous return to Jerusalem in song and in praise. Although the song is officially classified as Maqam RAST, the word 'Nava' in the beginning of the song hints that it can also be classified as NAWAH. G. Shrem
Recording
אל ההודאות
Ajam 252 202 שירו שירה חדשה The pizmon "Shiru Shira Hadasha" (AJAM, page 202), translated as "Sing A New Song," is a very unique song in our tradition. The melody of this pizmon is from the 1918 American patriotic song “God Bless America” by Irving Berlin. This pizmon is composed by the master poet, Cantor Ezekiel Hai Albeg (1910-1995), in honor of the spiritual leader, H Mordekhai (Mourad) Tarab Maslaton (Damascus, 1876 - New York, 1959), at the inauguration of Congregation Ahi Ezer (2165 71st Street in Bensonhurst) on Sunday, April 8, 1951 (2 Nisan, 5711). Ahi Ezer is a congregation founded by Jews of Damascus origin. H Mourad Maslaton served as Rabbi and Hazzan Sefer Torah from 1920 until his passing in 1959. In this two stanza song commemorating the inauguration of a new building, we “sing a new song to the One who resides in the heavens” and who “listens to our cries.” We also pray for God to “bless our community (“Qahal”) with long lives.” The use of this melody for their inauguration of their building is a testament to this community's patriotism and their love for America; a country that took them in with open arms and a country that they fought for in World War II. Congregation Ahi Ezer M. Nadaf
Bayat 388 312 שירו שיר חדוה Benjamin Becker (Red Book) or Albert Levy (Mizmor Shir Book) Bar Misvah. Fule Yanani
I. Cabasso
Recording
Isaac Cabasso- Qaddish
Shrem and Cabby
נשמת
Bayat 389 313 צור יה אל This pizmon (BAYAT, page 313), whose opening words translate as "Rock, Lord, God, King of the Universe, Unto You Are My Thoughts" was written in the early 1950's by Cantor Ezekiel H Albeg. It was written as a birthday dedication to Mr Charles A Serouya (d. 2005), the President of Young Magen David (YMD). "Charlie", as he was affectionately known, had a rare vibrant personality and devoted most of his life to supporting synagogue causes. The unique group that he created, Young Magen David, or "Charlie's Shul," was the first self-governing 'Youth Minyan' in the Community. The opening words of the song, "Sur Ya El," are a play on Charlie's last name "Serouya," and the acrostic of the song is "צעירי מגן דוד" (Young Magen David). The melody of this song is an instrumental piece called "Bint al-Balad" (Daughter of the Country) by Mohammad 'Abd al-Wahab. What made the composition of this pizmon extremely difficult is that the original Arabic piece, a bashraf, had no words; only a recurring melody. It was only at Gabriel A Shrem's insistence that Cantor Albeg undertook the challenge of composing beautiful Hebrew words to this catchy melody. Photograph of Charlie Serouya M Kairey
S. Salem
M. Tawil
Recording
פזמון
Saba 508 423 עזי עזי This pizmon (SABA, page 423), whose chorus alludes to the Song of the Sea (Exodus 15) as well as Isaiah 54, has opening words that are translated as "My Strength and My Defense is from God; You will not be put to shame or disgrace for God will comfort you". This song is composed by Cantor Ezekiel Hai Albeg as indicated by the acrostic: Yehezqel Hai. In this song, the author laments about his inability to go back to the Land of Israel due to being stuck in exile and surrounded by his enemies. The opening words in the Hebrew song "Ozi Ozi Ozi Ozi VeZimrat Ya" closely resembles the opening words in the corresponding Arabic song "Hizee Hizee Hizee Hizee Mahrumatekh." The Arabic song is by a famous Syrian Jewish singer named Rachel Samocha (1895-1955), also known as Fayrouz Al Halabiya. There are 4 stanzas in this song and a recurring chorus (Ozi Ozi). The melody of this song can be applied to El Hahodaot on weeks of Maqam SABA. This melody, as well as the pizmon itself, is said to be closely linked to Shabbat Ki Tesse due to the words of consolation "Lo Teboshi Lo Tikalmi" from that weeks Haftarah portion (Isaiah 54:4). G. Shrem
G. Shrem
Recording
R Barzani- Hahodaot
אל ההודאות
Sigah 565 470 יה אל לך אהללה In honor of Gabriel A Shrem, cantor of Congregation Magen David of 67th Street. Photograph of Gabriel and Rachel Shrem Five Generations of Shrem Uncles (2013) Photograph of 5 generations of Shrem Family (2013) I. Dayan
G Shrem Interview
פזמון
903 144c חי אל מגנם Maqam Hijaz In honor of Nouri Dayan, president of Ahi Ezer. Recording
I Dayan
2642 מלכי איום ונורא Maqam Sigah Lehen: Wansit Ta'abi. Pizmon by E Albeg, in Maqam Sigah, composed in honor of H Mordekhai Maslaton on the day of a Torah Dedication in Congregation Ahi Ezer. Song mentions Menorah. E Albeg, "Mizmor Shir." I Cabasso
I Dayan
אל ההודאות
4003 106d מלך עולם לך ארנן Maqam Petihot Recording
4022 די לה נעה די לה Maqam Bayat For David "Ditto" Tawil; son of Naftali Tawil. Recording
4764 רצה נא אל Maqam Bayat Bar Misvah of Rabbi Max Sion Maslaton. E Albeg, "Mizmor Shir." E Albeg
I Dayan
4797 אלי זרח Maqam Ajam
4798 בראשית ברא אלהים Maqam Rast For Shabbat Bereshit.
4799 הודו לאל קראו בשמו Maqam Rast
4800 חי רם ברך חתן אהוב Maqam Mahour In honor of Isaac J Shalom, community philantropist. I Dayan
J Mosseri- Pizmon
J Mosseri- Nishmat
נשמת
4801 חנני קבוץ בני יה Maqam Rast I Dayan
4802 יה מלך עליון Maqam Mahour Hymie Basil Cohen. I Dayan
4803 יודו לאל וישבחו Maqam Rast For Shabbat Shemot.
4804 יחיד הוא בשמי עליה Maqam Rast
4805 לחיים נא זכרנו Maqam Rast
4806 מזמור שיר ליום השבת Maqam Rast
4807 מתי אסעה לארץ ידידי Maqam Rast Same melody as Diglekh Yisa (page 138). I Dayan
4808 על הר סיני נגלית Maqam Rast Bar Misvah of Gabriel M Didia. Same melody as Ab Harahman Ahabta (page 140). I Dayan
4809 אדון יה רם על רמים Maqam Nahwand Bar Misvah of Victor Didia. Melody of "Ya Dunia Garmi" (Arabic).
4810 יה פלאך יספרו Maqam Nahwand Isaac Zaki Cohen. I Dayan
4811 לך אני אבי Maqam Hijaz Same melody as "Nada Ani" on page 506.
4812 רננו גדלו ושירים מללו Maqam Hijaz In honor of Charlie Manopola; very involved in perpetuating Albeg's pizmonim. Same tune as "Mul Eli Vegodlo" on page 502a.
4813 אהללה אהללה צורי לך אהללה Maqam Bayat
4814 אל הומה הומה הומה Maqam Bayat In honor of David Shabot Levy, a man very involved with Hazzanut and pizmonim. I Dayan
4815 אל חי דודיך יזכירו Maqam Bayat For Shabbat Vayehi.
4816 אל מהולל גלה קצם Maqam Bayat In memory of Ezekiel Dweck.
4817 אל נאמן הרם דגל גדודים Maqam Bayat
4818 אל נדיב יוצרי דק ואדמה Maqam Bayat
4819 אל צורי שוכן בעליל Maqam Bayat
4820 גבולי שוב נא הציב Maqam Bayat
4821 גלה נא זיו הדרך Maqam Bayat
4823 הלל ושירה אהללה לך Maqam Bayat
4824 הללו דר גבוהים Maqam Bayat For Shabbat Vayiqra.
4825 הנני נגש Maqam Bayat Arabic melody is "El Nil Nagashi." Same melody as on page 299-II.
4826 וירא אליו עושהו Maqam Bayat For Shabbat Vayera.
4827 חיש נא יחיד אנא Maqam Bayat In honor of Leon Levy. I Dayan
4828 יה אל אמונים Maqam Bayat
4829 יה לבית נוי השקיפה Maqam Hoseni
4830 יה נא אורך אנא שים Maqam Bayat
4831 יה צח אל סתרי ומגני Maqam Rahawi Nawah
4832 יה רם נשא Maqam Bayat
4833 לאל חביב תנו Maqam Bayat In honor of Shaya Raphael Dweck, publisher of "Mizmor Shir" pizmonim book, 1960. I Dayan
4834 מלך אדון האדונים Maqam Bayat In honor of Mr Rubin Bibi. I Dayan
בפי ישרים
4835 מלך עולם ועד קולי שמעה נא Maqam Bayat In honor of H Jack Maslaton. I Dayan
4836 נורא נורא יה נורא Maqam Bayat In honor of Alfred Sutton. I Dayan
4837 על ארץ כבודך Maqam Bayat For Shabbat Teruma.
4838 עלה ציונה אור נשא לנו Maqam Bayat
4839 עלי רעיתי ובקול הרניני Maqam Bayat
4840 רנה אני אגידה Maqam Bayat Bar Misvah of David M Didia.
4841 שוב נא אלינו Maqam Bayat For Shabbat Vayigash.
4842 שובי שולמית שובי Maqam Bayat Same melody as "Shubi Haadi Et Edyekh" on page 280.
4843 שיר וזמרה ארנן Maqam Bayat
4844 שיר ורנה נמלל Maqam Bayat For Shabbat Rosh Hodesh or the Shabbat Mebarkhim (prior to Rosh Hodesh).
4845 הודו נא עם בר יום מועדי Maqam Saba Honoring Naftali A Tawil.
4846 יה בא לאפריון Maqam Saba Honoring Morris J Bibi.
4847 יעירוני רעיוני Maqam Saba This song is from Rabbi Yehuda HaLevi of Spain.
4848 לי יה לי יה יבנה יה Maqam Saba Honoring Isaac David Cohen. Same melody as page 426a.
4849 צבית חן מראך הראיני Maqam Saba
4850 שלח נא אליה הנביא Maqam Saba
4851 הלל שיר אגמור אני Maqam Sigah Bar Misvah of Victor Didia.
4852 חי ביתך מהר כונן Maqam Sigah In honor of David J Bibi.
4853 יה חביבי לך אניב שפה Maqam Sigah Same melody as "Aneni El Bamerhab Ya" on page 468-II. I Dayan
4854 יה חון עדתי צור ישראל Maqam Sigah Bar Misvah of Irwin Nouri Dayan. I Dayan
4855 לבבתיני אחותי כלה Maqam Sigah Wedding of Eli Basil Cohen. I Dayan
4856 עפעף שחרים Maqam Sigah
4857 רנה אגיד לאל על Maqam Sigah In honor of Joseph Jack Mevorach.
4858 רני עדתי כי בא עת לשמוח Maqam Sigah Shabbat Noah.
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