Following the churban, were there any shuls that continued implementing a Choir after we were exiled? If so does the choir therefore have to be leviim?

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    In the UK, a lot of the United Synagogue shul (a union of British Orthodox Jewish synagogues, representing the central Orthodox movement in Judaism. With 62 congregations, comprising 40,000 members) especially on the Yomim Noraim (High Holy days) have choirs in order to make the davening more meaningful for the many "once a year" shul goers.
    – Dov
    Nov 14, 2023 at 17:07
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    [Here](shulmusic.org/sheetmusic/bluebook/… ) you may find the 1933 book used to instruct United Synagogue choristers. Nov 14, 2023 at 17:20
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    – mbloch
    Nov 14, 2023 at 17:26
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    kajinc.org/about/choir one of the few Orthodox places in America that still has one today. No they don't have to be Levites. And unlike in the Temple (which used instruments seven days a week), because they perform on Sabbath they are a capella.
    – Shalom
    Nov 14, 2023 at 17:53
  • Sephardic synagogues usually have a male choir -- such as mine back in Egypt or Shearith Israel in New York. Nov 14, 2023 at 18:23

1 Answer 1


Sephardic Synagogues have a long history of choirs, especially men's or boys choir. I do not believe they comprises the groups of based on being Levites or Koheins.

Here is choir from Alexandria in Egypt https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Egyptian_Alexandria_Jews._Choir_of_Rabbin_Moshe_Cohen_in_Samuel_Menashe_synagogue._Alexandria.jpg

I have also heard of Choirs from Iraq.

In a slightly related note, there is also a history of using Organ as an instrument in Sephardic synagogues such as those found in Egypt before the explosion.

Also a slightly related note, I believe Egyptian and other Sephardic synagogues that had choirs and organs ALSO had a microphone at the podium. And all of these things were considered okay for Shabbat according to their halakhic practice.

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    Organs and microphones in the synagogues of Egypt? Not in the 18 years I spent growing up there. Nov 15, 2023 at 5:56
  • @MauriceMizrahi I may be getting my sources mixed up. I know that it was the exposed Sepharadim that setup Organs in many locations throughout France, Italy, and I thought Egypt as well. I also remember reading halakhic literature of Rabbis who made rulings in Morocco and Egypt regarding microphones but I'll try to confirm and if I can't find my sources I'll edit out those points.
    – Aaron
    Nov 15, 2023 at 14:12

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