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Ancient Jews Music 12: Those who blow the trumpet and the shofar

The treasures of the temple are immortalized on the Gate of Titus in Rome. From Wikishare
The treasures of the temple are immortalized on the Gate of Titus in Rome. From Wikishare

The priests

  1. Priesthood flowers

We have already mentioned above the importance of the body known as "the funeral cadets". We will point here to another body called "the flowers of the priesthood". The flowers of the priesthood took a particularly prominent place in the issue of Yom Kippur, because in this ceremony the figure of the high priest rose, unlike other events that took place in the temple.

The Mishna opens a window for us regarding the role of the flowers of the priesthood. These were supposed to make sure that the high priest did not fall asleep on the night of the ceremony and in order to avoid this they would "prepare before him with a sard (forehead, middle finger) on the thumb". And it was a work of art in itself.

They were forbidden to engage the high priest with a harp or a violin but with the mouth, and they would sing before him the "song of virtues" from the Psalms.

Berita in the Babylonian Talmud omitted the box "priesthood flowers" and listed under it "the beloved of Jerusalem." That is, that the "Dear Jerusalem" staffed, not only the "funeral cadets" but also the "flowers of the priesthood". And so, the things that were attributed to the "funeral cadets" in one of the previous sections, are beautiful in their general instruction even regarding the "flowers of the priesthood". And interestingly, even here, as before, their skill was in music.

The account of legendary moments is found in the Megillat Tanit about Alexander of Macedon who visited the Land of Israel. The important people of the city came out to meet him, led by the high priest. In this honor we recognize "the vicars of Jerusalem with him and a thousand bulletins (people of the city council, in numerical exaggeration of course, or well-to-do in general) covered in white (clothes) and priesthood flowers tapping on server instruments". This story was brought up by Yosef ben Matthew, who does not hint, even with a slight hint, about the musical instruments of the priests, and this version of his must be accepted since he was a priest, and if musical instruments were mentioned in the hands of the priests, he would not have been in a hurry to ignore it, on the contrary. And Joseph's testimony is much earlier than the scroll of Ta'anit. This legend appears in the Babylonian Talmud without mentioning the flowers of the priesthood.

The relationship between the priesthood and music

It is difficult to talk about a real musical role among the priesthood. Throughout the days of the Second Temple, the Levites were connected to the world of temple music, in law and in practice. With the exception of one or two cases, such as in connection with the "flowers of the priesthood", the function of the priesthood, at least the one involving the use of musical instruments, i.e. trumpet and shofar, was not musical in the full sense of the word. This role was folded into the dimension of giving signs, signs that touched the music or the ritual of worship itself and I would like to shed light on these two functions:

A - the trumpet blast

We have already discussed above the number of explosions in the Temple - 21 every day up to 48 on special occasions. And here is the place to ask: Is it a trumpet, or a shofar?! And who were the ones who stuck with these tools?

The literary sources available to us, whether they belong to the period in question or after it, sometimes reveal a lack of clarity regarding the first question. However, if we look at the issue of the source of the explosions in the Temple, while searching for verification and deduction in the various sources, the following picture will stand out: in the source of the explosions in the Temple there is no mention of an explosion on Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, or during a public fast. These are the three individual passages that will later raise the problem of distinguishing between a shofar and a trumpet. That is, in this way of eliminative investigation it is likely to be a trumpet.

Moreover, the mishna that explained to us the number of delicious takyous, among other things, the takyous on Shabbat evening and its evening. This fact received a significant echo in the writings of Joseph. There it is said that the priests pierce and the instrument is the trumpet. And so it is in relation to the impingement associated with the pumping of water from the shipping spring. And as a general rule, a line of sources explicitly indicates that the ones who stick are the priests.

The priests blowing the trumpets, as an ancient tradition of the days of the Second Temple, has a very deep meaning symbolism for the divine order to Moses in the wilderness (in the book of Genesis 1:XNUMX and onward), and especially for the period of our discussion in the present chapter, since our time sometimes hangs various musical passages in the image of the ancient Moses, while shaping him in the world of the legend. Furthermore, the trumpet was a symbol expressing respect and a noble aura and even an interesting supernatural element that often appears in testimonies from ancient Egypt.

It should be emphasized that in relation to the biblical period there is no absolute certainty in all the sources as to whether it is a practice where only the priests blow the trumpets. And apart from the testimonies in the Book of Chronicles, from the Second Temple period, there is the famous testimony from Mashli Ben Sira about "Then the sons of Aaron (the priests) played with trumpets" (v. 15).

The biblical teaching commanding to cast the trumpets from silver was carefully highlighted in our time in question (we will deal with the "golden trumpets" later), and their doing in the examination of "the work of a craftsman and the work of corns" (Midrash Seferi, Bambar, in HaHalotach EB, p. 68). Even their number, according to the biblical instruction, as God's command to the first Moses, at least two, a pair of trumpets of equal size. And it should be noted that the trumpet players were required to be innocent and not religious, since the public status requires an impressive and inspiring appearance, of course. This, it should be noted, was practiced every day, however, in the "congregation" prayer, even a believer was allowed.

An interesting episode from the time of Agrippa II (close to the outbreak of the Great Revolt) enriches us with an important detail: there were barrios in Jerusalem who were entrusted with renting the trumpets to the priests, a trumpet - for a gold dinar, and it was a "great reward" for those Jerusalemites. This case, obviously, did not deal with the renting of tools for daily use or for the times in the Temple, since in this institution all the holy tools, including the musical instruments, were kept. There is no doubt that these are very special events, in which every priest is required to cheer with a trumpet, and thus many were required to rent the instrument. It is possible, although there is no allusion to this, that this is a body of craftsmen and/or merchants, which was connected, in one way or another, to the temple and provided for its needs in certain cases.

It is worth noting that an interesting picture emerged from the Shu'abe House, in which the Levites are the ones blowing the trumpets. Is this the copyist's error or was the hand of a magia involved? Is this a one-time incident, or was it a practice only for the joy of Beit HaShuava? It is not in our power to rule and decide. It seems that if the latter option was closer to the truth, there is room to understand this against the background of the tensions and struggles between the funeral and the priesthood in the last decade to the days of the Second Temple.

(b) - blowing the shofar

This issue is shrouded, quite a bit, in the fog of lack of clarity, as far as the traditions in front of the house are concerned. The place of the shofar, during the time of destruction and onward, is honorable. However, before the destruction of the Temple, it lost its place, at least among the senior instruments in the Temple, because in all the musical instructions regarding the necessary number of musical instruments in the Temple, the Shofar's place was lost. The reason for this lies in an interesting phenomenon, one that deserves to be stood up for and reviewed.

Several sources have helped us to assume that even here, the ones blowing the shofar are the priests. Although some disagree on this for various reasons and assume that the blowing of the shofar was not the property of the priests, and it is interesting that in the scrolls of Serach Hachad (the scroll of the war between the sons of light and the sons of darkness, 7:13, 12-6) the ones who blow the shofar are actually the Levites. Apparently the shofar and the trumpet were used indiscriminately. And it should be noted that Rabbi Yehoshua the Ta'im in the Mishnah (Canes XNUMX:XNUMX) said that trumpets were made from the horns of the sheep/goat. From this, the assumption above about the use of tools without distinction is confirmed. The lack of a clear distinction between a shofar and a trumpet, such as appears from several testimonies, also contributes to the obscurity of the problem and its complexity.

Things are even less clear and clarified when it comes to the issues of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and public poverty. The delicious Alexandrian Philo, because on Rosh Hashanah they blew trumpets, and hence, in his opinion, this holiday should be called the Trumpet Festival. And since Philo did not rely on the Bible but on his knowledge of the practice in the Temple in Jerusalem at the time, and even some of the Sage's sources put their hands on this practice, there is reason to accept his words.

Some argue that there is no evidence of the blowing of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah in the Temple in any reliable source, except outside the Temple, at the "Eastern Gates" on the "Temple Mount", where the public fasting ceremony was also held, and that the Mishna (Timad 8:4) that highlighted Shema The sound of the shofar from Jerusalem (like the other instruments such as the song, the rake, the ringing, etc.) in Jericho, does not help us to connect the event in which the shofar was blown and only the trumpets are the ones that were used on Rosh Hashanah. It should also be noted that the verse in the Psalms (PA XNUMX) - "Blow the shofar in the month of the month for the day of our festival", did refer to Rosh Hashanah, after all, it means that you blow the shofar in the temple on Rosh Hashanah. However there is no hands to trust that.

Be that as it may, the difficulty arising from the testimony of Philo of Alexandria can, I believe, be solved by the Mishna which states that both on Rosh Hashanah and Lent two trumpets and one shofar were blown. Even though the taste changed the senior role of the shofar on Rosh Hashanah compared to the trumpets, the sound effect, which Hod and Hadar were celebrated in, was naturally given more to the trumpet than to the shofar. And as for the trumpeters, these were certainly priests, priests who were defined by two wind instruments - the trumpet and the shofar.

It is indeed puzzling that post-biblical evidence is steeped in the mention of the Shofar, one that occupies the central place in religious ceremonies, while in the days of the Temple the place of this instrument was reduced. It seems that there is actually a lot of logic behind this phenomenon. The sacrificial offering, which needed musical instruments, lasted throughout the days of the Second Temple. With the destruction, the vessel that was not connected to the sacrificial work stood out, because the restoration of the temple vessels to life, even though the sacrifices were canceled, as a grave betrayal of the principles of Jewish tradition, as an indirect attempt to revive the sacrifices as well, even though the temple was destroyed, an attempt that was considered taboo throughout the days of the house.

And as for the instruments of the temple, this is a special system, the components of which were sound-musical, and the shofar, like it as a non-musical cry, and technical (and the shofar was finally simple, natural, lack luster and brilliance. So the trumpet actually found its permanent, required place , in the temple, while the shofar was relegated to an angular horn, a corner that would later become, after the destruction and onward, a musical cornerstone.

h) The rake and the organ

Although a special chapter will be devoted to discuss the Zamkar instruments, each instrument and its essential technical aspects. I chose to talk about these two instruments together, since our discussion about the music in the temple, towards the end of the days of the Temple, may be incomplete without the presentation of two somewhat problematic instruments, which opened a wide window to various problems, which were above and beyond purely technical effects.

  1. the rake

A tool mentioned in connection with the constant sacrifice in the temple, when the two priests arrived: the one who won the incense and the one who won the anointment, between the hall and the altar - "One took the rake and threw it between the hall and the altar. No one hears the voice of his friend in Jerusalem over the sound of the rake. And she used three things - a priest who hears her voice knows that his fellow priests are entering (the temple) to bow, and he runs and comes. And Ben-Levi who would hear the voice (of the rake) and know that his fellow Levites were going in to speak (crack) in song, and he ran and came..." (Mishnat Timid 6:XNUMX). The sound of the rake was so great that it was heard, according to tradition, even as far as Jericho.

Babylonian sages were impressed by Shakla-Vatria, in the description and diagnosis of this vessel: "It is a cubit wide and a cubit high and comes out on the right. The instrument has ten holes and each hole "brings out (produces) ten kinds of singers." She is all singing a thousand kinds of singers" (Talmud Babili Arakhin, XNUMXth end of p. XNUMX - XNUMXth beginning of p. XNUMX). There is no doubt that before us is a distinction steeped in legend, and even the fact that this is a Babylonian tradition makes it quite difficult for the reliability of the explanation and clarification (even though it is known that the sages of Babylon possessed original and reliable Land of Israel traditions).

Some hold that it is not a musical instrument at all. Others hold the opinion that this instrument was a kind of drum with bells. Some hold the view that it is nothing more than the tool that is found in reliefs and paintings and is seen by many as a trowel, and from that the musical rake was in a sense a genius invention of Jews from the Land of Israel or from one of the Diaspora.

The next tablet, which was revealed as part of a column from Kfar Paki'in, will clarify the version of the researcher Yehoshua Brand. In this panel is the rake and to the right, at the feet of the seven-caned menorah, is the square accessory at the bottom of the shofar (Y. Brand, for the history of the archaeological square problem and its solution, Sinai, XNUMX, p. XNUMX ff.).

However, it will still be difficult for us to understand how this instrument made its mighty sound when it was thrown away. It would be far from assuming that this is a kind of "gong". As a tool that was accepted in the Far East and migrated, later, to the Near East. This tool, it is possible that it was in the form of the rake for raking the manure in the Temple. And so we can imagine the following picture: the plate of the vessel, like a large copper plate pattern (machta), was suspended between the hall and the altar, and next to it was suspended, at a precise distance, the hia. And by Hafet Hiya - throwing it into the center of the board, the mighty sound was heard, a sound that shook the thresholds.

The fact that this tool has not received any interpretation, whether in the mishna itself or in the supplement, contributes quite a bit to the obscurity of the issue. It can of course be argued that the lack of interpretation is based on the fact that sages knew for sure what the interpretation of this instrument was. However, even so, we are not prevented from denying the interesting mystery surrounding the instrument in question.

  • the organ

 In the addendum we read that "Rabbi Shimon ben Gamaliel says: The radouls were not in the temple, because the (instrument) mixes the sound and spoils the pleasantness" (Arakhin 14:XNUMX). In the Babylonian Talmud the words are mentioned by name and a Babylonian sage clarified the definition of the instrument as "tabla gorgadna" (Arakhin XNUMX, p. XNUMX), we were a big drum "because its sound is deep (it should be - "thick") and mixes the pleasantness". Even there it is said - "it was not in the temple" and it is interesting, by the way, that in some versions the word "not" was deleted, when the instruction was - "the radolim was in the temple".

The Jerusalem Talmud clarified the name of Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish (Rish Lakish) as follows: "Rashbul said: an organ is an ardbals". Tani Rashbagh - there was no ardebele in Jerusalem because it stinks of pleasantness" (Sukkah chapter XNUMX, XNUMX, p. XNUMX).

Some believe that it is a flute or an oboe (Kihan, p. 60) and some believe that it is a water organ (Kreus, Talmudic Archeology, p. 92-91), where "Hardaulis", "Hardaulis", "Ardbalis", or "Ardbalis" ” were derived from the Greek, and transliterated into Hebrew - “Idraulos”, “Idraules”. When this tool was invented by Ctesibius of Alexandria (221-246 BC) and enjoyed a renewed flourishing during the reign of Nero (68-54 AD). (H. Avnari, Israel and Korbelin, Tzalil B, 1961, p. 66). And in this case, it will be specified in a water organ.

This assumption is strengthened in my opinion from the Greek-Latin semantic aspect and even supports an interesting parable in the sources of the Sages.

The mishna tells about an automatic device, a complicated and complex mechanical mechanism related to water that is found in the temple. Near it, from a parallel source, it is told about the Niknor gate in the temple which was brought from Alexandria in Egypt. Interesting automatic devices were found in the Egyptian temple, and it should be noted that Pausanias told about an ingenious automatic device found in the Jerusalem temple. It is not impossible to assume that a minor who made, who installed "a mechanical device (from the Greek word for a mechanical device) for the sink in the temple, which will be watered down in the night" (from Yoma 10:XNUMX), was influenced by the Alexandrian invention, or was even helped by Alexandrian experts (as well as at the gate of the Temple), which were ubiquitous in terms of facilities and mechanical mechanisms.

Furthermore, the Tosefta, after testifying about the "Hardauli" from the President's Rashbagh, expanded the coverage to a number of cases involving certain utensils that were used in the temple. For example - "A bell in the temple, of copper was (and interestingly, even the gate of Nicanor was of copper), and the water of Moses was (and this is an example, as I mentioned above, of the legendary tradition, which included musical traditions in the image of Moses), damaged! Sages (members of the Sanhedrin) sent and brought Omanin from Alexandria in Egypt, who bought him, and his voice was not as strong as it was" (Tosefta Arakhin 3:XNUMX). This image, it should be noted, is also repeated regarding the copper crater in the temple.

In one of the previous sections we saw how sages needed Alexandrian experts during the period of new appointments in the Temple in the last decade to the days of the Second Temple, and even here, also in relation to certain musical instruments. I brought up above the possibility of a connection between the automatic facilities in the temple and the foreign technology in connection with water, and furthermore, further down in the Tosefta about vessels that were damaged and called upon the sages of Alexandria, the Rashbagh commented on the plan to expand the shipping water, and the hydraulics needed water.

Moreover, it seems that there is a certain connection between the relationship with Alexandria and King Agrippa II, as the one who forged connections with Egypt, took care of holding musical competitions, was aware of the importance of music and its values ​​and even granted privileges to the temple poets in Jerusalem.

Moreover, in the case of the appeal of the Omni Alexandria and Amenia, the Bariata brought the following story: "Tano Rabbanan - obov (according to another version - flute) was in the temple. Part was, thin was, Cana's was and Moshe's day was. The king (probably Agrippa II) commanded and they plated him with gold, and his voice was not Arab. They took (peel off) its coating and its voice was evening as it was" (Arakhin XNUMX, p. XNUMX). And it is known that Agrippa II saw to the completion of the building of the Temple, and especially in everything that touched the architectural decorations and the various gold projections on the walls and columns.

And we will return to the "hydraulis" issue. It seems, in my humble opinion, that the words of Rashbagh which appeared in the sources, in a careful wording, hinted at the fact that an attempt was probably made (perhaps intended to please the Emperor Nero), but without much success, to integrate the organ into the system of musical instruments in the Temple. However, the sounds that emanated from it, which were tremendous according to the sources) threatened to "swallow" the sounds of the violins and harps, so the aforementioned plan was shelved. Even so, there is reason to assume that the temple music was organized and perfected as it seeks to improve the sound effect of the temple orchestra. The disqualification of the organ was based on the fact that its sounds did not fit into the aforementioned musical system and its repair, its installation finally qualified its re-integration.

One of the musical instructions in the aforementioned Mishnah Arakhin stated that "And he did not beat with a copper oboe, but with a reed oboe, because his voice is Arab" (Arakhin 3:XNUMX). In other words, an attempt was made to "beat a copper flute", but without much success. Moreover, the box, which was in terms of terminus technicalus - "and his voice was not Arab", or "and his voice was Arab", is repeated in all the cases listed above - the "hydraulis", the flute or the oboe that were in the temple, seems to be a mere coincidence.

Furthermore, in continuation of our issue, we will mention a second time the fact that a body was appointed which was called "the Levite youths", or "the Levite cadets". Those who sang together with the choir of Neluim, "to give a taste (a spice, a musical accompaniment) in a pleasant way" (Mishnat Arakhin 6:XNUMX). In other words, a system audit was conducted regarding the temple music, such that it was based on the examination and testing of the appropriate musical effects - there regarding the instrumental effect, and here - regarding the vocal effect.

At the end of the discussed section and its conclusion, it is said that temple music was organized and institutionalized in light of significant examinations and trials, with the help of which one learns to know the most suitable and desirable musical compositions. These attempts indicate a degree of foreign influences; On a certain involvement of the royal house, the House of Herod/Agrippa, while tying ties with the Alexandrian expertise, and in general teaching points to a deep consciousness, to a recognition of the importance of music in its temple-ritual context - an examination of a phenomenon that was well rooted in the landscape of the period in question: in the totality of all the significant innovations in music the temple 

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