Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

In Tune with the Tefillah: Interview with Chazzan Chaim Adler

Sara Miriam Gross

Rosh HaShanah is right around the corner. For many of us that means spending much more time than usual at shul: davening, hearing the shofar, and listening to the chazzan. What is it really like to be a chazzan? Mishpacha Junior takes you behind the scenes in this interview with the world famous Chazzan Chaim Adler.

Monday, September 26, 2011

MJ: Have you always like to sing and
if so, what kind of singing did you do as you were growing up?

Chazzan Adler: As a small
child I was the chazzan of my kitah . Every day when we davened
in class, and especially on Rosh Chodesh, I would be the chazzan and the
whole class would daven with me like in a shul.


MJ: How did you end up
being the chazzan?

Chazzan Adler: The
teacher asked the class who knows how to lead the davening. A few boys tried
out for the teacher but I was baki
an expert, in the tunes and tefillos used in shul so he chose me. My father is
a wonderful baal tefillah so I knew the tunes from my home. From
age three I was in shul listening. I also had a talent for noticing and
understanding the differences between the tunes used by various communities,
each according to their own minhag.


MJ: What is the
difference between a baal tefillah and a chazzan? Aren’t
you and your father doing the same thing?

Chazzan Adler: A baal
tefillah is a balabos who knows
how to daven. He knows what to say at this time or during that specific
davening — davening could be taking place in a shtiebel or some small
shul that has ten Yidden. Being a chazzan is more of a
profession, and a chazzan needs a big shul.


Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you