Around 100,000 people thronged the western wall plaza on the eve of Yom Kippur for Selichot (repentance) prayers this year (via The Jerusalem Post). The fast of Yom Kippur, which begins tonight, is the culmination of a month of Selichot and the most solemn day of the year.
It has become a Jerusalem tradition for Moshe Habusha of the Ades synagogue to lead these prayers (56 minutes into the video). Habusha is one of the most distinguished hazzanim and paytanim of the Sephardic-Jerusalem school to emerge from the Ades synagogue, which was founded in the 19th century by Jews from Aleppo.
Habusha is famous for borrowing popular Arab tunes – especially Egyptian melodies – and reciting religious lyrics to them.
He was born in Jerusalem in 1962 and served as the hazzan (cantor) for Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the late Sephardic chief rabbi of Israel. Habusha’s grandfather was the famous paytan from Baghdad Gorgi Yair, who officiated as cantor in Jerusalem and from whom Habusha absorbed music of the foundations of liturgical music. He performs across Israel and abroad.
More about Moshe Habusha
Wishing all those who are observing Yom Kippur Well over the Fast