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Gallery 5: Encounters with Modernity, 1772–1914

The Great SynagogueSynagogue(Yiddish: shul) – house of prayer. Traditionally, men and women sit in separate sections. on Tłomackie Street in Warsaw, which opened in 1878, was the pride of progressive Jews. These “Poles of the Mosaic faith” identified with Polish language and culture and believed in the possibility of integration. While services in the Great Synagogue were in HebrewHebrewboth the Jewish sacred language of prayer and study (Yiddish: loshn-koydesh) and modern Hebrew (Hebrew: ivrit), which developed in the 19th century and became the official language of the State of Israel., the sermons were in Polish, and women sat in a separate gallery. Listen to the voice of Gershon Sirota, one of the Great Synagogue’s cantorsCantor(Hebrew: azan, Yiddish: khazn) – a professional prayer leader with musical ability who conducts the synagogue service. A rabbi or layperson may also conduct the service., who was the first cantor to make a sound recording.

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The voice of Gershon Sirota, cantor at the Great Synagogue