Hazzan Issac Azoze is the emeritus cantor of Seattle’s Congregation Ezra Besarroth, a community of Jews from the island of Rhodes (or ‘Rhodeslis’ as they are known). He recorded the 2-CD Liturgy of Ezra Bessaroth in 1999. He’s graciously provided me the mp3 file I’m featuring for this post, Ma Nishtanah (hear it) or Four Questions sung in the style of the Jews of Rhodes.
Some readers may know that Seattle has a relatively large Sephardic community of 5,000 Jews. It’s reported to be the second largest such community in the country. There are two main synagogues serving the Sephardim, Ezra Bessaroth and Sephardic Bikur Cholim.
The Four Questions are usually sung by the youngest family member at the seder. They are meant to teach children the basic events that happen during the seder by distinguishing between what we do at a normal meal and what we do at a seder:
*Why is it that on all other nights during the year we eat either bread or matzoh,
but on this night we eat only matzoh?
*Why is it that on all other nights we eat all kinds of herbs,
but on this night we eat only bitter herbs?
*Why is it that on all other nights we do not dip our herbs even once,
but on this night we dip them twice?
*Why is it that on all other nights we eat either sitting or reclining,
but on this night we recline?
Hazzan Azoze’s website features more information about his professional activities and offers the CD for sale.