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Playlist: Yiddish

Compiled By: Eva Breneman

Caption: PRX default Playlist image
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Rabbi Abulafia's Boxed Set

From Jon Kalish | 26:43

The story of a Lower East Side miracle

Default-piece-image-2 For more than two years in the 1950?s, avant-garde ethno-musicologist Harry Smith recorded a Lower East Side Rabbi?s cantorial music, folk songs and Yiddish story-telling. The Rabbi?s eccentric grandson, 82-year-old Lionel Ziprin, is hoping to re-release a condensed version of this material. It?s a holy mission for him. Ziprin is a Lower East Side legend who sounds uncannily like the late Lenny Bruce. But, unlike the comedian, Ziprin hangs out at a Lower East Side yeshiva and his life has been a lot wilder. Kalish first met Ziprin in 1998 when one of the reporter?s elderly Yippie friends introduced him to the man. Kalish did a short radio piece and a newspaper article about Ziprin?s rescue of the 15-LP?s his grandfather, Rabbi Nuftali Zvi Margolies Abulafia, recorded with the eccentric Harry Smith but knew the story would ultimately make a compelling radio documentary