Akiva Zimmerman z”l, Historian of Chazanus


Akiva Zimmerman, z”l, the noted journalist, historian of chazanus and musicologist, passed away on Sunday in Tel Aviv at the age of 80.

Zimmerman was the world’s leading expert in the history of chazanus, the author of a dozen works on the great figures in the field. Most of them were edited by Rav Yitzchak Alfasi, ybl”c.

Among other achievements, Zimmerman published articles on the world of chazanus in Hamodia.

Zimmerman himself was not a chazan, but he knew all of the famous chazanim and their work, and wrote copiously about Jewish music.

He also wrote on current events, and personally knew many of Israel’s leaders, particularly regarding their relationship to Jewish tradition and beliefs.

He earned his living for many years as a bank employee, while devoting all his spare time to the study of chazanus.

Zimmerman was not survived by any children or other family, but he left many friends who appreciated his fairness and honesty and the diligence with which he pursued his chosen profession.

In the three small rooms where he chose to live, he accumulated the largest archive of chazanus of its kind. That was his whole world, and that is where he passed away.

May his memory be for a blessing.

Akiva Zimmerman, z”l, was brought for burial at the cemetery in Holon on Sunday.

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