May 21, 2024
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May 21, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

Having your say with Ezra Douek

Photographed and interviewed by David Beyda

On Parshat Bahaalotecha:

The seven candles of the Menorah symbolize the seven days of the week. During the tefilah, the nusach and melody should be the same everyday.


On Chazanut:

The most important thing is concentration on the words, the tune and to be connected spiritually with the Almighty.

Influential people:

Chacham Eliyahu Cohen from Egypt, was my first teacher and the guide of my chazanut.

Chacham Yehuda Sadka – Rosh Yeshiva of Porat Yosef – a holy person! I studied there when the yeshivah was in Romemah; during the Jordanian occupation of the Old City. He taught me straightness and humbleness. Also, my uncle, Moshe Gabbai, who was the chevruta of Chacham Ovadia in Egypt. He taught me with the stick. He was very, very tough and straight, with humbleness. A beloved person to me.

On Israel:

People are suffering but with “achdut ha-am” Hashem will protect Israel and save us with his hand. It’s not just when the trouble comes that we get together and respect each other.


What makes you laugh?

My wife says I’m not a funny person and that I’m miserable all the time.


On hummus:

In the Old City – 1/4 of an onion (raw), 2 hot peppers, 3 pitas with chickpeas and olive oil on top. Made fresh in a “Hon” (Arabic for mortar and pestle). They put the chickpeas, lemon and olive oil and then chak chak chak they smash it!! Eat the hummus at 10am and you are good til 10pm. Habibi, that’s what you want!

Ezra Douek was born in Egypt, moved to Israel in 1956, served in the army for 7 years; Six Day War, Yom Kippur and Milchemet Atasah. In 1977, he moved to the USA. Ezra has lived in Teaneck with his wife Susan for the past 32 years. He is a proud father and grandfather, has been a Chazan for decades and is the proprietor of Diplomat Caterers, providing major hospitals and senior centers in NY with fresh Glatt Kosher meals.

Photos and interview by David Beyda 

Call David Beyda, the corporate headshot specialist, for your LinkedIn, business and shidduch photos.
IG @davidbeydaphotography. 212-967-6964, Studios in Manhattan and Teaneck

Want to be photographed for this series by David Beyda? Email him at [email protected]

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