Dr. Herman Prins Salomon, former UAlbany professor of languages, a repository of many Spanish-Portuguese tunes and traditions, passed away late this Sat Night (Motzai Shabbat Shira, 31st of January 2021, 18th of Shevat) at nearly 91 years.
We just went to see off the hearse. Earlier today, on this Shabbat morning, we went to his bedside at his home (on Norwood Street just behind the old Chapel House) and sang his beloved “Az Yashir Moshe” (the “Song at the Sea” from today’s Torah reading, actually our first reading at Shabbos House since the start of November when UAlbany went on pause) with his special tune, the song he would insist on singing each Shabbat, as well as his distinctive Baruch Haba from Hallel, and then said the Shema.
He stopped attending our morning services quite a few years ago when he developed Parkinsons, so current students and recent alumni do not remember him, but for alumni of past years he was a colorful fixture at our Shabbat Day services for many years. His favorite holiday was Sukkot, and he was eager to purchase a most beautiful Etrog each year (chosen by Rabbi Galperin) and to cover the expenses of our Schach. In fact, in his neighborhood letter advocating for the permitting of the new bigger and better Shabbos House, his argument was based on Sukkot!
Farewell, Eliezer ben Yitzchak!