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Our Special Connection to Jewish Music

I love music. As a child, I made many attempts at learning how to play instruments such as the piano, the trumpet and the drums. When I was in elementary school, I remember playing my trumpet in holiday concerts and even singing in the choir. As I developed my connection to my childhood synagogue and the beauty of the Shabbat and Holiday services, I began to see the emotional connection we Jews feel to our music and how the combination of profound words and sacred music can enhance our worship experience.
 
Music is not only important to our people through our worship experiences but also through our reading of our Sacred Texts. In our Torah Reading this past Shabbat, we read the events of the Israelites leaving Egypt so this week we will read the events of the Crossing of the Red Sea and the magnificent song that they sang in celebration. Therefore this Shabbat is known as Shabbat Shira when we highlight not only this magnificent song but also the power of music in Jewish Tradition.
 
I invite you to join us this Shabbat as we contemplate our special connection to Jewish music. On Saturday morning, we will celebrate the fact that a young man is becoming a Bar Mitzvah when he will chant the Haftorah from the Book of Judges that includes the Song of Devorah - a lengthy wonderful selection that took him quite some time to prepare. Our service will be enhanced by the participation of LASHIR, our fantastic choir that sings for us ever year on Shabbat Shira and they present three special pieces under the direction of Marsha Edelman.
 
Our custom at The Jewish Center on Shabbat Shira is to invite David Spiegel to chant the Song of the Sea and he will do so again this year with the beautiful trope that is unique to this selection. This year the experience will be even more special because David will be joined on the bimah by his wife and their baby daughter and we will announce her Hebrew name to the congregation following the aliyah when her father sings the Song of the Sea.
 
This Shabbat we are also welcoming a Cantorial candidate, Hazzan Joanna Dulkin, who will be leading our Shabbat services both on Friday night and on Shabbat morning. We will have many opportunities during the weekend to interact with Hazzan Dulkin including especially when she is leading us in our davening. On Friday night beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the Beit Midrash, Hazzan Dulkin will lead our Shabbat service with her guitar so that we can enjoy our service with a musical instrument and on Shabbat morning she will lead both Shacharit and Musaf by singing. In addition to these special services in honor of Shabbat Shira, we are proud of the fact that on Friday night our Gan, Aleph and Bet students in our Religious School will also have their special service in the Sanctuary and 6:30 p.m.
 
There are so many good things happening at The Jewish Center this Shabbat and I hope that you will consider joining us. We are proud of the programs we have created that can help us all think about our personal connection to power of music in our tradition. I look forward to being with everyone - to pray together, to sing together and to be together.
 
Shabbat Shalom
 
Rabbi Adam Feldman
Posted: 1/25/2013 12:01:44 PM by | with 0 comments

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