Cantor’s Corner

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Cantor’s Corner 2017-11-29T22:32:47+00:00

Cantor’s Notes – March 2018

One of my best friends, Cantor Jeffrey Shiovitz, recently taught me a beautiful midrash from Perek Shira, a chapter in Song. Attaching an appropriate verse to the elements of creation, it recounts how everything in the world sings; the lion sings, and the stars and the trees. The medieval Christian spiritualist, Thomas Kempis, beautifully wrote, “If you cannot sing like the nightingale and the lark, then sing like the crows and the frog, which sing as God meant them to.” This is the lesson of Perek Shira – within all of creation rests a song waiting to happen.

Moses had trouble speaking, but at the sea, “So sang Moses and the children of Israel.” His speech impediment did not prevent his song. There is even a Talmudic tradition that the worthy King Hezekiah might have proved himself to become the Messiah, but when his time came to sing to God, he could not sing. Redemption itself requires a song. Shira in Hebrew means both poetry and song; each day we recite a shir shel yom, a psalm of the day. In the Temple, the psalms were accompanied by music. We sing just like creation a tribute to the Creator of all. As it is written in Shir Hakavod – the Song of Honor, “I sing hymns and weave songs because my soul yearns for it.”

So, please join me in Shira, in song. Spend a few moments each day in song and let us sing together every time you come to services – together we will sing a jubilant song.

Chanukah song sheet

Previous posts:

27Oct, 2017

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25Aug, 2017

Cantor’s Notes – September 2017

Many synagogues buildings in existence today were built at a time when the Sanctuary Bimah was a placed front and center. The Rabbi would preach from her podium and the Cantor would sing and chant [...]

22Apr, 2017

Cantor’s Notes – May 2017

A Few Thoughts…. A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to join 25 plus members of TEPV in Washington, D.C. for the 2017 AIPAC Policy Conference. Together with 18,000 other likeminded people, Jew and [...]

26Dec, 2016

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On occasion, I have been accused of introducing one too many new melodies into our Shabbat or Holiday repertoire. Other times, I’ve heard through the grapevine, that the Cantor is changing melodies that have been [...]

1Nov, 2016

Cantor’s Corner – Nov 2016

Shalom. As I am writing this column, Rosh Hashanah is behind us and Yom Kippur is less than a week away. Sukkot, celebrating with the Lulav and Etrog and enjoying meals and parties in the [...]