Sing unto God a new song;
Sing unto God, all the earth! (Psalm 96:1)
This week, Congregation Emeth has the extraordinary opportunity to be led in “singing unto God,” by world-renown composer and singer, Craig Taubman. I am bringing Craig here as a gift to you, Congregation Emeth, so that you have the experience of finding that voice inside you that sings to God. The intention is for it to inspire you, to awaken within you the ability to sing with joy the words of prayer.
Rabbi Jonathan Sacks wrote, “There is an inner connection between music and the spirit. When language aspires to the transcendent and the soul longs to break free of the gravitational pull of the earth, it modulates into song. Music, said Arnold Bennett is ‘a language which the soul alone understands but which the soul can never translate.’ …Tolstoy called it ‘the shorthand of emotion.’… Words are the language of the mind. Music is the language of the soul.”
When we are in prayer, we do not read; we chant and we sing. Every generation has found its own way to express our deepest emotions through song. Craig Taubman is one of the contemporary musicians who took the words of the siddur and made them accessible as prayer, transforming the prayer experience for our generation.
The mitzvah for this week is for you to listen to Jewish music (youtube, CDs, whatever sources you have) and allow it to penetrate into your soul. And of course, to experience our own Friday Night Live this Erev Shabbat, this Friday night, 7:15 PM, in our sanctuary.
May you have a week of blessings and a Shabbat of song!
Rabbi Debbie Israel