“ Music is a universal language, and needs not be translated. With it soul speaks to soul.” — Berthold Auerbach, Jewish poet & author
Relationships are what make a Jewish community. Everything we do in our work as clergy is about creating, building, enhancing and deepening them. Certainly we connect with each other as congregants and members of a synagogue community. We also nurture relationships with our families, our work, our friends outside of Jewish life. An important aspect of this process is actually listening to one another’s stories. We can lift up and celebrate one another’s life experience, and in doing so, create relationships that last.
As a Cantor, I know that music connects people to one another, to God and to themselves. Music gives life to words, meaning to prayer, and creates just plain joy. Music can express our history as Jews, and of the Jewish people. Music brings us together.
Music is also a part of our lives in ways that are often unfamiliar to people. Not everyone walks around whistling a tune, humming a niggun they heard at temple, or even thinking much about music at all. Some are shy about singing. Maybe even embarrassed. Others may be intimidated to sing in front of others.
The pleasure of being a Cantor is that I have the unique opportunity to bring it all together – relationships, connection and music. Making music is an open invitation to every single person. Because people enjoy being together when they’re singing, or clapping, or just getting into it, music is the spark that unites us, and gets it all going.
Music – its study, arrangement, interpretation and its performance – has been a focus my entire professional life. However, music is just a tool, for creating what I believe to be the heart and soul of a community.