CBI’s second contemplative chant-based Shabbat

Dear friends and members of Congregation Beth Israel,

This coming Shabbat morning, we’ll be holding our second-ever contemplative / chant-based service. We held one of these last November, and people seemed to really resonate with this mode of prayer, so I’m excited about doing it again.

What is a contemplative chant-based service? During this Shabbat morning service, we’ll use a stripped-down liturgy. We’ll pray just one or two lines from each prayer, singing each line several times so that we can really get inside the words and the words can really get inside us. The aim is to move more deeply into each prayer’s theme, and to connect with gratitude, awe, light, love, redemption, and more! After each chant concludes, we’ll sit in silence for a few minutes so that the prayers can reverberate inside us before we move on. Prayers for the sick will be included, as will a brief Torah reading. The only prayer we will recite in full-text form is the mourner’s kaddish.

If this sounds appealing or interesting to you, please join us! Here are the melodies we’ll be using this Shabbat (in case you want to listen to them in advance…)

Wishing you blessings on this 17th day of the Omer — the day of tiferet she’b’tiferet, balance and harmony squared!

Reb Rachel


0. Opening melody / song of the month

אנא בכח גדולת ימינך תתיר צרורה
ברוך שם כבוד מלכותו לעולם ועד
Ana b’koach, gedulat y’mincha, tatir tz’rurah.
Baruch shem k’vod malchuto l’olam va’ed.
Source of mercy, with loving strength, untie our tangles.
Through time and space, Your glory shines, Majestic One!

Ana B’Koach (mp3) (this recording features the whole prayer; we’ll just do the first and last lines)


1. Prayer for gratitude

מודָה אָנִי! / מודֶה אָנִי!
Modah ani (women) / Modeh ani (men)
I am grateful before You!

Modah Ani (mp3)


2. Prayer for the soul

.אֵלהַי נְשָמָה שְנָתַתָ בִי טהורָה הִיא
Elohai neshama, shenatata bi, tehora hee.
My God, the soul that You have placed within me is pure.

Elohai Neshama (mp3)


3. Ashrei (Happy!)

אַשְׁרֵי יוֹשְׁבֵי בֵיתֶךָ, עוֹד יְהַלְלוּךָ סֶּלָה:
Ashrei yoshvei veitecha, od y’hallelucha, selah!
Happy are they who dwell in Your house;
they will praise You, always!

Ashrei (mp3)


4. Kol HaNeshamah (All That Breathes) – from Psalm 150

כֹּל הַנְּשָׁמָה תְּהַלֵּל יָהּ הַלְלוּיָהּ:
Kol haneshamah t’hallel Yah.
All that breathes will praise You!

Kol HaNeshamah (mp3)


5. Yotzer Or (Creator of Light) – 1st blessing before the Shema

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ, אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם, יוֹצֵר אוֹר, וּבוֹרֵא חֹשֶךְ,
עֹשֶׂה שָׁלוֹם וּבוֹרֵא אֶת הַכֹּל:
Baruch atah, Adonai eloheinu, melech ha-olam, Yotzer or u-vorei choshech, oseh shalom u-vorei et ha-kol.
Blessed are You, Adonai our God, sovereign of creation, creator of light and former of darkness, maker of peace and creator of all.

Yotzer Or (Round) (mp3)


6. V’yached L’vavenu (Unify Our Hearts) – 2nd blessing before the Shema

וְיַחֵד לְבָבֵנוּ לְאַהֲבָה וּלְיִרְאָה אֶת שְׁמֶךָ.
V’yached l’vavenu, l’ahavah u-l’yirah et sh’mecha.
Unify our hearts in love and awe of Your name!

V’Yached Levavenu (mp3)


7. The Shema

שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל, יְיָ אֱלֹהֵינוּ, יְיָ אֶחָד:
Shema Yisrael, adonai eloheinu, adonai echad!
Hear, O Israel; Adonai is Our God; Adonai is One!

Shema (zhikr chant) (mp3)


8. Ozi v’zimrat Yah (God’s Song is My Liberation) – 3rd blessing surrounding the Shema

עָזִי וְזִמרָת יָה וַיְהִי–לִי לִישֻעָה.
Ozi v’zimrat Yah, vay’hi li l’y’shua.
My strength is in Your song, and You will be my salvation.

Ozi v’zimrat Yah (mp3)


9. Shalom chant (to end our silent amidah)

שָׁלוֹם, שָׁלוֹם, שָׁלוֹם, שָׁלוֹם.
Shalom, shalom, shalom, shalom.

Shalom chant (mp3)


10. Ana, El Na (Prayer for Healing) – after our Torah service

נפשי חולת אהבתך, אנא, אל נא, רפא נא לה!
Nafshi cholat ahavatecha; ana, El na, refa na la.
Your beloved is sick; please, God, heal her.

Ana El Na (mp3)


11. Ein Od Milvado (There is Nothing But God) – our Aleinu

אֵין עוד מִלבַדו, ה’ הוא הָאֶלהִים.
Ein old milvado, Hashem hu ha-elohim.
There is nothing but God; God is God.

Ein Od Milvado (mp3)


12. Shviti (I Keep God Before Me Always)

שְוִיתִי אָדונָי לְנֶגְדִי תַמִיד.
Sh’viti Adonai l’negdi tamid.
I keep God before me always.

Shviti (mp3)


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