Music for the season

Dear Congregation Beth Israel members and friends,

Music is one of the doors to the heart. The service known as Selichot (“Pardons”) is our first opportunity to immerse in high holiday music each year. Here are some of the melodies you’ll hear at CBI at Selichot (this Saturday night, August 25, at 8pm!)

Lulei He’emanti (Psalm 27:13)

(If you can’t see the embedded audio player, you can go directly to the mp3 here.) Melody by Rabbi David Markus.

The Thirteen Attributes

Melody source unknown; text from Torah. When we sing it here, we also often sing an English translation that fits to the same melody.

Ki Anu Amecha – For We Are Your People

The melody is “traditional” (source unknown). When we sing it here, we sometimes sing an English translation that fits to the same melody.

Return Again

Recorded by Neshama Carlebach; melody by her father.

Adon HaSelichot – Master of Pardons

“Traditional” Israeli melody. I first learned it at the Brookline Havurah Minyan, probably 20 years ago.

Achat Sha’alti – One Thing I Ask

Melody by I. Katz. When we sing this here, we also often sing an English translation that fits to the same melody.

If you’d like to listen to more high holiday music, either to familiarize yourself with the melodies and words or just to “get in the mood,” I highly recommend Tekiah from B’nei Jeshurun in New York City — at that link you can stream many of the songs of the high holiday liturgy, performed by their hazzan, musicians, and choir, and you can pick up a copy of the CD if you are so inclined. (We use many of the same melodies that they do.)

I hope to post again as the Days of Awe draw nearer with links to some of the other melodies we’ll be using here over the holidays.

May listening to (and singing!) these melodies prepare our hearts to open as we approach this most awesome and powerful time of year.

Wishing you blessings as we move deeper into Elul —

Rabbi Rachel

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