Category Archives: music

Join us this week for Kabbalat Shabbat at CBI!

Kabalat-ShabbatJoin us this Friday evening at 6pm for Kabbalat Shabbat — the service of joyful songs, psalms, and prayers with which we “receive the face of Shabbat” and welcome the Shabbat Bride into our midst. Put a seal on the week and relax into the joy of Shabbat!

To whet your appetite, here are a couple of the melodies we will use this Friday night:

Shalom Aleichem, the song which welcomes the angels of Shabbat:

(Melody: Shneyer; Recording: Jeff Klepper.)

Yedid Nefesh, the medieval love song to God (this recording is Hebrew only; we will sing some in English, too):

(Melody: Traditional; Recording: Danny Maseng)

Here is an online folder which contains these mp3s (and a couple of others as well)- you are welcome to listen to them online or to save them to your own computer. And, of course, please support the artists by buying their music.

We hope to see you this Friday night at CBI!

Greeting the Beloved on Friday night

Dear Congregation Beth Israel members and friends,

Tonight will bring one of our First Friday Shabbats — we’ll begin at 6pm with candle-lighting and a potluck, and continue with Kabbalat Shabbat services after dinner, around 6:40.

In addition to the two beautiful melodies from Nava Tehila which we’ll be using tonight (which I sent out earlier this week — Shalom Aleichem and Lecha Dodi), we’ll be singing another of my very favorite Shabbat songs: a medieval love poem by R’ Eliezer Azkiri called Yedid Nefesh.

Our mystics imagined God as the cosmic Beloved, yearning for connection with creation even as we yearn for connection with divinity. Shabbat is the time when we and God meet in love.

Tonight we’ll sing Yedid Nefesh in English, using Reb Zalman z”l’s singable English translation which captures much of the poetry of the Hebrew. “You who love my soul,” the song begins, “sweet source of tenderness…” I am always moved by that way of describing the Holy One of Blessing: not as Lord, not as King (nor as Queen), but as the One Who loves us with infinite tenderness.

This love song imagines that tonight, as we welcome in Shabbat, our tired souls can bathe in divine light and find comfort. “My heart’s desire is to harmonize with yours,” writes R’ Eliezer (as rendered by R’ Zalman.) Imagine our hearts singing in harmony with the Source of All! That’s what our mystics thought that Shabbat is meant to provide.

For those who read music, here’s sheet music for the Yedid Nefesh we will sing tonight: yedid nefesh [pdf] Join us tonight for dinner and/or for Kabbalat Shabbat services where we will receive the face, the presence, of Shabbat; the presence of the divine Beloved; and the presence of the answering love within us which Shabbat can call forth.

Shabbat shalom —

Rabbi Rachel

 

Two melodies for Kabbalat Shabbat

Dear Congregation Beth Israel members and friends,

This weekend, which will be the first Friday of November, we’ll hold a First Friday Kabbalat Shabbat service.

Here are two of the melodies you’ll hear this Friday evening. Both come from Nava Tehila, the Jewish Renewal community in Jerusalem.

Shalom Aleichem – the song welcoming in the angels of Shabbat

(If you can’t see the embedded audio player, you can go directly to the song online: Shalom Aleichem.)

Lecha Dodi – “Come, my beloved, let us welcome the Shabbat bride”

(If you can’t see the embedded audio player, you can go directly to the song online: Lecha Dodi.)

Wishing everyone a joyous journey into Shabbat,

Rabbi Rachel

Kabbalat Shabbat melodies

Dear Congregation Beth Israel members and friends,

I’m excited about celebrating Shabbat on Friday nights at CBI again! And, I’m aware that we haven’t had regular Kabbalat Shabbat (“Receiving Shabbat” or “Welcoming Shabbat”) services in a few years, and that it would be nice to refresh everyone’s memory on some of the melodies we use.

Here are five of the melodies you’ll be hearing this coming Friday evening at the Kabbalat Shabbat service led by me and Rabbi David Markus:

Shalom Aleichem, the song which welcomes the angels of Shabbat:

(Melody: Shneyer; Recording: Jeff Klepper.)

Yedid Nefesh, the medieval love song to God (this recording is Hebrew only; we may sing some in English, too):

(Melody: Traditional; Recording: Danny Maseng)

We Are Loved, an English-language poem/song which we will use as our variation on Ahavat Olam:

(Melody and recording: Shir Yaakov)

Lach Amar Libi, “Seek My Face”, from Psalm 27, the special psalm for this month of the year (this recording is Hebrew-only; we will sing it in English, too):

(Melody and recording: Nava Tehila)

Kirtan Kaddish, a call-and-response setting of the kaddish:

(Melody and recording: Rabbi Andrew Hahn, “the Kirtan Rabbi“.)

Here is an online folder which contains the five mp3s – you are welcome to listen to them online or to save them to your own computer. And, of course, please support the artists by buying their music on iTunes or Amazon or via your favorite music-buying source!

I hope your Elul continues to be meaningful and sweet,

Rabbi Rachel

Shavua tov! Looking forward to Rosh Chodesh Elul and to parashat Re’eh.

Shavua tov – a  good week to you!

Take a moment to look up at the night sky this week and you will see the crescent moon of Av waning away to nothingness. Shabbat will fall on the night of new moon, so this weekend we’ll celebrate Rosh Chodesh Elul — the beginning of the new lunar month of Elul, the month leading up to the Days of Awe!

In honor of Elul, this Shabbat we’ll begin singing selections from psalm 27. This year we’ll be using settings of two excerpts from that seasonal psalm: “Achat Sha’alti,” which we’ve been singing at CBI for the last several years, and also a beautiful setting of a different verse written by the folks at Nava Tehila, the Jewish Renewal congregation of Jerusalem.

Here’s their setting of one verse from Psalm 27, which is called “Lach Amar Libi” — “To you, my heart says, ‘I seek Your face.’ Your face, God, is what I seek!”

And here’s sheet music, for those who find sheet music useful: Psalm 27,Lakh Amar Libi notes [pdf]

This week we’re reading the Torah portion known as Re’eh (“See!”) in the book of Dvarim (Deuteronomy.)return-to-shabbat

If you’d like to read some commentaries on this week’s Torah portion, some links follow:

And here’s the URJ’s compilation of commentaries on this week’s Torah portion: Re’eh | URJ.

This coming Shabbat morning, services will be led by Rabbi Rachel.

Many thanks to our shamashim, the members who host our Shabbat services each week. If you would like to join that group, please contact Pattie Lipman.

We hope to see you soon at CBI!

Call for musicians!

Do you play an instrument — guitar, bass, keyboard, hand drums, ukelele, fiddle, something else…?

Will you be in town on Friday night, August 28th?

Would you like to be part of the impromptu band for that night’s special Kabbalat Shabbat (“Welcoming Shabbat”) service? (This would involve a few rehearsals beforehand.)

And/or: would you be interested in being part of a Shabbat band for evening or morning services a few times a year?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, let Rabbi Rachel know – email rabbibarenblat at gmail dot com. Thanks!

A Shabbat of healing, melody, and memory

Dear Congregation Beth Israel members and friends,

We’ve come down from the mountain: Shavuot is past, and now our task is to integrate whatever revelation we’ve received and to weave it into the fabric of our daily lives.

During tomorrow morning’s service, I’ll teach a simple new setting of the first line of the psalm for Shabbat, set to a melody by Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, as arranged by Rabbi Shir Yaakov. You can hear the melody here:

As Reb Shlomo writes, “The whole wide world is waiting to sing a song of Shabbat” — join us in singing.

This Shabbat we’ll mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day at CBI with a moment of silence to remember the Jewish soldiers who gave their lives at Normandy.

In this week’s Torah portion we’ll read the story which gives rise to Moses’ fervent prayer of healing: “Please, God, please heal her!” May our prayers for healing reach those who mourn the losses sustained on D-Day, and all those in need of healing everywhere.

Shabbat shalom —

Rabbi Rachel