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News From Hewlett-East Rockaway Jewish Centre ~ Nov/Dec 2021


Rabbi Michel Schlesinger

Rabbi Schlesinger

Make Music with HERJC

Music has accompanied the experience of the Jewish people from biblical times to our day. At the moment we became a nation, after leaving Egypt, as related in the book of Exodus, Moses and Miriam led the Israelites in a song of thanks for the attaining of freedom. During the period of the two Temples in Jerusalem, music was an integral part of the religious service including during Shabbat. Today, it continues to be a part of Jewish religious expression in homes and synagogues. There is classical and contemporary liturgical music. Reading the Torah and Haftarah have special melodies. Each service in the synagogue has a nussach, a specific musical style. And there are also the nigunim, melodies composed for liturgical purposes that do not require texts. Although it is a very young country, the State of Israel has developed an important musical catalogue in both the popular and the classical arena. Because Jews wandered for several millennia, music from all continents has influenced Jewish music. Today, due to the encounter between different communities in countries like the United States, France, Germany and even Brazil, styles emerge in which the different influences can no longer be isolated with precision. But whatever the source, the music remains central to our religious expression. We are experiencing an exciting moment at HERJC. As we begin offering in-person activities again, people are feeling more comfortable coming to the temple to join us. The pleasure of being together in person is absolutely evident. Making and experiencing music together in the synagogue continues to provide great pleasure. I would like to underline the Kabbalat Shabbat service that happens every Friday at 6:30pm as an incredible opportunity to start making your way back to HERJC. This is a religious service that lasts less than one hour, including a spiritual and musical experience. I would like to invite you and your family to experience the new phase of HERJC’s Kabbalat Shabbat musical service. Through music, this powerful uniting instrument, we will continue to establish a profound dialogue between tradition and the contemporary world.


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