First things first: here are the two links from our Shabbat morning service:
And from David and Dorothy Torontow, a wonderful video! https://www.ted.com/talks/benjamin_zander_the_transformative_power_of_classical_music?language=en – Benjamin Zander has two infectious passions: classical music, and helping us all realize our untapped love for it — and by extension, our untapped love for all new possibilities, new experiences, new connections. Please give this a listen – it is a truly powerful statement about life and music.
Music is part of who we are as human beings, and our Jewish tradition holds many musical innovations and traditions, be they ta’amim, the cantillation marks of reading from Torah/TaNaKh, or the nusach, the music of prayer that informs our services.
We have been so blessed this season of Zoom’en to hear some of the history of these traditions with presentations from around the world, and we are very grateful to our Kolot Mayim members who have spearheaded such musical learning for us all.
As we listen to our Bnei Mitzvah students lead us in prayer, our hearts kvell, they fill with pride. Even watching videos takes on new meaning these days. Until Zoomdays I used to read cookbooks to read the stories of Jewish lives in Morocco, in Syria, in Turkey, in Alsace, in India. Those recipes and the children of those recipe-keepers, many of whom now live in Israel, but also here in North America and beyond, hold a very particular memory, a memory of ta’am, of taste and flavour.
That same word ta’am is the flavours of our musical tradition, be it spicy and hot, the comfort of the “k” foods: knishes, kugel and kishka. We have much to treasure in our culinary and musical torah.
So whatever your musical tastes may be, be they songs of joy, be they hip-hop or classical, be your cooking clean-out-the-fridge or heirloom recipes, may they be an adventure of singing whilst cooking, may the ta’amim always be with you, and may your eyes and the eyes of those around you always be shining. Shine on!