Cantors, Controversy, & Compassion: Searching for God in Musical Complexity

Cantors, Controversy, & Compassion: Searching for God in Musical Complexity

Apr 15, 2021 By The Library of the Jewish Theological Seminary | Public Event video

What are the spiritual possibilities of music? Five-hundred years ago, rabbis, cantors and Jewish musicians began to explore this question in dramatic new ways. Extended niggunim, orchestras to welcome the Sabbath bride, meshorerim (musical assistants to the cantor), new Hebrew treatises on music, and the borrowing of European musical technique and style contributed to this experimental climate in the synagogues of early modern Europe. But these changes also incited concern and anger from traditionalists, who worried that musical complexity would compromise the halachic and spiritual integrity of authentic prayer.

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Faith, Forgiveness and Prayer: Finding Meaning in the Days of Awe

Faith, Forgiveness and Prayer: Finding Meaning in the Days of Awe

Aug 31, 2020 By Jan Uhrbach | Public Event video | Video Lecture | Rosh Hashanah | Yom Kippur

A series of online classes with JTS faculty and staff

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Seeds of Song

Seeds of Song

Mar 22, 2020

An allbum of piyyutim found in Siddur Lev Shalem, with music composed, adapted, and/or performed by JTS cantorial and rabbinical students.

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The Value of Doubt

The Value of Doubt

Oct 4, 2019 By Julia Andelman | Commentary | Rosh Hashanah | Shabbat Shuvah | Yom Kippur

The more one invests in trying to have a meaningful and genuine High Holiday prayer experience, the more one stands to lose if the words of the mahzor fall short of one’s aspirations. The mahzor is conceptually and theologically dense. If one takes the time to meditate upon the assertions of the prayers as they go by, one is sure to eventually encounter a text that rings false, problematic, or even alienating.

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A Virtual Minyan? Communal Prayer in the Digital Age

A Virtual Minyan? Communal Prayer in the Digital Age

Jun 4, 2019 By Daniel Nevins | Public Event video | Video Lecture

Judaism places great value on communal prayer, mandating that we pray with others whenever possible. But what does it mean to pray in community? Are we really connecting if we make a minyan via videoconference?

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Entering the Clouds of Glory

Entering the Clouds of Glory

Mar 8, 2019 By Daniel Nevins | Commentary | Pekudei

“What do you mean, Rabbi? The clouds are mysterious—it’s like being on Sinai!” This statement by a rabbinical student consoled me several years ago on the summit of Giant Mountain in the Adirondacks. Each fall I take a minyan or so of students hiking for the weekend, and on that day, we had spent many hours climbing this enormous peak. On the way up, we enjoyed stunning views—of an alpine lake called “the Giant’s Washbowl” and the Great Range looming across the valley to our south. But when we reached the top of Giant a thick cloud had parked itself on the summit and would not budge. Visibility was limited to about ten feet, and wisps of mist skimmed between us.

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Cantillation for Lamentations

Cantillation for Lamentations

Oct 23, 2018 By The Jewish Theological Seminary | Prayer Recordings | Tishah Be'av

Recordings by Cantor Sarah Levine (CS ’17).

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Cantillation for Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, and Ruth

Cantillation for Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, and Ruth

Oct 23, 2018 By The Jewish Theological Seminary | Prayer Recordings | Pesah | Shavuot | Sukkot

Recordings by Cantor Sarah Levine (CS ’17).

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Cantillation for Haftarah

Cantillation for Haftarah

Oct 23, 2018 By The Jewish Theological Seminary | Prayer Recordings

Recordings by Cantor Sarah Levine (CS ’17).

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Cantillation for High Holidays

Cantillation for High Holidays

Oct 23, 2018 By The Jewish Theological Seminary | Prayer Recordings | Rosh Hashanah | Yom Kippur

Recordings by Cantor Sarah Levine (CS ’17).

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