Hearing: Reading the Torah and Singing its Praises

Nancy Abramson
| Shavuot By :  Nancy Abramson Former Director of H. L. Miller Cantorial School and College of Jewish Music. JTS Posted On Jun 6, 2016 / 5776 | Sound Bytes | Holidays Prayer

On Shavuot, we read that the Torah was given with thunder, lightning, smoke, shaking ground, and a shofar blast. How do we experience the Torah with all our senses today?

אַקְדָּמוּת מִלִּין וְשָׁרָיוּת שׁוּתָא
אַוְלָא שָׁקֵלְנָא הַרְמָן וּרְשׁוּתָא

בְּבָבֵי תְּרֵי וּתְלַת דְאֶפְתַּח בְּנַקְשׁוּתָא
בְּבָרֵי דְבָרֵי וְטָרֵי עֲדֵי לְקַשִּׁישׁוּתָא

(Akdamut, from the Shavuot liturgy) 

An introduction of words and a commencement of speech:
From the start, I request authority and permission.

Trembling, let me start with two or three words,
With permission from the Creator and Sustainer since primordial time.

View the full poem in Siddur Or Hadash.