“Within the synagogue, music is not an end in itself but a means of religious experience. Its function is to help us to live through a moment of confrontation with the presence of God….religious music is an attempt to convey that which is within our reach but beyond our grasp.” A.J Heschel “Vocation of the Cantor”
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel loved music. Heschel loved music for not only its beautfy and inspiration but, also for the way music expresses the inexpressible. Heschel valued music so deeply because of its ability to elevate our spirits to a higher level, creating a closeness between one another as community, and a closeness between an individual and God.
Coming up this month, we have an incredible amount of musical experiences to share with you. I hope that these experiences will emulate Heschel’s sense of sacred music, and that you will be moved, elevated, inspired and connected as individuals, as a community, with God in the center of that connection.
Join me February 7th, for Cantors in Song. This promises to be an incredibly special Shabbat. We welcome Cantor Barbara Ostfeld, the first ordained woman cantor in Jewish history. She will join me, and friends Cantor Barbara Margulis and our own Artie Gumer for an uplifting Shabbat. This musical Shabbat is sponsored by Israel Bonds. Cantor Ostfeld will be available before and after services to chat, and introduce you to her beautiful memoir Catbird Barbi Prim.
The music continues with an Afternoon of Songs&Book Talk, Sunday February 9th at 4pm. The cantors of Greater Atlanta are excited to join Cantor Ostfeld at Temple Beth Tikvah in concert and she shares her journey growing up in the cantorate. Register HERE for this beautiful afternoon of music!
February is Jewish Disabilites Inclusion and Awareness month, JDAIM for short. As always, we promote JDAIM with a special Shabbat. We have called this Shabbat of the Senses, and this year its new name is “Koleinu: Inclusion Awareness Shabbat” so that we can focus on our mission, using our voices to come together and elevate inclusion awareness. This year, Charlie Kramer (click here for his bio), an incredible rising Jewish artist will lead us in his powerful Singing in the Dark. Charlie is legally blind, without peripheral vision, and completely blind in the dark. Check out Charlie and his incredible gifts here and learn more about Singing in the Dark here on YouTube. Charlie is bringing us a creative melding of this Singing in the Dark experience blended into and throughout our traditional TE Friday Shabbat services. Charlie will help us understand what it means to live recognizing that we are all created B’tzelem Elohim, no matter what we look like, beyond the different abilities and needs we may have, we are all made in the divine image of God; we are one. Join us for this once in a lifetime, incredibly powerful Shabbos evening.
The TE music experience will continue in March and April, with our yESTHERday Purim Spiel, Women’s Seder, and Cantor’s Concert. More on those later! I cannot wait to see you at each of our upcoming musical gatherings.
For now, wishing you a wonderful Shabbat Shalom!
B’shira u’vracha (In Song and Blessing),
Cantor Lauren Adesnik