There was once a great Cantor, “bound to the world of music” by the Baal Shem Tov himself. This cantor rose to great heights and sang with incredible soul that he became known throughout the land as The Cantor of the Baal Shem Tov. At that time, it was hard to find a cantor without his meshor’rim- his choristers, who would harmonize spontaneously with the cantor and help those in the congregation to sing as well. This particular cantor had a bass who would travel with him to the different towns and villages where they would sing and harmonize together. When the cantor passed away, the angels summoned him to sing before the heavenly courts. The cantor insisted that he could not sing beautifully without his bass singer to join him. So, the heavenly court waited until the bass singer had also died, and then the two of them, cantor and bass, sang together in heaven. This story reminds us that music is meant to be shared, sung and experienced together.
Cantors need their fellow musicians and their community as much as they need their cantor. We have an incredible gathering of m’shor’rim in our midst. These are some amazingly energetic singers (and a drummer too) and friendly faces! If you were here this past Sunday you had a chance to see many of them shine. I am talking of course, about our Adult choir and our Junior Choir.
Our adults have been working hard since June. Without skipping a beat, they sang their hearts out over high holy days and then jumped back into rehearsals so we could prepare Judas Maccabeus for you. This was hard music, and they did a sublime job. Their welcoming of the many other choristers from our Atlanta Jewish and non-Jewish community was amazing and they truly helped to create a phenomenal singing community!
Zimria means songfest, and our kids emulate songfest perfectly! Their energy over these past two weeks has been amazing, and they have done an incredible job with two performances and a Shabbat service in the space of only two weeks!
The most amazing thing in the world that I get to do as a cantor is to pass along our Jewish songs and prayers to the next generation. Watching our kids with their bright smiles, singing their hearts out has been my favorite thing over these past two incredibly musical weeks. This past Sunday, I had the opportunity to present a program that melded my love of classical music, Judaism and the cantorate. My most favorite moments during the concert were watching our Zimria and hearing their voices ring out clear and strong as they sang with the choir and orchestra; and as they helped to lead in our communal singalong. These moments were the icing on the cake for me, and I hope for you too!
When you are a young performer, it is super special to see your name “in lights.” Therefore, I want to thank all of our young performers who sang over these past two weeks at either the Governor’s Mansion, our Religious School Chanukah Shabbat, or our Maccabeus and More Concert:
Moses Anderson, Gabrielle Bland, Francis Clark, Talia Edwards, Asher Fink, Ellen Fuerst, Matthew Fuerst, Max Goldberg, Serenity Gregory, Jacob Hammer, Anna Kaszowicz, Zoe Nash, Marissa Perry, Riley Pollack, Beth Roback, Zachary Rubin, Mira Silverman, Marin Summerfield, Janey Wenner.
 The Cantor of the Baal Shem Tov, from Tales of the Hasidim, Martin Buber
 Great Hassidic Rebbe