crossover

through a sea of sound

Shabbat Shirah usually marks the beginning of Jewish Music Month. However, I’ve not seen any reference to it this year. Nonetheless, it is appropriate that this week marks the celebration of a significant anniversary in American Jewish music.

from חזן to opera star

The family in which I grew up was (to put […]

promise of dawn

hashachar

dark mornings

As the northern hemisphere moves deeper into winter with less light for each day, our mornings begin near dawn. This is a beautiful time of beginnings and promise. While the sounds we hear each morning are not those of birds chirping and children learning, but the clanking of men at work, even these call […]

remembering pearls of music

this week Daniel Pearl would turn 46

Daniel Pearl was born on Shabbat Noah: October 10, 1964 = 4 Cheshvan 5725.

If, metaphorically speaking, all those animals (carnivores and herbivores) were able to coexist on the Ark why can’t we? And this week, when we learn that a new language has been found among a tiny group […]

it's very clear

our love is here to stay

While preparing a wedding drash for this past week I learned that Ira Gershwin channeled Isaiah 54:10 in this week’s haftarah portion.

Isaiah:

For the mountains may move
And the hills be shaken,
But my loyalty shall never move from you,
Nor My covenant of friendship be shaken

Gershwin:

In time the Rockies may tumble,
Gibraltar may crumble,
They’re […]

when?

“…whenever”

How often have we heard people respond in this way?

I’m always ready to go out and enjoy life. But, the daily alarm of the shofar in Elul reminds us to mix those pleasures, and that time is…

Lena Horne [from notes on the Idelsohn Society’s blog, to which I cannot link directly] sang this song […]

Let My People Go (Отпусти народ мой) [that they may serve me]!

a growing haggadah

A new edition of A Growing Haggadah (which is still available in its 2005 HTML version) has been printed. If you are interested in having a PDF version of the text to print and use (in whole or in part) at your Seder you can download it here.

A Growing Haggadah (for family use)
A […]

esther’s song

purim in november

On Thursday night, November 19, 2009, Debbie and I went to see the opera Esther at the New York City Opera in Lincoln Center.
The opera, the last one by composer Hugo Weisgall is based on the biblical Book of Esther. It uses the basic storyline (with some modifications in the sequence […]

steve’s song

jews and judaism in american elite culture .01

On Sunday evening, November 8, 2009 I attended “Steve Reich Talks about his Jewish Music at JMF“. I was a bit surprised (after being told to reserve my free tickets in advance) that there were perhaps fifty people in the hall waiting to hear the words […]

swann song

jews and judaism in american popular culture .01
now, …with harvey and sheila!

There was a time, it feels strange to write this… a generation ago, when being Jewish was very “in“. The thing to be in America. Americans continue to, even increasingly, convert to Judaism in the 2000s. However, back in “The Sixties” some forms of […]

Hiroshima 広島市 Day ☮

The first nuclear weapon “Little Boy” was dropped on the city of Hiroshima on Monday, August 6, 1945.

nuclear disarmament lapel button

calling for nuclear disarmament then

I have a clear memory from long ago, sometime around 1959: walking with my family down Hollywood Boulevard, somewhere near Vine. We were part of a demonstration calling for […]