Selihot Series: 5781/2020
Ben Adam Mah Lecha Nirdam / Let’s Wake Up!
This title of a beautiful song for this time of year is our invitation to join Hazzan Ramón and guest leaders each weeknight during the month of Elul at 8 p.m. for a 20-minute dip into Selichot, the prayers of forgiveness. We will examine individual prayers from the High Holiday liturgy, sample the rich tradition of piyutim/poetry, and enjoy some modern Hebrew songs from Israel.
Dedicated to the Memory of Rabbi Mordejai Edery
|DATE & VIDEO LINK||TOPIC||GUEST|
|Sunday 8/23, 8 PM|
Ben adam ma lekha nirdamבֶּן אָדָם מַה לְּךָ נִרְדָּם
Oh mortal, why are you still asleep,
wake up and call pleadingly
Pour your prayer and ask for forgiveness
from the Master of the Universe
Hazzan Ramón TasatRamón Tasat is the Cantor of Shirat HaNefesh (Song of the Soul), an emerging Jewish congregation in southern Montgomery County, MD. He is also the musical Director of Kolot HaLev, a Jewish Community choir in the Greater Washington area and the past president of Shalshelet: The Foundation for New Jewish Liturgical Music.
|Monday 8/24, 8 PM|
Adonai be kol shofarLucy declares: I truly love the Shofar (ram’s horn) which reverberates in my soul each time I hear it during the High Holiday service. (It’s my favorite part!)
During this session on the 24th,I’ll be reciting a poem, offering some remarks and playing an amazing 12-minute shofar concert that I found on Youtube.
Lucy SteinitzLucy Steinitz has been a member of Fabrangen, off and on, since the mid-1970s. She was Executive Director of Jewish Family Services in Baltimore for 15 years and then moved to Africa to do development work with her family for 17 years. She returned to the US to work for Catholic Relief Services and recently moved to Silver Spring.
|Tuesday 8/25, 8 PM|
Adir ve naor / Mi she ‘anaLike the movie and literary savants of today, the great rabbis and payytanim (liturgical poets) saw themselves in constant reference to a holy canon of texts and stories. They built their prayers out of allusions to these sacred scenes. Beginning and ending with singing, our session will examine how the piyyutim "Adir VeNaor" and "Mi She’Anah" explore many of these scenes and provide connection points for us to grow closer to G-d in our selihot.
Hazzan Matt AusterkleinMatthew Austerklein is the Hazzan of Beth El Congregation in Akron, OH. He is a writer, musician , and scholar focusing on the religious meaning of Jewish musical forms. Hazzan Matt is active in the Cantors Assembly and is the editor of two books, including Ilu Finu: A Cappella for Jewish Prayer (2019 - www.ilufinu.org). This winter he completed a research fellowship at Oxford University, studying Ashkenazi cantorial thought in the early modern period. He is married to his clergy (& life) partner, Rabbi Elyssa Joy Austerklein, with two children.
|Wednesday 8/26, 8 PM|
Ahot Ketana - The Little Sister"May this old year conclude, with all its curses … let this new year begin, with all its blessings,” proclaims the traditional Rosh Hashanah poem - and this year we can relate to the sentiment perhaps more than ever before. Join Hazzan Natasha Hirschhorn for an informal sharing and discussion of some musical settings of this text from almost 750 years ago, that we still recite each Selihot season.
Hazzan Natasha HirschhornHazzan Natasha J. Hirschhorn is the author of numerous liturgical and secular compositions and an accomplished performer and recording artist, who has been featured as a singer, pianist, conductor and composer at congregations, music festivals, and in concert halls throughout the country, including Jazz at Lincoln Center; Toronto Jewish Music Festival and the Curtis Institute of Music, among others. She has served as the Music Director of Congregation Ansche Chesed in New York City since 2004. She is also the founding conductor of the AC Jewish Community Chorus, Shirei Chesed, and the Brooklyn Jewish Community Chorus, Shir Chadash. A native of Ukraine, Natasha has studied musicology, piano, and composition at Moscow’s Gnessin State Musical College (now the Gnessin Russian Academy of Music) and the Kyiv Conservatory.
|Thursday 8/27, 8 PM|
Shema’ Kolenu is a cry from the heart, especially for the most vulnerable among us. Hashivenu asks to bring us back to the way things were. How do these poignant verses resonate during the pandemic we're living through? We'll examine the words as well as several melodies for Shma Koleinu that differ in their attitude and atmosphere.
Rabbi Gilah Langner
|Sunday 8/30, 8 PM|
Adon haSelihotAdon haSelihot is probably the most famous and expected liturgical poem in Sephardic communities. Such is its power that it has become an essencial in any night of selihot.
Moriah FerrúsMoriah Ferrús holds a Bachelor Degree in Hebrew Philology and PhD Candidate in History of Art and Musicology with the research project "The Liturgical and Musical Legacy of the Scuola Catalana of Rome 1532-1908".
|Monday 8/31, 8 PM|
‘Al Kol Ele - N. ShemerShlomi Shabat https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_bABU-T438
"Al Kol Eleh" by Naoemi Shemer.
Let's discover "all these things" in our life for which, with gratitude, we ask Divine protection and Blessings in this upcoming year. We will dive into the meaning of this beloved song, and we will use its poetry to find our own words, as we prepare to pray in our current pandemic times.
Evelyn GoldfingerEvelyn Goldfinger is a performer, playwright, and educator. Originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, Evelyn created Torahtron, a professional Jewish educational theatre ensemble that engages audiences through meaningful and fun shows and videos. Evelyn serves as a Cantorial Soloist in Beth Torah in North Miami and as Guest Cantorial Soloist in Temple Beth Israel for the High Holidays.
|Tuesday 9/1, 8 PM|
Shomer IsraelThe discussion will focus on what it means to be a remnant and whether and how the description fits.
Darius SivinDr. Darius Sivin is an occupational health and safety professional for the United Auto Workers and a member of Shirat Hanefesh and other DC Jewish Communities. He has taught at Shirat, Fabrangen Havurah, Fabrangen Cheder, the Jewish Study Center and the National Havurah Committee Summer Institute and Chesapeake retreat.
|Wednesday 9/2, 8 PM|
‘Anenu/RahamanaWithin these two connected piyutim we'll find hints of the beliefs of our earliest ancestors as well as a special plea to G-d that relies on the merits of those same ancestors.
And then - a quick visit to the Book of Job and its answer to the perennial question of why the righteous suffer.
Rabbi Bob SaksBob Saks, a retired Conservative ordained Reform rabbi, is the Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Bet Mispachah in Washington DC, which he happily served as rabbi for 19 years, while also serving as the Assoc. Rabbi of the Columbia Jewish Cong.
|Thursday 9/3, 8 PM|
Yoga for Teshuva
Yoga for Teshuva taps the techniques of hatha yoga, a physical improvement system designed for spiritual growth, to enhance our efforts at taking stock and making inner change. To get ready, gather an exercise mat, two yoga blankets or thick towels, and a yoga block (or rough equivalent, such as a shoebox).
For your comfort, avoid a large meal for an hour prior to yoga practice. Wear light, comfortable clothes that allow movement and remove your shoes.
Finally, and most important, think about a character trait you would like to cultivate at this season of repentance. This will be your private focus for our practice.
|Sunday 9/6, 8 PM|
El Melekh yoshev ‘al kise rahamim
Hazzan Elías Rosemberg
|Monday 9/7, 8 PM|
Elohe ‘Oz ‘Et sha’are ratzonYehi Ratzon Blessing for the New Year
Kol shanah Nisan Friedman-Amos Barzel MP3
How do we welcome Rosh haShana,
What are our questions, our dreams for the New Year? May we find Teshuvah, the answers to our quests.
|Tuesday 9/8, 8 PM|
Hamevorakh IrakHamevorakh is an ancient prayer sung by many communities of Sefaradim and Oriental Jews on the first day of Rosh Hashanah.
The text weaves mystical and liturgical elements into a whole fabric worthy of study; it is a meditation on creation.
Hazzan Michael KasperCantorial Ordination, Academy for Jewish Religion; M.A. in Jewish Studies, Gratz College; B.S. in Dance Education, George Washington University; M.S.W. in Clinical Social Work, NYU; Psychoanalytic Certification from the New York Center for Psychoanalytic Training
|Wednesday 9/9, 8 PM|
Ten Lihyot - Miki Gavrielovhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvO6VB1I1_E
We will consider a popular song by one of Israel's premier veteran songwriters, Miki Gavrielov. This song does not purport to be a “S’lihah” but we can learn much by considering it from that angle. Is this what a modern s’lihah would look like?
Rabbi David GreensteinDavid Greenstein serves as rabbi of Congregation Shomrei Emunah in Montclair, NJ. He has taught in the US and Israel in rabbinical schools and other places of Torah study. He is the author of Roads to Utopia: The Walking Stories of the Zohar (Stanford, 2014). His art work can be viewed at www.greensteindavid.com
|Thursday 9/10, 8 PM|
Gideon AmirGideon Amir was born in Holland to holocaust survivors who went to Israel in 1947.
|Sat. Sep 12 8.30PM|
Rabbi Langner & Hazzan Tasat
|Sunday 9/13, 8 PM|
DarkekhaDancing with Darkekha
"Grant relief to the driven leaf."
Some of us feel like dust and ashes and this (partial) piyyut offers us compassion.
Please join us in movement and singing.
Bracha LasterBracha (Barbara) Laster is a gardener, researcher, author, and teacher.
|Monday 9/14, 8 PM|
HaAderet ve haEmunaHa-aderet ve ha emunah leads us to a sense of awe before the Eternal Life-Force in the universe, by praising with love and admiration the wonder of the Universe and of Life itself.
Written somewhere around the year 1,000 between Northern Italy and Germany, it was set to many tunes, as it was embraced in both Sephardic and Ashkenazi traditions. The tune we'll learn is an adapted Yemenite melody.
Rabbi Ariel EderyRabbi Ariel Edery, who received a few guitar lessons from Hazan Tasat back in 1977, learned the beauty of Piyut by singing them at his father's - Rabbi Mordechai Edery - synagogue.
Graduated from Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and ordained Rabbi at Hebrew Union College, served in communities in Argentina, Mexico, Spain, and now in North Carolina. While serving Beth Shalom congregation for 16 years, he also teaches Rabbinic students at the new Reform Rabbinic School for Latin-America, is active in community organizing for social justice, and enjoys Jewish music and poetry in his free time.
|Tuesday 9/15, 8 PM|
Ki ha adam etz ha sade - N. Zakh – Sh. HanokhKi ha adam etz ha sade, “humans are like the tree in a field”, from Deuteronomy 20:19 inspired the modern day Hebrew poet, Natan Zakhk to search for the meaning of this verse. He wrote a poem about it and Shalom Hanoch put the words to music. We will hear the moving music and sing together as we discover why the poem is so relevant for us today.
Poem and words, attached.
Roanne PitlukRoanne Pitluk is an active member of Shirat HaNefesh and participates with her choir Kolot HaLev, the Jewish Community Choir of the Greater Washington area. She is married to Dr. Ramón Tasat, has two grown children and three grandchildren. Roanne has an accounting practice in Silver Spring Maryland.
|Wednesday 9/16, 8 PM|
Agadelkha - R. Abraham Ibn ‘EzraThe great Bible commentator and poet Rabbi Abraham Ibn Ezra wrote Agadelkha. The terse poetry of this piyut, with not a word wasted, helps us to contemplate the nature of the Divine – to know before Whom we stand.
George FranklinGeorge Franklin, a native of the Washington, DC area, is a retired accountant and has been a member of Shirat HaNefesh since 2011. George enjoys text study and participating in leading Shabbat and holiday services. He and his wife Sandi, also a DC native, make their home in Rockville, MD.
|Thursday 9/17, 8 PM|
Ptah Lanu Sha’arR. Tasat
Timhal Li'Omer Adam
Yom Kippur is coming to an end, the sha’re shamayim, the gates of heaven are closing.
Join me as we hear beautiful melodies that capture our last attempt for teshuvah.
‘Erev Rosh haShana
Rabbi Langner & Hazzan Tasat
|Monday 9/21, 8 PM|
Ana bekorenuAside from looking at the interesting references that the payyatan (author of the piyyut) has chosen from the Tanach, we will explore the two main concepts of God's hearing our prayers and God's forgiveness that are its essence. What do these concepts mean and how might we experience them in our lives?
Rabbi Gerry SerottaRabbi Gerry Serotta is Executive Director Emeritus of the Interfaith Council of Metropolitan Washington following upon his recent retirement. He served at various colleges as a Jewish Campus Chaplain for 28 years and as congregational Rabbi including Shirat HaNefesh in Chevy Chase, MD. for 14 years.
|Tuesday 9/22, 8PM|
Mishehu E. Manor-Matti CaspiOn this autumn Day of Awe, we'll reaffirm the continuity of Life beyond falling leaves and shorter days with two classic Israeli hymns: the intimate "Mishehu" (Someone) and the joyous and even defiant "Hai" (I'm Still Alive!) sung by 600 Holocaust survivors and their descendants.
Hai - Avraham Toledano and Uri Kariv
Nan WellinsNan Wellins is a writer, editor, Hebrew translator, and former mezzo with the Israel National Choir and the Israel Opera. She directs foundation relations and communications for the Israel Scholarship Education Foundation (ISEF) and loves helping Israelis from marginalized communities be the first in their families to earn degrees.
|Wednesday 9/23, 8 PM|
laBerit haBetIn the Yom Kippur ‘Arvit service, immediately before we recite the selihot prayers, we recite this remarkable piyyut. Its words speak to me as they reflect our partnership with G-d and our potential for creativity with a number of artistic materials.
Rhonda Weiss Rhonda Weiss grew up in Philadelphia where she attended college and law school at the University of Pennsylvania.She relocated to the Washington, DC area in 1980 to work as an attorney with the Federal government where she is still employed.
|Thursday 9/24, 8 PM|
Yafutzu oyvekha - RomeYafútzu oyevekha holds a strange story similar to that of the Ashkenazi text of Kol Nidre.
This liturgical hymn, sung at the conclusion of the Yom Kippur, has been blessed with a solemn and touching melody, one of the most beautiful pieces of music in the Roman Jewish tradition.
|Sunday 9/27, 6:30 PM|
‘Erev Yom KippurJoin me to sing some of the most iconic selihot during the night of Kol Nidre.
|Monday 9/28 4:15 PM|
Yom Kippur Afternoon-Selihot ReviewA review of our Selihot season with comments from many of the contributors.