Tuesday, 26 January 2010

My Taste in Davening

One of my greatest Joy's at my old Shul, Cong. Ohav Sholaum - and at Breuer's as well - was the tremendous repertoire of music during the davening. Whether singing in the choir, or merely listening to it, I found the music positively inspiring

I remember way back in my NCSY days when we'd sometimes have davening where we would sing every song along the way. EG during p'suqei d'zimra we'd sing romemu, ivdu, malchutcha etc. Along the way. It was mostly fun and entertaining but more than that, it broke up the sheer monotony of reciting a gazillion lines of dry davening.

Some people have wondered a bit re: my attendance at the Teaneck Carlebach Minyan, my motivation is similar. To have a transformational davening to me - means having lots of music and ruach along the way. I happen to enjoy R Shlomoh's compositions a lot, but no more than Lewandowski or other great Jewish composers. [Probably David Nowakowsky is my favourite!]

At any rate, the iqqar for me is the musicality, the ruach, and the appropriate joy. along with that is congregational participation.

In the German tradition, much/most of the music - and even much recitation - was responsive in nature. [Think EG of sheer hakkavod or Yigdal] it made for a very stimulating davening. Much of the long YK piyyutim were responsive readings with a slight melody. It helped to undo the tedium.

For me, A well- arranged 3-hour davening makes time go by faster than a 90 minute dry one for me.

Even Qeenot on the 9th of Av at Breuer's is replete with special tunes for almost every Qinah. Every pizmon in s'lichot has a special tune of its own, too.


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