Dec. 3, 2009
Shiru L-D-N-I shiru shir chadash... Sing unto G-d, sing a new song
If you attended PTS Kabbalat services in recent months, especially the Hava Nashir services or the Synaplex Shabbat, you would have noticed a whole new bunch of prayer melodies.
This month we will be introducing a L'cha Dodi melody used in Canada by the Kalever Chassidim that Michael Battat brought back from his songleaders' retreat. Many of our students already know this melody because it is used at the Wornick Jewish Day School for their Shabbat services.
We have introduced a new melody for after the Birchat Haneirot (Shabbat candle blessing), called Or Chadash (a new light) that I hope will become a congregational singalong tradition at PTS.
We will really be hearing some new melodies in March or April (date to be determined) when the repertory group from Los Angeles's Beit T'shuvah performs "Freedom Songs" for us in our own sanctuary.
Beit T'shuvah is a very unique Shul and Jewish Healing center that has literally performed miracles for people of all backgrounds and from all parts of the country. The themes are real life issues faced by every family and the music is mostly original (from Beit T'shuvah) and very uplifting. I have attended several services and can say from personal experience that the time spent watching and listening is a very powerful thing .
I first discovered Beit T'shuva when Rabbi Raiskin z"l brought Beit T'shuvah founder Rabbi Mark Borowitz to speak in our Adult Education series. He had just finished his book, Holy Thief, and was using the time to get the word out about the work being done at Beit T'shuvah.
As we celebrate the "Festival of Lights" this month let us (as the name of this festival says) re-dedicate ourselves to the Or Chadash, the new light that comes to us all when we gather together and sing Light One Candle for the Maccabee children.
We are the children of the Maccabees and we can give out light to the world truly as an Or L'goyim, a light unto the nations, when we gather, sing and remember with our PTS family.