A teacher of mine once taught me that, when people sing together, everyone’s heartbeats align. There is truly nothing like sitting in a room full of people singing. Whether the music is liturgical or not, the experience can become that of worship; music radiates throughout the room, and the hearts and voices of everyone present create a holy experience. This is our strongest form of human connection.
As I am writing this, I am participating in Hava Nashira, an annual Jewish music conference held at one of the URJ’s largest summer camps. Some years ago, Hava Nashira was the first place where I experienced such a holy human connection. The conference begins the same way every year: the faculty of about a dozen of the Reform Movement’s prominent musical leaders guides the community in singing the beautiful melody of “Hava Nashira” (come, let us sing). Each year, without fail, I feel an instant connection with each of the 250+ people in the room. Music has an incredibly powerful way of bringing people together.
Music has always been my outlet for building connections and relationships with other individuals. Part of what drew me to the cantorate when I was a young girl was the idea of being able to use my voice to share in meaningful moments with those around me. This human connection is what allows the idea of when we sing, we pray twice to happen. I feel so blessed to call Peninsula Temple Sholom my home, and I look forward to sharing in heartfelt connections with each of you.