Rabbi’s Blog


During parashat Beshallach, we read the song that the Israelites sang as they crossed the Sea of Reeds. While many liturgies include the full passage as part of daily and Shabbat prayer, two verses are more familiar because of its inclusion in the third blessing of both the evening and […]

Mi Khamokha


  In the original SNL sketch, Adam Sandler joked that the only Hanukkah song he ever heard was the Dreidel Song, which is why he wrote his Hanukkah song in solidarity with everyone else searching for better Hanukkah songs. The liturgy and Israeli folk tradition have a number of Hebrew […]

Maoz Tzur


While most people are familiar with the blessings and Debbie Friedman melody for havdalah, the ceremony includes a series of verses before these blessings. We will use this melody from the Modzitz community of Hasidim for these introductory verses before singing the familiar melody for the blessings. These verses come […]

Havdalah



We will begin using this melody from Mishkan Chicago for the final lines of the third psalm of Kabbalat Shabbat, Psalm 97. Most of the psalm is a description of God’s majesty over the earth, and the main theme is that God is supposed to instill some sort of justice. […]

Psalm 97


While many occasions require us to think about the clothes we wear, I think the hardest about what I’m going to wear when it comes time to do laundry. It’s a very specific type of outfit since it needs to be something that I’m not choosing to wash in that […]

Shalom Aleichem


The second psalm of Kabbalat Shabbat begins with another energetic call to worship: שִׁירוּ לַה’ שִׁיר חָדָשׁ שִׁירוּ לַה’ כָּל־הָאָרֶץ׃ Shiru l’Adonai shir hadash, shiru l’Adonai kol ha’aretz. Sing to Adonai a new song, sing to Adonai all the earth. There is a clear irony when we begin part of […]

Psalm 96: Can We Sing a New Song Every Week




After the shofar blasts during Rosh Hashanah, we recite the paragraph hayom harat olam. Because the Hebrew root hey-resh-hey refers to pregnancy and because of the tradition that world was created during this season, most prayer books translate the line as “Today is the birthday of the world.” This suggests […]

Hayom Harat Olam


During the High Holidays, we go through more words of prayer than any other time of year. The themes of creation, repentance, and awe inspired poets throughout the generation to expand the prayers with elaborate poems which blend biblical imagery and rabbinic interpretation in creative new ways to express many […]

Areshet S’fateinu