Rainbow for Shabbat Noach
Writing one's own deathbed prayer

Contemplative chant-based Shabbat

This coming Shabbat morning, we're trying something new at my shul -- a contemplative chant-based Shabbat morning service. (What do I mean by that? Learn more.) This is a kind of davenen I discovered when I first encountered Jewish Renewal; it is one of many different modes of Jewish prayer, and it is one that I particularly love. I don't think we've ever done a service quite like this one at my shul, so it will be a new experience for most of our daveners. I'm looking really forward to it.

I've recorded about a dozen short chants which we'll be using in our Shabbat morning prayer next week. The chants follow the classical matbeah tefilah, the flow / structure of the morning liturgy, but each one consists of just one or two lines from a given prayer. We'll chant each several times, letting the music and the meaning wash over us and through us, and then sit in silence for a few minutes to discover what unfolds in us during the silence which seals the sound.

I've put our chant liturgy online -- a dozen chants, Hebrew and transliteration and English translation and mp3s -- and I thought I'd share it here in case it's helpful to any of y'all. It is here: contemplative chants for morning prayer. Please feel free to use, to share, and to enjoy -- and if you're in our neck of the woods next Shabbat morning, please feel free to join us!

(Credit where it is due: many of these chants were written by Rabbi Shefa Gold and can be found, sung in her voice, on her website. Others are by Rabbi Jeff Roth of the Awakened Heart Project. If contemplative Judaism is something you're interested in, both of these rabbis are excellent teachers...)