Everyone needs Shabbat. While this weekly 25-hour period of rest and withdrawal is God's gift to all of humanity, the Jewish people are charged to create "holiness in time" in special ways. We are mandated to gather with those in our community for prayer, singing, Torah study and lavish meals. In recent decades, many American Jewish singles and families from all movements of Judaism have ushered a call for their synagogues to enhance Friday evening services with music that will enable them to welcome in the Sabbath more fully.
Congregation B'nai Israel has created this CD in hopes of providing some essential resources for those in our community who are seeking an authentic, enriched Friday evening prayer experience. This disk offers a unique interweaving of the traditional nusach (musical mode) for the Kabbalat Shabbat service with popular melodies suited to segments of the liturgy drawn from a range of musical traditions spanning close to 200 years of Jewish music.
Hazzanim working in traditional congregations today are faced with this challenge of authentically blending the sacred sounds that have elevated the prayers of Ashkenazi Jews to God for five or more generations with the newer melodies that appeal to the ear of today's congregants. Musician and producer Carl Cedar was able to elevate my personal concepts of how to best fuse this diverse repertoire to heights that I never dreamed imaginable by infusing every arrangement with his unique fluency in both American and Jewish musical vernacular. Together our goal is to deliver an artistic work that pays homage to our musical history while being both engaging and empowering.
May "Shalom Aleichem" honor its title, bestowing tranquility and wholeness upon all those who listen, learn and enjoy.
Cantor Marcia Tilchin