Setting the tone

Setting the tone

Rabbis use music to build connections, heighten spirituality

“I will make music to the Lord.”

So wrote the Psalmist, and many rabbis in our area are doing just that, although not always in sacred venues.

Music was always a large part of the ritual in the Temple in Jerusalem. Seventeen hundred years later, it played a major role, too, in the Baal Shem Tov’s vision for his brand of Judaism. The founder of chasidism urged his followers to once again mingle music with prayer (it had been banished by the rabbis after the destruction of the Second Temple). Chasidic masters who followed him saw music as a direct way to link with God (d’veikut); a way to lift up souls to greater spiritual heights.

This week, The Jewish Standard profiles three rabbis who express their spirituality through music – and who seek to ignite that spark in us.

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