Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Yerushalayim



Underneath the trees I see the leaves fall
Scattered by the wind to clothe the ground
Like we have been sent from our home Tziyon
To cover the earth with our sound
And I wait and I wait to return

Yerushalayim, Yerushalayim
And I wait like a kallah waits for her chassan
Yerushalayim, Yerushalayim
And my heart remembers Yerushalayim

All my life I've lived in a lonely country
Dreaming of the day I'd be with you
I am like a child looking in and hoping
That you please open up your gates and let me in

Yerushalayim, Yerushalayim
And I wait like a kallah waits for her chassan
Yerushalayim, Yerushalayim
And my heart remembers Yerushalayim

As I close my eyes and listen quietly
To the voice that speaks inside of me
I hear crying
Yerushalayim, Yerushalayim
And I wait like a kallah waits for her chassan

Underneath the trees I see the leaves fall
Scattered by the wind to clothe the ground
And I know there is a time to gather
Those of us who need to be taken home

Yerushalayim, Yerushalayim
And I wait like a kallah waits for her chassan
Yerushalayim, Yerushalayim
And my heart will always remember - Yerushalayim

-written by Dana Mase, from the cd "Diary"

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By settling in the land of Yisrael, a person gains insight into G-d's providence over the world. - Rebbe Nachman

Saturday, December 12, 2009

15 Shir HaMaalot

The 15 Song of Ascents



A group of fifteen short psalms (120 - 134, kuf-chaf to kuf-lamed-dalet) known as the pilgrim psalms, each of which begins with the introductory phrase Shir Ha-Ma'alot (A Song of Ascents).  These psalms were sung by the pilgrims as they ascended to Yerushalayim for the festival celebrations at the Temple.  They were also sung by the Leviim in the Temple on the festival of Sukkot, during the ceremony of the Drawing of the Water.

When the Temple was destroyed these psalms were no longer sung by the pilgrims or Leviim.  Therefore it was especially appropriate to institute the reading of these psalms on the first Shabbat after Sukkot, the festival when these psalms used to be sung by the multitudes of pilgrims and by the Leviim at the ceremony of the Drawing of the Water.

The reading of Tehillim 120-134 is thus both a memorial of the Temple rituals and an expression of hope that Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel) will be restored to the people of Yisrael and that these psalms will again be sung by pilgrims and Leviim.

The 15 Song of Ascents are read every Shabbat afternoon till the spring festival of Pesach (Passover), after which the days begin to lengthen and time becomes available for the resumption of the study of the tractate Avot.

Above is a picture of the CD "15 Shir HaMalot b'Nigun Miyuchad."  The fifteen psalms set to Sephardic meditative music and sung in prayer by Ezer Yecheil.

Listen to an audio sample:  Shir HaMaalot

This CD is only available at the following website: Remarkable Maven

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hashiveinu Avinu LeToratecha

Cause Us To Return, Our Father, to Your Torah


Hashiveinu - Click to listen to prayer of return so beautifully sung by Danny Maseng and from his CD "Soul on Fire." Danny's website

(In order to listen you need to have the free Real Player available to download HERE.)

Hashiveinu Avinu LeToratecha, the fifth benediction and known as Teshuvah (Repentance), recited as a daily petition in the Amidah prayer.

Hashiveinu Avinu LeToratecha contains three separate requests:

1) Cause us to return to Your Torah
2) Draw us near, O our King, unto Your service
3) Bring us back in perfect repentance unto Your Presence.

This blessing is one of only two blessings in the Amidah that use the appellation Avinu (our Father).  The reason give is that a father is obligated to instruct his son.  Thus we say, "Cause us to return, O our Father, to the Torah."  Fatherly mercies are mentioned, as the verse reads, "Like as a father has compassion upon his children, so may He have compassion on us and forgive us" (Tehillim 103:13).

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