Song of the Week

Song of the Week

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Song of the Week
  • The Ultimate Kol Nidrei for Cantor, Choir, Organ, and Orchestra

    Cantor Meir Finkelstein’s best-known melody at PAS is L’dor Vador, which we sing during our Shabbat musaf service. However, on Kol Nidrei, the largest setting of the eponymous prayer that we offer is also a Finkelstein tune. We hope you find this piece beautiful and moving and may you and your lo...

  • B'Sefer Chayim ("In The Book of Life")

    To help us wish you a good and sweet new year, we want to share this new setting of B’Sefer Chayim we commissioned from our friend Beth Styles. The prayer asks that we be “inscribed for life, blessing, sustenance, and peace in the Book of Life.” There can be no better summary of our hopes for the...

  • Father & Son Duet: Hamol (“Have Compassion on Your Creation”)

    When Cantor Schwartz sings with his children on the High Holidays, it is a special moment for them and a joy for us to share.

    We’d like to invite you to join us online for High Holiday services at Park Avenue Synagogue. While in-person seating is limited, we are committed to broadcasting service...

  • A New York Synagogue Pays Tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, 1926-2022

    This week, as we welcomed "Shabbat the Queen," Rabbi Cosgrove spoke about the effect of the monarch’s passing on all who grew up with her as head of state, including the Rabbi’s own parents. Her devotion to duty, wartime service, personal faith, and long service to her peoples have been a source ...

  • Hineni – “Here I Stand”

    We are getting ready for the High Holidays together, in ways we all recognize and also in ways that are special to each of us. This prayer, the chazzan’s personal prayer of approach, is always a high moment above many.

    This setting, originally chanted by Cantor Moishe Oysher in the mid-20th cent...

  • Shalom Aleichem to “September!"

    What secular month is upon us? "Do you remember" how we surprised Rabbi Cosgrove for his 50th birthday? What happens when the PAS Tijuana Brass come out from behind the bimah after services? Answers to these questions are found in this fun video. Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom and a happy Labor Day...

  • Kaddish Shalem from Eastern Europe

    Celebrating Rosh Chodesh Elul tonight, we know the High Holidays are a month away! Let us start at the finish line: there is a lively tradition of singing the final Kaddish in a happy mode (unlike the mourners’ Kaddish Yatom) in the belief that our repentance has been accepted and that a good yea...

  • Cantor Schwartz Sings Adon Olam (“Eternal Lord”)

    Have you ever wondered why we end every Shabbat morning service with this prayer? The tradition dates back only to the 15th century, and the text itself only to the 11th. Unlike the psalms, this poem has a rhyme and regular meter. In fact, it shares a common meter with popular songs, which allows...

  • Haomnam – Will Forgiving and Graceful Days Yet Come?

    Will forgiving and graceful days yet come,
    When you will walk in the field like an innocent traveler,
    Your bare foot will touch the grass,
    Or the spica's thorns will prick you, and the pricking will be sweet?

    Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom and a meaningful Tisha b’Av.

    A Poem by Leah Goldberg (...

  • “Sow in Tears, Reap in Joy” by Debbie Friedman: a Duet

    In these words, from Psalm 126, the psalmist comforts us with the idea that the labor of weeping leads to the harvest of joy, and it is the work of mourning that helps us move forward.

    Drawing this song from our June concert of Debbie Friedman’s music, the largest in-person gathering at the syn...

  • El Melekh Yoshev Al Kise Rahamim (Sovereign God Who Sits on a Throne of Mercy)

    This Shabbat, we bless the new month of Av, which gives us the opportunity to reflect on an old, pious custom: the keeping of Yom Kippur Katan (a “Minor” Yom Kippur, the day before the new month). When the new month begins on Shabbat, Yom Kippur Katan happens on Thursday.

    The idea, promulgated a...

  • “Guardian of Israel” – Shomer Yisrael

    Do you know this prayer? “Guardian of Israel, guard the people of Israel, let no harm come to the people of Israel, who proclaim Sh’ma Yisrael.” Can you think of a moment when you have said the Sh’ma and felt protection or warmth?

    This Sunday, as we observe the 17th of Tammuz (Shivah Asar B’Tamm...

  • Rabbi Buchdahl and Cantor Schwartz Sing Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young”

    Rabbi Nahman of Breslov once said, “Never get old!” We all change as we age, but why can’t that be a blessing? Aging not only adds to our life experience and wisdom, but it gives us opportunities to find the child in ourselves and continue to light the sparks of curiosity and joy from our youth. ...

  • Shema Yisrael – Hu Eloheinu (He Is Our God)

    A prayer on the wings of angels: South Africa, Jerusalem, New York

    In the Musaf service, towards the end of Saturday morning, the cantor, choir, and congregation sing melodies and texts in alternation, reenacting the sanctification of angels in the Kedusha. There is something special about these...

  • The Music of Debbie Friedman: Six Cantors Live in NYC

    What a gift it has been to celebrate the legacy of Debbie Friedman this week, with the largest number of people present in the sanctuary since December 2019, and so many participating online. We hope you enjoy such memorable moments, including people dancing in the aisles and everyone singing tog...

  • You Are There – A New Prayer Across Faiths

    In our world, it is not hard to find trouble, sorrow, want, and violence, yet we press toward repairing the world and bringing peace as much as we can. This song echoes Psalm 23, “When there is fear I cannot bear, I look to you, and you are there.” May this new video from our album Be the Light i...

  • A Prayer for the State of Israel (Avinu Shebashamayim)

    Everyone loves a parade! The Celebrate Israel parade in New York City is one of the busiest and most colorful. As we look forward to marching in the parade, here is a prayer for the State of Israel, composed by our friend and neighbor Cantor Chaim Dovid Berson, sung by him with Cantor Schwartz. W...

  • Jewish Wedding: Highlights Under the Huppah at PAS

    With Lag BaOmer next week, Jewish wedding season is on! There is not a more beautiful place to stand under the huppah than the sanctuary at PAS. In addition to celebrating the love of the couple, the beautiful ketubah document is signed, the sheva brachot are recited, and finally we remember Jeru...

  • Cantor Schwartz Sings A Yiddishe Momme

    As we approach Mother’s Day, we ask: what makes the relationship of a Jewish mother so special that it is memorialized in art and music across eras? When Sophie Tucker began singing this song written by Yellen & Pollack, in 1925, the Jewish experience in America had included many mothers dealing ...

  • Hallelujah for Yom HaAtzma’ut!

    In the week of Israel’s birthday, Yom HaAtzma’ut, it seems right to celebrate Israel around the world. This cheery song gave people everywhere reason to celebrate in 1979 when it won the Eurovision Song Contest representing Israel, and since then, it has been covered in several languages, includi...

  • Azkara – A Jewish Requiem (Highlights)

    In the Jewish calendar, we observe two occasions of remembrance in the coming days: one on a global scale – recalling the Holocaust – and the other more personal – the Yizkor service. During these times, we pray that the memory of those who have departed is for a blessing. These blessings are bes...

  • Who Knows One?

    We hope our new Haggadah for Young Families will spark new Passover traditions that the PAS community will create together. Speaking of childhood memories, can you remember any counting songs from your childhood? Did your family sing Ehad mi Yodea (“Who Knows One?”), or did you hear “The Twelve D...

  • Cantor Schwartz Sings Sh’ma Koleinu – “Hear Our Voice”

    The sights and sounds coming to us from Ukraine have been marked by fear and tragedy, by silence and by the voices of the injured and displaced — sounds that the Jewish people know well. In the prayer Sh’ma Koleinu, we ask that these voices of humanity not only be heard, but also be answered. We ...

  • A Jewish Love Song from Odessa, Ukraine

    In his recent remarks to congress, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke of his countrymen and women – and of his land – in loving terms. The poetry of Hayim Nahman Bialik (1873–1934), set by David Nowakowsky (1848–1921) of the Brodsky Synagogue in Odessa, evokes images of beautiful rivers...