Song of the Week

Song of the Week

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Song of the Week
  • Duet: V’hi Sh’amda

    Cantor Schwartz and David Enlow recently visited our sister Conservative congregation, B'nai Torah, in Boca Raton, celebrating Jewish music with their newly installed cantor, Magda Fishman. As you prepare for Passover, we hope you enjoy this song of resilience and hope, sung as a duet for over 1,...

  • Dayenu – It Would Have Been Enough

    Dayenu is more than a word, it evokes an attitude of thankfulness and consideration of blessings. In this new arrangement of the jolly, familiar tune, Cantors Schwartz, Davis, and Michaeli list all the blessings that would have been enough. This Passover season, let us reflect on our blessings, n...

  • When Israel Went Out of Egypt (B’tzet Yisrael)

    As spring arrives in New York with just a few weeks before Pesach, let’s celebrate with this icon of the Seder that also shows up at Hallel, B’tzet Yisrael. This psalm, 114, is full of powerful images with its internal questions: Why does the sea flee? Why do the mountains skip like rams? There i...

  • What Keeps Us (V’hi Sh’amda)

    With Purim behind us, we transition to Passover in the coming weeks. One text from the Haggadah, V’hi Sh'amda, addresses a common thread between these two holidays – the ancient hate of the Jewish people that persists “in each generation,” including our own. This melody newly commissioned for our...

  • V’ahavta L’rei-acha Kamocha (Love Your Fellow As Yourself)

    It is often noted in popular culture that many faiths have a version of “v’ahavta l’rei-acha kamocha” at their foundation – “You shall love your fellow as yourself,” or as Rabbi Cosgrove once expanded, “You shall love your neighbor as they would wish to be loved.” These lyrics ask a follow-up que...

  • I Am a Servant of the Holy One (Ana Avda)

    Park Avenue Synagogue celebrates an expansive tapestry of Jewish music, and one thread running through it is the sophisticated Ashkenazi cantorial style. While the original idiom relies on the power of a single, unaccompanied voice for expression, this new arrangement deploys choral sound creativ...

  • Broken Hearts (Shvueri Lev)

    When tragedies occur in the world, we say it is “heartbreaking;” we feel something in our very center. Those feelings find expression in music and prayer, as in this song by the young Israeli singer-songwriter Hanan Ben Ari, which we presented at Kol Nidrei services this year in a new English-lan...

  • "As It Was" (Harry Styles) – A Grammy-Winner in a Synagogue

    When we created this special version of a hit song, we didn’t realize it would be performed at the Grammy awards the next day, let alone from Album of the Year! Observing Tu BiShvat, a holiday in honor of the trees, we decided the Eitz Chayim, “Tree of Life,” text would go best with this energeti...

  • Shabbat Shira: A Shabbat of Song

    Every Shabbat is marked by music, but on Shabbat Shira we read the story of splitting the Red Sea and the special song that accompanied this event. In this tune, V’Shamru, we affirm and renew our tradition of sanctifying the Shabbat with singing. Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom and a “Shabbat of Son...

  • The Best-Known Jewish Lullaby: Rozhinkes mit Mandlen

    Songs that were sung to us as children, and those that we in turn sing to little ones, are written on our hearts. This Yiddish lullaby, “Raisins and Almonds,” was written in 1880 for the Yiddish-language theater in Eastern Europe, and was revisited by Cantor Schwartz at our concert of Yiddish mus...

  • Maurice Ravel’s Deux Mélodies Hébraïques: Kaddisch (1914)

    As International Holocaust Remembrance Day approaches, imagine the world in 1914, a generation before the Shoah: The state of affairs that had persisted in Europe and the Mediterranean since the Congress of Vienna is about to be violently undone, and all of Europe, including European Jewry, is ab...

  • Live From Israel: Exodus and MLK Weekend

    “In every generation, one must look on oneself as though one had personally come out of Egypt.” Mishnah Pesachim 10:5

    This week, we begin the Book of Exodus the same weekend we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This is a unique opportunity to remind ourselves of our personal and spiritual respo...

  • Cantor Schwartz Sings Y'simcha

    In this week’s parashah, we read of some of the most famous parental blessings ever given. Here, Cantor Schwartz blesses two of his own children, and sings a newly-commissioned setting of Y’simcha. Whether you are a parent, child, or other member of the community, we know you can appreciate this ...

  • Be the Light at Carnegie Hall!

    When people of faith build bridges across communities, the most wonderful things can happen, like when Cantor Schwartz and Reverend Ian Johnson take the stage together and exhort the audience to shine their light to the world. In return, the audience responds with joy, knowing that the state of h...

  • What’s it Like to be a Latke?

    Through the whimsical imagination of childhood, think what it must be like to be a latke, one of the foods made with oil that attend the Festival of Lights. At our Debbie Friedman tribute concert this past summer, Cantor Schwartz and his daughters, “the two most precious latkes in the room,” sang...

  • Cantor Schwartz Sings Ya Ribon – A Prayer for the Shabbat Dinner Table

    Ya Ribon is a prayer that connects the universal to the particular, from the immeasurable scale of the ruler of rulers to the local sacredness of Jerusalem. It is included in the siddur for home use – as Rabbi Cosgrove says in this video, “It's traditional on a Friday night and Shabbat day that y...

  • Keep My Tongue from Evil (Elohai N’tzor)

    Speech, the choice of which words we speak, and perhaps even those we do not, is a tremendous power and responsibility, one we do not always recognize and appreciate. If we think of the times we have given or received a word of encouragement or blessing and compare them with those occasions when ...

  • Kol Adonai – The Power of the Voice

    Can you think of a time when a voice affected you deeply and powerfully? It may not have been singing – imagine the voice of an authority figure speaking your name, the voice of a loved one calling out. We recognize in the voice the identity and intentions of those we know, and their state of bei...

  • A Virtual Visit to Israel

    As the eyes of the world are on Israel because of its national election, join us on a virtual aliyah to Jerusalem with Cantor Schwartz, as he prepared to collaborate with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra this past year. The piece they performed together, Mechaye Hametim (“Resurrection of the Dead...

  • Prayer for Rain (Geshem)

    As our climate is changing, the story from Parashah Noach of a world-altering flood does not have to be merely imagined. On the other hand, we know that our world cannot survive without rain — in Israel, this is the time of year to start praying for rain, as it is needed to sustain life in a dese...

  • Eitz Chayim (“Tree of Life”) in Neo-Romantic Style

    In honor of Shabbat B’reishit, beginning the Torah cycle anew, we offer this setting of Eitz Chayim commissioned by PAS. Inspired by the 19th century tradition of Jewish music in the Ashkenazi sound world, PAS Music Director David Enlow wrote this piece in 2013. One hears the ‘Tree of Life” sprin...

  • Lo Amut: Rejoicing in the Hallel Service

    “I praise You for having answered me; You have become my deliverance.” When we embark on the joyful Hallel during Sukkot and Shemini Atzeret, we move through many kinds of joy. There is joy from overcoming trials, and joy at the simplest blessing, just being alive to see “the day the Lord has mad...

  • “I Pray to God” (Ohila La-El)

    In this prayer, featured here in a setting newly commissioned by PAS, we hope our pleas of the Days of Awe were not just heard but will be answered. Wishing you a Shabbat Shalom and Happy Sukkot!

    Music: Elliot Weiss
    Music Director: David Enlow
    AV: Oscar Acevedo, Erik Van Batavia, Russell Miller
    ...

  • 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...