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Thursday, October 06, 2005

Songs of the Holy Temple

Reb Shlomo Carlebach told the following:
"When I was a little boy, I always asked my father, 'Where are the songs of the Holy Temple?' And I never got a good answer, because I could not believe that Jews can live without at least one song from the Holy Temple; a song of King David, a song of beyond time and space, a song that reminds us that we are part of G-d.

"A few years ago, late at night, I saw a frail Jew by the Holy Wall [Kotel] who drew my attention. He really prayed. I waited until he finished and he began telling me he had arrived that day from Russia after ten years in Siberia.

"I asked him, 'How did you survive Siberia?'

"He said, 'I was singing all the time.'

"Suddenly I had this flash and I asked, 'Did you sing the songs of the Holy Temple?'

"And he was quiet for a long time. Tears of ten years of Siberia and maybe two thousand years of exile came out from his holy eyes. And he said, 'My whole family are Chassidim from the time of the Baal Shem Tov, and my holy grandfather told me in the name of the holy Baal Shem Tov, that the way we chant prayers on the High Holidays is the way they were singing them in the Holy Temple - the way King David composed them.'

"That evening changed my life. Whenever I give a concert, I always include the prayers of the High Holidays. The melodies reach, like the Shofar, to the deepest chambers of our souls."

[Many thanks to Reb Sholom Brodt for this].

And indeed, at every concert, Reb Shlomo would sing his "Simcha L'Artzecha" or "M'loch" or "Veyesahu Kol", and always precede it with the nusach of the Yamim Noraim - the High Holydays.

You've got me singing!
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