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      The Eye of the Storm
      by Batya Medad
      A Unique Perspective by Batya Medad of Shiloh
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      Batya Medad made aliya from New York to Israel in 1970 and has been living in Shiloh since 1981. Recently she began organizing women's visits to Tel Shiloh for Psalms and prayers. (For more information, please email her.)  Batya is a newspaper and magazine columnist, a veteran jblogger and recently stopped EFL teaching.  She's also a wife, mother, grandmother, photographer and HolyLand hitchhiker, always seeing things from her own very unique perspective. For more of Batya's writings and photos, check out:

      Shiloh Musings



      Tevet 24, 5770, 1/10/2010

      Chazzanut, Traditional Jewish Prayers, Can Be Fun!

      Sorry about not posting for a while, but you know that you can read my other blogs, Shiloh Musings and me-ander.  I post there much more frequently and about a very wide range of topics.

      This isn't the first time we were privileged to spend a Shabbat in Tel Aviv for a special birthday prayer service led by some of the world's greatest chazanim conducted by Dr. Mordechai Sobel.

      This time the soloists were Yaakov Lemmer and Moshe Schulhof, and it was co-conducted by Mordechai's son, Ofir.  The atmosphere was less "performance" and some of us, at least from the Ezrat Nashim, Ladies Section balcony, sang dovened/prayed along. 

      Some of the tunes were composed by the late Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, who used to claim that his tunes were simple and his voice ordinary which he considered a great blessing.  A blessing, because he wanted his dovening to be "singalong," for all to join in.
        Reb Shlom'le would have been very happy with the dovening and atmosphere.  He would have been totally overjoyed at the "An'im Zamirot," by a little boy at the end of Musaf.  The professional cantors and choir gave the young kid all the honor, and that little boy rose to the occasion like a pro.  We had to hold back the clapping, but the tears were harder to contain.

      By the end of the five (but it felt like less since it was so much fun) hour service, the curtains were all open up in the gallery.  We ladies had the greatest view imaginable.  This wasn't some Jewish opera performance/concert; it was interactive prayers, just the way it should be.

      Mazal Tov to the birthday "boy" Chazzanut aficionado and sponsor, Attorney Pesach Mor, a veteran member of the Ramah Synagogue, 159 Ben Yehuda Street, Tel Aviv.