Building Singing Communities” is an easy-to-read, how-to guide to making music a lasting and joy-filled force in shul and Jewish life. In this short book, author, musician, and educator Joey Weisenberg presents us with a veritable treasure house of musical opportunities. “Just think how far we could come,” says Weisenberg, “if we treated the songs sung by our day-to-day, lay synagogue community as seriously as we do the music created by professional stage musicians? We could create an atmosphere of both great beauty and drama in our spaces of prayer; we would value each and every individual in our community as a creative musician, and encourage his or her efforts in an attitude of musical collaboration.
Music is the soul’s native language: a prayer, a divine ladder upon which we climb between the Earth and the Heavens. But music also reaches horizontally across our social fractures and dogmas and connect us one with the other. Just as it cuts the nonsense away from our hearts, music opens our ears so that we can listen to the subtle nuances and sacred whispers of the world around us. In every moment, music encourages us to ask ourselves: Can we hear the songs that are already being sung by all of creation?
In The Torah of Music, Joey Weisenberg brings together a comprehensive collection of 180 curated texts from the Jewish musical-spiritual imagination. In the first half, Weisenberg reflects on ancient texts alongside stories from his life as a musician. In the second half, Weisenberg presents a bilingual ‘open library’ of traditional texts on the subject of music and song, garnered from over three thousand years of Jewish history, to open up the world of Jewish musical thought to all who are willing to join the song.
chasidut, purest type of song just comes to you