Music

At Shir Tikvah the High Holy Days are synonymous with music. Explore this page to learn a little about our music and hear some melodies you might encounter on Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur.

Blessing of the Torah at High Holy Days - At Shir Tikvah's High Holy Day services, aliyot (Torah blessings) are done in group fashion. Get ready for this mitzvah with this practice sheet and our traditional tunes.

Musical Magic  

Wendy Goldberg, Director of Spiritual Engagement


Does the music at High Holy Days inspire you? Cause you to reflect? Make you feel connected? The prayers and melodies at Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur can be categorized in one or more of the four categories adapted from the writings of Cantor Benjie Ellen Schiller, professor at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.


Meeting
 

These are familiar tunes that help us gather as a community.  They are usually “sing-along” melodies at the beginning or end of the service, or after silent prayer.  Examples are Hinei Mah Tov, Mah Tovu, Oseh Shalom, and Yism’chu.


Majesty
 

These melodies evoke a sense of awe and wonder and might include Kol Nidre, Avinu Malkeinu, and Sim Shalom.


Meaning 

These are prayers of great intention, where the message of the prayer is of primary importance.  For instance Mi Shebeirach, prayer of healing; Mourner’s Kaddish; Nissim B’chol Yom, the morning blessings; and B’rosh HaShanah.


Meditation 

These songs lead us inward toward reflective, contemplative, even private prayer, such as Adonai S’fatai Tiftach, Elohai N’tzor, and Elohai N’shama.

 

Some prayers fit into several categories, and each of us would categorize the prayers uniquely. Though the choir will sing many of the melodies, you are encouraged to sing along.  Harmonize, meditate, reflect. Which prayers fit which categories for YOU?

Our hope is that we can meet you with melodies that feel right, that we can inspire you with those that feel majestic, and that we can help you reach meaningful and meditative moments throughout all of the High Holy Days.


Shofar sounding workshop for the new, seasoned, or just out of practice!
Here is your opportunity to learn how to blow shofar or just practice before the High Holidays are upon us!  It'll take less than a half hour.  If you have a shofar, bring it.  If you don't own a shofar, we'll provide one to practice on; and, you can even purchase them at our very own Shir Tikvah gift shop!  Kids, adults, members, and friends -- all are welcome at either of these times:

Please join us and help make our High Holiday experience full of sound!


Fill your High Holy Days with music

Press on any of the links below to hear the melodies we sing during the High Holy Days. 

High Holy Day Prayer Highlights!
This document has the Hebrew, English, and transliteration of the prayers we shared on Friday, September 9. 

High Holy Day Niggun
This melody is used for transitional moments and for several prayers such as Bar'chu.

Bar'chu
Sung in the High Holy Day Niggun these words invite us all to join in prayer.

Amidah, also known as Avot and G'vurot:  The text and melody both change for the High Holy Days. 
Avot for High Holy Days
Avot (Amidah) Text

Zochreinu
Sung during the Amidah.

B'rosh Ha-shannah (mp3 recording)
B'rosh Ha-shana Text (pdf)
With this central liturgical text, we acknowledge that the year ahead has not been written and the year begins unfolding at this point. While the words include "who shall live and who shall die," we can consider how we will live and how we will weather the ups and downs in the year to come. Sung in the morning services of Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur.

L'Shana Tova!
Morning Minyan welcomes the New Year (MP3)
L'shana Tova Lyric Sheet

U'n'taneh Tokef
A central piece of liturgy, chanted by the shaliach tzibor (prayer leader).

L'Dor Va'dor

Bishiva Shel Ma'alah
This haunting melody is used as a niggun (wordless tune) throughout Yom Kippur.  We sing the words to the prayer right before Kol Nidre, asking for permission from the angels on high to pray even if we have transgressed.

Shir Tikvah's High Holy Day Choir

Congregants who wish to share their gift of music are encouraged to join the High Holy Day choir. Rehearsals have started, please contact Wendy Goldberg if you wish to join.


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