Music & Meditation
The heart and soul of Judaism is felt through melody. Everything in Judaism is expressed through music - liturgy, Torah, Haftorah, and the writings from Tanach. The Zohar teaches it is the highest form of spiritual expression and can open the heavens and shatter the depths of despair, it can express longing and proclaim joy and gratitude, “Moses and the Children of Israel chose to sing this song to Hashem…Who is like You among the heavenly powers.” it can open pathways to memory and be a vehicle for healing, “David would take the harp…and Saul would feel relieved…the spirit of melancholy would depart from him.” The power of music is so profound that research performed by Fabien Mamam, a French composer, found that music, particularly presented through the human voice, had the capacity to destroy cancer cells. In his work with women who had breast cancer, he recommended ‘toning’ three to four hours a day and found their tumors shrunk in response. As a clergy person, I have found that it is through my music, often over and above the words I use, that people are most moved and impacted. Music bypasses the mind and goes directly to the space of emotions and sentiment. It opens a doorway, sometimes to the unexpected - to bliss or loss, to gratitude or yearning, to the past or to the future. It is vehicle that transports us, like a mystical chariot, to throne of the Divine. Liturgical music enriches the words of our prayers, psalms and blessings and creates inner joy and communal connection. Our most ancient melodies ties us to our past and our modern tunes remind us of how relevant and connected we are to our present and our future. As a cantor I have had the profound honor of singing to and for those I serve - whether in joy at a Bar/Bat Mitzvah or wedding, or in sadness at times of loss and grief, or in exaltation at moments of prayer in service or in celebration of a holiday. Each moment in the Jewish calendar, with its unique character and purpose, is jeweled and embroidered with beauty and dignity. I feel very blessed to have found my ‘musical’ voice, though late in my life, to fulfill my deep passion that was suppressed at a young age. I believe that it is never too late to fulfill one’s purpose, to find one’s bliss, and grow and transform into the person you can become. This is just another example of surrendering to allow for ‘expanded spirit.’ You can sample some of my recordings below.
Judaism has a long tradition of meditation. Along with prayer, music, and study, it is a practice that enhances awareness, consciousness, peace, calm, and connection with the Divine. Psalm 46 reminds us, “Harpu ud’u ki anochi Elohim,” “Desist and know I am G-d,” that when we refrain from action and focusing on the outside world, we have more access to experience the Divine presence. When we focus inward, to the silent and internal landscape we can experience a deep connection with the Holy One. Psalm 65 teaches “L’cha dumiyah t’hilah,” “To you silence is praise.” The busy and noisy environment we often find ourselves in, prevents awareness of the ‘now’ which in Hebrew is “Hineyni.” This word, found in Torah, means “I am fully present.” Focusing on our breath, the gift of life from the Holy One, becomes a vehicle for deeper awareness and knowledge of ourselves. We can touch the ‘oneness’ with the Divine spark within, and permit ourselves to explore our past, present, and future. I teach a unique Jewish breathing technique created by my husband, Rabbi Stephen Robbins and which you can find below in the first meditation. Please enjoy my offerings below to find more solace, healing, and connection to the Divine. Judaism teaches the value and importance of prayer, song, study, and spiritual practice. “In my heart I will meditate…” (Psalm 77) I am available to teach you or a group of people this wonderful skill and the gift that keeps on giving.