Music is Holy
After the Kabbalat Shabbat, the young woman bolstered her courage and stepped up to the rabbi, “The music inspires me more than the actual prayers. The melodies, along with the Hebrew, transport me to a place faraway. Is this, o.k.? Or am I not doing what I should?” “Go on,” Rabbi Ruth encouraged the woman to continue. “Sometimes, when we sing, I feel I am in a room with wooden benches. Men daven and chant. The elderly, bearded men wear tallit and sway. It could be the old synagogue in Worms, Germany that I visited a few years ago. But I am there—connected by music to people praying a hundred years ago.” “There are no ‘shoulds.’ That is beautiful, Kendra. I am touched that our music transports you to the past. This is a sacred bridge. Music is certainly a form of prayer. And prayer is music.” The rabbi touched her heart as she spoke. “How so?” Kendra asked the rabbi. “The music connects you to prayer from the past. The music allows you to lift yourself into a mystical realm. The Hebrew words are like poetry when read and repeated. Surprisingly, the translated versions are inspiring, as well. Joined together, the words in either language, form a rhythm that is verbal but nonetheless moving.” “Mm. I see Rabbi. Sometimes when we sing the music, I enter a space of raw emotion. I sense fragile, pure feeling, that is all.” “That is prayer in my mind, Kendra. You are blessed. Continue your path--see where the journey leads. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Amen.” “Shabbat Shalom.” Kendra responded, as she walked away. Epilogue: The talented Lin Miranda-Manuel wrote a song, Almost Like Prayer, a validation for this little story.