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the connection between Judaism and music is deep and very ancient. Back in the days of the prophets, the prophet Elisha described that he needed a musical instrument in order to succeed in ascending spiritually and achieve the longed-for prophecy
. A Torah event (tish) takes place with public singing, and even the most spiritual people, the rabbis, and the tzaddikim, would sing sacred melodies themselves in their prayers and at times of desire, and some of them even composed new melodies that are still played in many churches and religious Jewish communities all over the world.
One of the instruments used for singing and Jewish music is the piano: the piano is a popular musical instrument in many Jewish communities. Many religious families have a piano in their home, and piano lessons are given to children from an early age, in these homes, they perceive that playing is a tool to connect to the sacred. Music is often used as a form of prayer in Orthodox Judaism. Songs and melodies are songs sung as a way to connect with God.
One of the most famous pieces of piano music in Orthodox Judaism is Hassidic melodies composed by Hassidim or the Rebbe themselves. Chabad Chassidim distinguishes between the purposeful tunes that the Rebbes composed out of a link and connection to higher worlds and spiritual roots, and the excellent Hasidic tunes that are intended to lift the heart and desire of the listener towards a higher and purer spiritual reality. One of the most famous tunes is a 4-bar tune that is mostly played with violin and piano.
One of the most famous Hasids whose music is central to their education method is of course the Breslav Hasids. We have preserved the tunes of Rabbi Nachman of Breslav, which Rabbi Nachman of Breslav composed himself at the beginning of the 19th century. These pieces are traditionally played at weddings and other special events and are considered one of the most important pieces of piano music in Orthodox Judaism.
Music in Judaism was largely influenced by the piano. The piano was first introduced to the Orthodox world at the beginning of the 19th century, and since then piano music has become an integral part of Orthodox life.
The history of Jewish music The
history of music in Judaism is long and rich, spanning hundreds of years and continents. It is a history of religious and secular music, composers and performers, sacred works and popular tunes. And this is history that continues to be made every day.
Music has always been an important part of Judaism, both in religious ceremonies and in everyday life. King David and ten of the earliest patriarchs of the world sang hymns of longing or confidence to God. In the temple, music was used to accompany the offering of the sacrifices. After the destruction of the temple, the Levites asked, “How shall we sing the song of God on foreign land?” And we will make a certain decrease in the centrality of poetry in the essence of Jewish life.
Centuries later, there is evidence that during the Middle Ages Jewish musicians were often hired by Christian rulers to perform at court. This gave them an opportunity to learn and absorb different styles of music.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, Jewish composers began writing music specifically for a Jewish audience. The new style of Jewish music reflected the influences of classical, folk, and popular music.
One of the famous Jews who connected the two worlds of Judaism and music is the late Rabbi Shlomo Karlibach.
3 things that Rabbi Shlomo Karlibach innovated in the world of Jewish music
1. Rabbi Shlomo Karlibach revived musical instruments in Jewish music. He was one of the first to use the guitar in a synagogue, together with performances of Jewish music that he gave together with piano and clarinet players.
2. Rabbi Karlibach also revived traditional Jewish folk melodies and tunes. He gave the well-known traditional tunes a new flavor and life, which miraculously has not been dampened to this day.
3. Finally, Rabbi Karlibach wrote hundreds of new Jewish songs, many of which became standards in the Jewish community. Take, for example, the melody of “From your place, my king will appear” for the dedication of the Shabbat morning prayer. People think this is a traditional ancient melody, and it is not, but it is a melody of Rabbi Karlibach that he composed in one of his performances.
Today there are entire genres of music in Judaism, in general, we can divide between original Hasidic music and renewed Jewish music. But this division is no longer so clear. We can say that today most of the types of music that exist in the world receive a stage and expression within the world of Judaism as well. There is Jewish soul music, pop, rock, trance, and more.