Thanks to the generosity of Dennis & Phyllis Malinger, in honor of their brother, we have the Alan J. Malinger Rock Shabbat Fund. Three to four times a year, we bring in Jewish artists to shake up Shabbat at Temple Shalom.
We've always been a musical congregation - and yet, there is something wonderfully irreverent about having a live band or musician on the bimah. And it's clear from the attendance and participation that the congregation loves it!
But is Rock Shabbat really so new and different? In some ways, yes. The Torah never envisioned electric guitars or drum kits during prayer. But it did envision musical instruments. Psalm 150, written two millennia ago, says "Halleluhu b'teika shofar, b'nevel v'chinor - Praise God with blasts of the horn, with harp and lyre" when describing an orchestra that played in the ancient Temple in Jerusalem.
Jewish music has always evolved with the times. That's why Yemenite Jewish music and Polish Jewish music sound so different - they grew up in different parts of the world and were heavily influenced by the surrounding cultures. So when we bring in new instruments, and write new melodies, we are following in the footsteps of our ancestors who did the same. We are drawing from our culture and imbuing it with sanctity, giving Jewish meaning to something that already speaks to us.
Can you really "rock" Shabbat? You sure can! Judaism teaches us that in every generation, we should "Sing to God a new song." There is nothing more Jewish than what we do on these Friday nights.
Next Scheduled Event
Rose Snitz will be with us on Friday, February 3, 2023.
Rose Snitz is a Jewish educator, songleader, and songwriter living in Brooklyn, NY. She is a proud product of the Reform camping and youth movements. She works and performs in the Reform and Progressive movements, highlighting her unique take on traditional and contemporary songs, and exploring new intersections between music and education.