There is something to be said about Chanukah falling in the darkest time of the year: when we need extra light, physically and spiritually, the lights of Chanukah bring it to us.
But what about the week after? During this time of year, we need a little extra something to brighten up our days. For each of us, that can look different: spending time with friends and family, participating in a hobby or activity, sitting by a special lamp – like the ones which imitate sunlight, waking up extra early to experience the morning light, taking a vacation, walking outside … and much more. For me, listening to music and singing often bring light and energy when I need them most.
“There are palaces that open only to music.” (Hillel Zeitlin)
Music has the ability to unlock places (palaces?) inside that we never knew needed opening, to bring recovery in times of difficulty, to enhance a joyous moment, to make us think or even the opposite – to help us stop thinking so much! Music is powerful in our everyday lives and even more in our spiritual lives.
Temple Emanuel Sinai has been blessed to be on a musical journey this year, to be exposed to so many different types of music and musical leaders. This Shabbat, we will experience the musical leadership and teachings of Sheldon Low.
Sheldon is a not only a Jewish musician, performer, and social entrepreneur, he is also a highly regarded Jewish educator and innovator. With his music and leadership skills, he has raised money to feed the hungry, mentored young people, taught other musicians how to integrate music and technology, and so much more. Sheldon is also the creator and host of “Jewish Songwriter”, a podcast devoted to the people and stories behind contemporary Jewish music.
I’m looking forward to a Shabbat filled with music and meaning, and especially interested in seeing the “palaces” that will be unlocked by our Shabbat musical experience.