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Cantor Ben Ellerin's blog

The Psalms of Kabbalat Shabbat

Tue, 02/28/2017 - 12:00am -- Cantor Ben Ellerin

Expulsion from Spain was tremendously traumatic for the generation of Jews that lived in the late 15th century and the painful memory of being forced from their homes continued to haunt Jews for centuries.  Indeed, Jews had lived there for a thousand years.  The Jews of Spain and Portugal were integrated in the society in a seemingly inexorable way.  The expulsion from Spain was as traumatic as the destruction the temple was perhaps for Jews in the first century.  Certainly, seeking some divine involvement in their lives, the Sephardic Jews must have in part assumed it w

The Psalms of Kabbalat Shabbat

Tue, 02/28/2017 - 12:00am -- Cantor Ben Ellerin

Expulsion from Spain was tremendously traumatic for the generation of Jews that lived in the late 15th century and the painful memory of being forced from their homes continued to haunt Jews for centuries.  Indeed, Jews had lived there for a thousand years.  The Jews of Spain and Portugal were integrated in the society in a seemingly inexorable way.  The expulsion from Spain was as traumatic as the destruction the temple was perhaps for Jews in the first century.  Certainly, seeking some divine involvement in their lives, the Sephardic Jews must have in part assumed it w

Rainbows

Wed, 11/30/2016 - 12:00am -- Cantor Ben Ellerin

At the end of this week’s parahsah, or torah portion, God promises Noah that the world will never again be destroyed like it was in the flood.  And as a sign of God’s promise, as a sign of that brit, God creates rainbows as a reminder that God still remembers and still keep that promise.

Praying Together

Thu, 09/29/2016 - 10:08am -- Cantor Ben Ellerin

Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and the intervening days are known collectively as the “Days of Awe.”  There is a lot to find awe inspiring - the emphasis on deep personal introspection, the call to reach out and ask for forgiveness from those we may have wronged, and the beautiful words of our tradition.

In honor of Rabbi Jaech’s 10 year anniversary gala

Thu, 05/26/2016 - 12:00am -- Cantor Ben Ellerin

I am honored to present the lyrics to a few of the musical parodies that were featured during the course of the evening.  My hope is that everyone can continue to feel the joy and excitement we all felt that evening as we honored Rabbi’s amazing leadership and service to our community.  All lyrics are made in jest and no friendships were harmed in the making of these parodies.  Please enjoy!

 

Something Happened on the way to Villa Barone

Something familiar, something peculiar

Something for Jews and Goys: a gala tonight

Passover Reflections

Thu, 04/28/2016 - 8:55am -- Cantor Ben Ellerin

Even before I became a cantor, I always loved Passover seders.  It was a time for great food, being together with family, and it was a time for singing.  I didn’t have an especially musical family but I have really fond memories of singing the Four Questions and how together we tried to remember how the words and music fit together for Chad Gadya and Dayeinu.&nbsp

The Importance of Jewish Youth Choirs

Tue, 11/24/2015 - 12:00am -- Cantor Ben Ellerin

I’d like to invite you to imagine for a moment, a young Jewish kid with the beginnings of a love for music.  In their adolescent search for identity and self-expression, they are just dying for more musical engagement.  There are some great choirs in town – all of his or her friends sing in them.  The only problem is, they are all run through churches and the synagogues in town don’t have musical options to offer the young budding musician.  Still fully committed to their Judaism but with few other options, they take a “leap of faith” and join one of the church choirs to

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