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Shabbat Challenge Lab 6 Sing! Chant! Make music and enjoy the silence

05/14/2015 01:23:58 PM


Shabbat Challenge Lab 6
Sing! Chant! Make music and enjoy the silence

Song has long been a part of Shabbat. We actually recite a psalm during Shabbat services that begins with, “A song for Shabbat”.  For generations, songs around the table before and after a nice meal were the center of Shabbat practice. You know this joy if you have ever sat around a table singing songs with friends or family.


Even so, many of us feel awkward about singing or inviting our family or guests to join us after dinner in song. This challenge is meant to help you past that awkward moment. Now you have an excuse to invite someone to join you in song.


Start with something simple. It is more important that you and any one joining you can do so easily. “This Land Is Your Land” can be just as fun and spiritual as “Shalom Aleichem” especially if everyone knows it. Many traditional Shabbat songs have no words at all - a niggun is a wordless melody. It allows you to sing without getting caught up in the words. Likewise, the chants we sing as part of services or in the Bnai Keshet chanting circles help us, through their simplicity, to sink deeper into meaning than longer songs with many verses.


Of course singing doesn’t require a Shabbas table or a campfire. You might also come to services to sing or come to chanting this Saturday. You should also remember that you don’t need company to sing all by yourself, and it can be a quite meaningful. Finally, wherever and however you sing enjoy the silence after and between songs.

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