Letters to the Editor

by | in Letters

Correction:
Please note that in the honey cake recipe in the fall 2008 issue, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon was omitted from the ingredient list.

The Music of Prayer
Daniel Schwartz’s article “Reclaiming the Music of Prayer” (summer 2008) struck a “chord” with me. I too find it increasingly difficult to gain inspiration from davening on Shabbat and yom tov, as more shlichei tzibbur deviate from the accepted nusach and davening becomes a songfest of current popular tunes. Listening to portions of Shabbat Kedushah sung, for example, to the tune of “An Evening of Roses” makes me cringe. Any new popular tune that comes down the pike is a possible new tune for Kedushah!

Growing up in Los Angeles, I had the privilege of participating in the choir of Cantor Binyamin Glickman of Beth Jacob Congregation. Cantor Glickman instilled in all of his students a love for the davening and its nuances, a respect for the nusach of each Shabbat and yom tov prayer and the ability to act as shaliach tzibbur for virtually any occasion. Cantor Glickman was one of the rare chazzanim who took immense joy in having “one of his boys” daven for the amud. I will always be grateful for his tutelage.

Michael Langbaum
Baltimore, Maryland

Mr. Schwartz would like to reclaim the music of prayer of yesteryear. Well, I’d like to reclaim any music.

After more than twenty years of becoming increasingly observant, my wife and I joined a small Orthodox shul. The warm feeling is special, but the services are dry. We have found this to be the case in the majority of the shuls we’ve visited. One of the few delightful exceptions we experienced is the “Carlebach minyan” at The Jewish Center in Manhattan (held on the first Friday of each month).

I realize everyone must daven for himself, but certain prayers can—and should—be recited jointly, with kavanah. It shouldn’t be “let’s get it over with, and go home and eat.”

Being able to sing with joy and enthusiasm makes davening a more spiritual experience, far superior to rushing through the prayers quietly and hurrying home.

Harold Warren
Upstate New York

On Being an Army Wife
I was married to a career Army colonel for over fifty years. I understand everything [the Kashnows] have gone through (“Confessions of an Army Wife,” by Mindy Salazar, summer 2008), and I hear similar stories every day. As hard as Army wives have it today, it was worse when I was a young bride. A hardship tour was fifteen months, and there was no e-mail and no cell phones—only snail mail from Korea, Vietnam and elsewhere. We had to try hard to maintain a Jewish life, which we did successfully.

Helen Barker
Fayetteville, North Carolina

This article was featured in Jewish Action Winter 2008.

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