Order of Service & Musical Instruments

Bandit

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How does the order of service go in Judaism?

Are there any instruments used & special vocals in the praise & worship?
 
I'll give you the order of a morning service when the Torah is taken out on a weekday, since that seems simplest while still including everything. First are morning blessings, thanking God for all of the basic necessities. Then comes the songs of praise, most recognizable of which for many are a selection of halleluyah psalms praising God. Then is the Shema and the prayers before and after it. Then is the Amidah, or standing prayer. Then it is time to take out the Torah, do the ritual actions surrounding this including more prayers, and read from it. And then it is time to put it away and do some concluding prayers. On certain holidays there will be extra things added. This is much abridged. Jewish services are known for being long. On a Saturday morning an abridged service will be about 2 hours. If you have any specific questions, I will be happy to answer. Oh, siddur, the hebrew prayerbook, comes from the word for "order" because it is a set order. Just a little trivia note I thought I'd add.

Where I pray, drums and guitar are sometimes used. Some places use organ. But traditionally no instruments are used because we are in mourning for the Beit HaMikdash. There is a person in the Jewish community, a role, the cantor or hazzan in Hebrew, whose role is to lead prayer and do fancy things with song sometimes. Sometimes a lay person will lead prayer also, and fill this role. Sometimes singing is done in a sort of droning, sea-like, speech by all of the people present. Each person is not sea-like, but each one adds to the sea of sound. Sometimes there is a choir. This is borrowed from Christianity and doesn't happen in Orthodoxy.

There are many melodies to much of the liturgy. There is also the trop, the cantillation notes used when doing a reading. These are very unique and are written around the letters like the vowels. They also show where to accent the words. Different communities have different variations on the trop. There are also different trop for different occasions, like Rosh Hashana.

Hope this helps.

Dauer
 
that helps a lot Dauer. i will have a couple of more specific questions on what you have given for the order of service soon.

i still find it neat how the take out & put the Torah away.

one time I was at a jewish retirement home & they were having a weekday service and they did a lot of singing & clapping in minor keys. the words were in hebrew, so i had no idea what they singing. there was a person there leading it doing the fancy things you mention.
 
I'm not sure about sefardic tradition, but ashkenazic tradition tends to use a lot of minor keys. I think it's probably an influence from another culture. Music is an area where Judaism is hugely influenced by each of the cultures it has been surrounded by. We even have liturgical hymns that are written according to medieval Arabic rules of meter.

If you're looking for online translations of the text of the siddur, these are the only two I know of:

http://www.siddur.org/

That one is pretty standard but sometimes takes time to load and can't all be read smoothly.

http://www.ohalah.org/rebzalman/thesiddur.pdf

This one is not a literal translation, but the meaning is retained, it can be read smoothly, and it's attempted to be translated in a way that stays alive. The downside is that sometimes it can get very interpretive, and sometimes it uses new agey language. One common interpretive translation is melech haolam, which literally means king of the world, translated as cosmic majesty.

Dauer
 
dauer said:
This one is not a literal translation, but the meaning is retained, it can be read smoothly, and it's attempted to be translated in a way that stays alive. The downside is that sometimes it can get very interpretive, and sometimes it uses new agey language. One common interpretive translation is melech haolam, which literally means king of the world, translated as cosmic majesty.

Dauer

i understand.

The Transliterated Siddur is intended to help Jews who are learning to recite the traditional prayers. Permission is granted to individuals to print or download pages for private study and for insertion into the corresponding pages of their Hebrew-English Siddur.
we have a similiar thing where psalms are set to music & some words are emphasized. i dont recall any written prayers like this, but many passages of scripture to help memorize them. i have always found that to be a good approach.

Where I pray, drums and guitar are sometimes used. Some places use organ. But traditionally no instruments are used because we are in mourning for the Beit HaMikdash.

this HaMikdash is not year round though. right?

Sometimes singing is done in a sort of droning, sea-like, speech by all of the people present. Each person is not sea-like, but each one adds to the sea of sound. Sometimes there is a choir. This is borrowed from Christianity and doesn't happen in Orthodoxy.

is (sea like) similiar to many voices, the sound of many waters? like the sound of a waterfall where the voices do not change in notation.

i wonder why orthodox does not have a choir. i know some people feel the words & meanings can be lost & not pronounced correctly by too many voices and choir music is a little different from what can be achieved through solo.
i have always found a choir to be enhancing to the service.
so you have guitar & drums where you go. that is cool:)
 
we have a similiar thing where psalms are set to music & some words are emphasized. i dont recall any written prayers like this, but many passages of scripture to help memorize them. i have always found that to be a good approach.

Originally there were no siddurim, and everyone had to memorize, but the liturgy was also much smaller at that time. Eventually the prayer books began to appear. I've been praying every day and am finding that the major prayers I am now beginning to have memorized, which is helpful, but there are also holidays on which parts of the liturgy change, certain passages that are included or excluded on certain days, so it makes it easier to have it all in a book for our purposes usually.

this HaMikdash is not year round though. right?

I'm sorry. I should have translated. Beit HaMikdash is the Temple. It is in ruins. The mourning is for the beit hamikdash.

is (sea like) similiar to many voices, the sound of many waters? like the sound of a waterfall where the voices do not change in notation.

Well, that's just it. All the voices are changing. But they're all changing in slightly varied ways. Like rain drops on a highly varied surface, each with a slightly different tune.

i wonder why orthodox does not have a choir. i know some people feel the words & meanings can be lost & not pronounced correctly by too many voices and choir music is a little different from what can be achieved through solo.

I think it has more to do with the nature of Orthodoxy, which is convervatism. Introducing a choir would be change, a change that might not appear to be warranted. Within Orthodoxy there is the possibility for very little solo-ing as all that is really needed is someone to keep all of the pray-ers together, like a conductor or director.

i have always found a choir to be enhancing to the service.

I like choirs as long as the service doesn't turn into a concert. I like participatory services and if the choir (or the cantor) start to really put on a show, leaving everyone else to just watch, that I don't appreciate. But if the choir can raise up the participation, that I would be more inclined to have.

Dauer
 
actually, dauer, in the UK orthodox shuls often have choirs. of course, they're generally pretty dreadful but there are a few exceptions.

there are, in more modern congregations, often more up-beat tunes that people put the liturgy to, especially psalms and pizmonim (hymns) but frankly most of these pay little attention to the cadence of the hebrew (chasidim and americans being the worst offenders here) and rely on repeating words and phrases to shoe-horn them into western verse-chorus-verse-chorus-middle 8-repeat chorus to fade "popular" structures. baaaaaaah. westerners don't generally seem to take to the mantra-like repetitiveness of many of the more ancient verse-structures; although, ironically enough, they have much in common with the nigunim of the chasidim i was slagging off before.

one of the things i think that people miss about the structure is that it effectively contains its own instructions, rather like those capsules we send off into space. there is also an underlying mystical structure to the service which, imho, most people are entirely unaware of other than the usual stuff about everything before "hodu" being assiyah, then psukei d'zimra being yetzirah, shema-blessings being beriah and then the amidah being atzilut. what people seem to have missed is the fact that the "Torah service" is effectively the "emanation" of Torah. all you have to do is look at the symbolic layout; the ark being heaven, the bimah being earth and the procession being the transmission process. in fact, this is also true of certain aspects of the Temple service.

sephardic, particularly eidot mizrah (middle-eastern) communities use liturgical styles which are generally related to the maqam modes used in the islamic world. we don't know how old these modes are, actually, but european modes are in part based upon them.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
BB,

That's interesting about the choirs. I always thought the UK is more strict than the US. I guess there are places where this is not the case.

__

What is a good CD to get with Sefardic renditions of parts of the service?

___

Do you know what the textual source is for the symbolism you just stated?

Dauer
 
bananabrain said:
one of the things i think that people miss about the structure is that it effectively contains its own instructions, rather like those capsules we send off into space. there is also an underlying mystical structure to the service which, imho, most people are entirely unaware of other than the usual stuff about everything before "hodu" being assiyah, then psukei d'zimra being yetzirah, shema-blessings being beriah and then the amidah being atzilut. what people seem to have missed is the fact that the "Torah service" is effectively the "emanation" of Torah. all you have to do is look at the symbolic layout; the ark being heaven, the bimah being earth and the procession being the transmission process. in fact, this is also true of certain aspects of the Temple service.
b'shalom

bananabrain

BB, do you think the mystical part of the 'structure' of service is something that has always been there (since ancient times)? but not everyone recognizes it, say until later on in life?
 
dauer said:
Well, that's just it. All the voices are changing. But they're all changing in slightly varied ways. Like rain drops on a highly varied surface, each with a slightly different tune.


I like choirs as long as the service doesn't turn into a concert. I like participatory services and if the choir (or the cantor) start to really put on a show, leaving everyone else to just watch, that I don't appreciate. But if the choir can raise up the participation, that I would be more inclined to have.

Dauer

during that part of the service, the people would be singing the same words, but each vocal kind of follows there own tune(s)? is that saying the same thing you are above?

i feel the same about the choirs. i prefer there to be some type of participation with the choir & the congregation, if there is none then it comes across more like a concert.
 
Bandit, that's exactly what I was saying. But it's not necessarily for a part of the service so much as it is a style of prayer. Although there are parts of the service that wouldn't be like that. It's more like that is the floor and then there are other things that get placed into it that offer some variation.

Dauer
 
BB, do you think the mystical part of the 'structure' of service is something that has always been there (since ancient times)? but not everyone recognizes it, say until later on in life?
well, i don't know exactly how old it is, as the service as we have it now is only 2000 years old, dating back to the destruction of the Temple (before that the personal structured contemplation of the "18 benedictions" of the amidah were what is referred to as "prayer", at least in the Mishnah) - the question then becomes how mystical the structure of the Temple service was; and there's plenty of evidence for that, except that it is quite hard to prove how old the interpretation (as opposed to the actual structure) is. however, many authorities have no difficulty whatsoever identifying kabbalistic structures in the Torah and NaKh, everything from the "binding of isaac" (see the thread on that in this forum) and the abrahamic "covenant of the parts" to the davidic blessing in chronicles (the source of the hermetic formula "AGLA") and the description of elijah's prophetic techniques and the midrashic descriptions of the behaviour of the "cherubs" in the Holy of Holies. i think you can find what you look for - or, alternatively, fail to find evidence to convince of things you are sceptical of. it's really down to the degree of personal mystical insight and education.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
bananabrain said:
well, i don't know exactly how old it is, as the service as we have it now is only 2000 years old, dating back to the destruction of the Temple (before that the personal structured contemplation of the "18 benedictions" of the amidah were what is referred to as "prayer", at least in the Mishnah) - the question then becomes how mystical the structure of the Temple service was; and there's plenty of evidence for that, except that it is quite hard to prove how old the interpretation (as opposed to the actual structure) is. however, many authorities have no difficulty whatsoever identifying kabbalistic structures in the Torah and NaKh, everything from the "binding of isaac" (see the thread on that in this forum) and the abrahamic "covenant of the parts" to the davidic blessing in chronicles (the source of the hermetic formula "AGLA") and the description of elijah's prophetic techniques and the midrashic descriptions of the behaviour of the "cherubs" in the Holy of Holies. i think you can find what you look for - or, alternatively, fail to find evidence to convince of things you are sceptical of. it's really down to the degree of personal mystical insight and education.

b'shalom

bananabrain

thank you for the reply. i know the service has changed some since the temple destruction & maybe that is a good point.
i want to bring up the cerubs in the holy of holies. that has been on my mind for about two months & i am real glad you mentioned that.
do you think there is enough there to make a thread on it (holy of holies) & discuss it on its own? or just do it in this thread?

i guess what i was kind of asking BB, is when did you (YOU) personaly recognize a sort of mysticism within the service at temple? like what age & also there are probably certain parts of the service where God appears stronger in the worship.?.
for me i am thinking back to about the age of 9 - 12 is when i first recognized it.

i would guess that it must have started real thick there in the holy of holies when God agreed to commune there.:)
 
Bandit said:
i want to bring up the cerubs in the holy of holies. do you think there is enough there to make a thread on it (holy of holies) & discuss it on its own? or just do it in this thread?

i would guess that it must have started real thick there in the holy of holies when God agreed to commune there.:)

I would deeply appreciate it if someone would tell me about the cerubs in the holy of holies or give me a reference to find it myself .... aloha nui, poh
 
pohaikawahine said:
I would deeply appreciate it if someone would tell me about the cerubs in the holy of holies or give me a reference to find it myself .... aloha nui, poh

oh good:) . i spelled it wrong. sorry. CHERUBS. it is also known as the mercy seat.

pohaikawahine, i bet you would like the whole tabernacle study as well, that has a lot of numbers, measurements & symbols & lot of hidden meanings. it is quite lengthy.

i will wait for dauer & bananabrain to share the sites & knowledge they know about it, & what direction to go.
 
In my opinion, it might be a good idea to start a new thread on the other material, although as I prepare to enter the Holy of Holies of the year (Yom Kippur) I won't be making any lengthy responses. I may give a word tomorrow morning, but not much. Yom Kippur actually relates to the issue of the cherubim in rabbinic lit, iirc, and it's a whopper of a thought to drop, too, and one that's been interpreted a few different ways. No no. Don't get into it.

Peace and blessings.

Dauer

And BB, I'm still interested in the name of that source if you have it, the text that shows the service as you described it originally with the Torah and suchnot.
 
mahalo nui bandit ... you are right I will really love this and right now I'm reading Exodus 25 - 31 .... and a number of other works on temple structure and service .... aloha nui, poh p.s. dauer and bb, anything you have to suggest would be greatly appreciated
 
Poh, if you're interested in Temple structure and service, you may want to study some gemara, maybe seder kodashim (that's not something small.) BB would be better at telling you the best place to begin study, since he has a stronger background in that. I've only studied berachot, although done quite a bit more mishna on my own. At the very least it will tell you one perspective on second temple period practices.

Dauer
 
dauer said:
Poh, if you're interested in Temple structure and service, you may want to study some gemara, maybe seder kodashim (that's not something small.) BB would be better at telling you the best place to begin study, since he has a stronger background in that. I've only studied berachot, although done quite a bit more mishna on my own. At the very least it will tell you one perspective on second temple period practices.

Dauer

mahalo nui dauer .... I've gots lots to study and think on .... just finishing up the book In the Shadow of the Ladder that bb recommended early on .... I've also started looking for a good Hebrew Dictionary (one that tells about the root of words .... all the ones I've found so far do not tell about the root of the words at all .... so I'll keep searching) ....bb, do you have any recommendations to add ..... aloha nui, poh

p.s. dauer .... I was reading an article about an ancient sport on hawaii called 'holua' .... supposingly practiced over in the ancient days.... it is a wooden sled (sort of a forerunner of modern luge sledding) and is run over a field of lava rocks, stones and pili grass .... one can reach speeds up to 70 mph and it is extremely dangerous .... but it is being revived by one man named 'Pohaku' (which means stone) .... here is how he describes the event "as sun-heated lava rocks warmed sled runners slicked with kukui nut oil, the riders hurled faster and faster -- reaching speeds of up to 70 miles an hour. Surrounded by waves of spiraling heat, the riders no longer were aware of sliding over rock. In their consciousness, solid transformed to fluid, physical merged with spiritual. They surfed a moving lava flow .... Pele's river .... and honored the firey volcano goddess with their courage and sacrifice. When my ancestors built a slide, they were trying to duplicate a lava flow in honor of Pele .... we couldn't actually do that, but we could cross over into the spiritual netherworld where everything becomes fluid and you don't feel any resistance. That's exactly how I feel (when riding). It's a rush." I happen to know this man named 'pohaku' through the hawaiian sovereingty discussion list and what he described in the article made me think of your description of noah and the watery world .... just something to share .... poh
 
Poh,

I think there are many ways to interpret the noah story, and I understand where you're coming from, but I think Zalman was focusing much more on paradigm shifting.

If you're looking for something that describes roots, for biblical hebrew there's the brown driver briggs or BDB. Some of the info is iffy but for general study I don't think it's that dangerous. It's a lexicon of the Tanach. Not Jewish. Jastrow's is the classic for rabbinic Hebrew and aramaic. And you can find it online somewhere:

http://www.tyndale.cam.ac.uk/jastrow/

Dauer
 
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