Monthly Archives: September 2014

Population: Annual Survey Israel Bureau of Statistics

Just the Facts Ma’am

The Israeli Bureau of Statistics published its annual population survey just before Rosh Hashanah last week. Read all about it here.  Why?

To acquire perspective and to remain informed. News from Israel comes at us “fast and furious” especially when tensions in the area rise. Basic facts can come in handy.

May we see peace in Israel and around the world in our own day – and soon.

May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.

L’shanah tovah t’kateivu v’tichateimu

לשנה טובה תכתבו ותכתמו

Adon Olam – Variations

Jewish Music Rocks kept us learning and enjoying music on Shabbat morning September 6th.  The first Shabbat of the month in October is Yom Kippur, so Jewish Music Rocks returns on the first Shabbat in November – November 1st..  Until then, here are more contemporary versions of Adon Olam for you to enjoy.  Check the previous post for the words in Hebrew, English and transliteration.





Surprise – A dance along with a new melody.  Quite a bit of contemporary Israeli music is choreographed for a more physical interpretation and experience of the music.







Adon Olam (Pharrell Williams – “Happy”)

JEWISH MUSIC ROCKS – yes, it’s true, the meter of Adon Olam renders it possible to sing it to almost any melody – and most Hebrew school students have, at one time or another, if their teachers are letting them have that kind of fun!!

This  Shabbat morning we ended services with the Pharrell Williams melody for “Happy” which is omnipresent in our musical worlds these days, but changed the words to a classic Jewish poem – Adon Olam / Master of the Universe – sung by Listen Up! A Cappella.



Adon Olam (“Lord of the World”) is alleged to be composed in the 11th century by Solomon ibn Gabirol. The word “Adon,” meaning master, was first spoken by Abraham in the Bible, referring to God. The lyrics speak about God’s greatness and all-empowering existence. There have been countless melodies adjoined to this hymn.

Adon Olam is the final prayer of the Musaf service on Shabbat morning and festivals. It can also be found in the composition of bedtime prayers and is recited on one’s deathbed. In the next to last line of the Adon Olam is a request that God watch over one’s soul as they sleep. The conclusion of Adon Olam mentions God’s presence and ability to bring reassurance to the people.


Adon olam, asher malach,
b’terem kol y’tzir nivra.
L’et na’asah v’cheftzo kol,
azai melech sh’mo nikra.

V’acharey kichlot hakol,
l’vado yimloch nora.
V’hu haya, v’hu hoveh,
v’hu yih’yeh b’tifara.

V’hu echad, v’eyn sheni
l’hamshil lo, l’hachbira.
B’li reishit, b’li tachlit,
v’lo ha’oz v’hamisrah.

V’hu Eli, v’chai go’ali,
v’tzur chevli b’et tzarah.
V’hu nisi umanos li,
m’nat kosi b’yom ekra.

B’yado afkid ruchi
b’et ishan v’a’irah.
V’im ruchi g’viyati,
Adonai li v’lo ira.

The Lord of the Universe who reigned
before anything was created.
When all was made by his will
He was acknowledged as King.

And when all shall end
He still all alone shall reign.
He was, He is,
and He shall be in glory.

And He is one, and there’s no other,
to compare or join Him.
Without beginning, without end
and to Him belong dominion and power.

And He is my G-d, my living G-d.
to Him I flee in time of grief,
and He is my miracle and my refuge,
who answers the day I shall call.

To Him I commit my spirit,
in the time of sleep and awakening,
even if my spirit leaves,
G-d is with me, I shall not fear.

אֲדוֹן עוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר מָלַךְ,
בְּטֶרֶם כָּל יְצִיר נִבְרָא.
לְעֵת נַעֲשָׂה בְחֶפְצוֹ כֹּל,
אֲזַי מֶלֶךְ שְׁמוֹ נִקְרָא.

וְאַחֲרֵי כִּכְלוֹת הַכֹּל,
לְבַדּוֹ יִמְלוֹךְ נוֹרָא.
וְהוּא הָיָה, וְהוּא הֹוֶה,
וְהוּא יִהְיֶה, בְּתִפְאָרָה.

וְהוּא אֶחָד וְאֵין שֵׁנִי,
לְהַמְשִׁיל לוֹ לְהַחְבִּירָה.
בְּלִי רֵאשִׁית בְּלִי תַכְלִית,
וְלוֹ הָעֹז וְהַמִּשְׂרָה.

וְהוּא אֵלִי וְחַי גֹּאֲלִי,
וְצוּר חֶבְלִי בְּעֵת צָרָה.
וְהוּא נִסִּי וּמָנוֹס לִי,
מְנָת כּוֹסִי בְּיוֹם אֶקְרָא.

בְּיָדוֹ אַפְקִיד רוּחִי,
בְּעֵת אִישַׁן וְאָעִירָה.
וְעִם רוּחִי גְּוִיָּתִי,
יְיָ לִי וְלֹא אִירָא.

This and much more information about all things Jewish  is available from the Jewish Virtual Library.

Sources: Eisenberg, Ronald L. The JPS Guide to Jewish Traditions. PA: Jewish Publication Society, 2004; “What is in the Siddur? Shabbat and Holiday Liturgy”; “Adon Olam”; Wigoder, Geoffrey , Ed. The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia. NY: Facts on File, 1992; “Song: Adon Olam”.

Let There Be Peace – יהי שלום

JEWISH MUSIC ROCKS – we continued this Shabbat morning with a very recent (August 2014) song praying for a better world – for peace.  The video is followed by YouTube notes upon the songs release.

Published on Aug 14, 2014

Y’hi shalom becheilech shalvah be’arm’notaich.
Let there be peace in your borders, tranquility in your castles…

Neshama Carlebach and Josh Nelson release a powerful music video offering a heartfelt prayer for peace against searing images from Israel and Gaza. In the midst of a summer of bloodshed and strife, the duo performs Shlomo Carlebach’s iconic song…

CONTACT: Shira Dicker

August 15, 2014 (New York, NY) — Let there be peace on earth; let it begin in me… for love is all we need.

Moved by a summer of pain and suffering in the Middle East, at home and around the world, Neshama Carlebach and Josh Nelson have responded in the form of a prayerful, riveting and emotionally raw music video, produced by Josh Nelson.

Musical artists with a lifelong commitment to Israel, trans-denominational appeal and a message of unity for the Jewish community and the world at large, Neshama Carlebach and Josh Nelson were compelled to record the legendary melody composed by the late, great Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach in the midst of the violence in Israel and Gaza…and in the face of the resurgence of anti-Semitism around the world.

“As a Jew, as a mother and as a human being, I am terrified by the escalating hatred that I see in this world,” stated Neshama Carlebach, daughter of Shlomo Carlebach. “I grew up knowing that my father’s family ran from Nazi-occupied Europe and was aware of my deep blessing; that I was living securely and free of fear. I hear his voice in my head. This song is our prayer.”

Individually and as a creative team, Neshama Carlebach and Josh Nelson perform widely across the denominational spectrum of Jewish life and in secular venues as well. Deeply invested in Jewish Peoplehood, they are spiritual role models in their community. As such, they felt the urgent need to call for peace and love in the middle of this time of unprecedented conflict, they said. “We believe that all people have the right to live their lives without fear, and when we decided to speak up, we knew of no text more poignant than this prayer for peace,” said Josh Nelson.

Shlomo Carlebach’s version of “Y’hi Shalom” is beloved and meaningful for millions around the world, Jews and non-Jews alike, explained Josh Nelson. “We hope that this recording will inspire humanity to come together and to begin to move in a new direction. There are no simple answers to the incredibly complex situation in Israel and Gaza, but the message in this song may be a place to start.”

View the video here:

For more information on Neshama Carlebach, Josh Nelson or the making of “Y’hi Shalom,” please contact Shira Dicker at or 917.403.3989 or visit and

There Must Be Another Way – Israel’s Entry in 2009 Eurovision Song Contest

JEWISH MUSIC ROCKS – we continued our exploration this Shabbat morning with another song with the theme of making the world a better place. A little background . . .

Here in the Western Hemisphere we miss so much wonderful music.  One excellent source to expand our knowledge is the Eurovision annual song contest which showcases one song per country from Europe and beyond.  Here is the 2009 entry from Israel – There Must Be Another Way – sung by Noa and Mira Anwar Awad.  More on them below the YouTube video and lyrics.


There must be another
Must be another way

עינייך, אחות / Einaich, achot
כל מה שלבי מבקש אומרות / Kol ma shelibi mevakesh omrot
עברנו עד כה / Avarnu ad ko
דרך ארוכה, דרך כה קשה יד ביד / Derech aruka, derech ko kasha yad beyad

והדמעות זולגות, זורמות לשווא / Vehadma’ot zolgot, zormot lashav
כאב ללא שם / Ke’ev lelo shem
אנחנו מחכות / Anachnu mechakot
רק ליום שיבוא אחרי / Rak layom sheyavo achrei

There must be another way
There must be another way

عينيك بتقول / Aynaki bit’ul
راح ييجي يوم وكل الخوف يزول / Rakh yiji yom wu’kul ilkhof yizul
بعينيك إصرار / B’aynaki israr
أنه عنا خيار / Inhu ana khayar
نكمل هالمسار / N’kamel halmasar
مهما طال / Mahma tal

لانه ما في عنوان وحيد للأحزان / Li’anhu ma fi anwan wakhid l’alakhzan
بنادي للمدى / B’nadi lalmada
للسما العنيدة / l’sama al’anida

There must be another way
There must be another way
There must be another
Must be another way

דרך ארוכה נעבור / Derech aruka na’avor
דרך כה קשה / Derech ko kasha
יחד אל האור / Yachad el ha’or
عينيك بتقول / Aynaki bit’ul
كل الخوف يزول / Kul ilkhof yizul

And when I cry, I cry for both of us
My pain has no name
And when I cry, I cry
To the merciless sky and say
There must be another way

והדמעות זולגות, זורמות לשווא / Vehadma’ot zolgot, zormot lashav
כאב ללא שם / Ke’ev lelo shem
אנחנו מחכות / Anachnu mechakot
רק ליום שיבוא אחרי / Rak layom sheyavo achrei

There must be another way
There must be another way
There must be another
Must be another way

English Translation
There Must Be Another Way

There must be another
Must be another way

Your eyes, sister
Say all that my heart desires
So far, we’ve gone
A long way, a very difficult way, hand in hand

And the tears fall, pour in vain
A pain with no name
We wait
Only for the next day to come

There must be another way
There must be another way

Your eyes say
A day will come and all fear will disappear
In your eyes a determination
That there is a possibility
To carry on the way
As long as it may take

For there is no single address for sorrow
I call out to the plains
To the stubborn heavens

There must be another way
There must be another way
There must be another
Must be another way

We will go a long way
A very difficult way
Together to the light
Your eyes say
All fear will disappear

And when I cry, I cry for both of us
My pain has no name
And when I cry, I cry
To the merciless sky and say
There must be another way

And the tears fall, pour in vain
A pain with no name
We wait
Only for the day to come

There must be another way
There must be another way
There must be another
Must be another way

Posted on this site.



Be Our Guest at Religious School This September

Religious School Begins Sept 4th – Visiting Families Welcome – Read More !!

Congregation Agudath Achim and The Jewish Community House of Taunton, MA invite children being reared Jewishly and their parents to attend our September Hebrew school classes at 133 High Street, Taunton: Thursdays Sept 4, 11, and 18 at 4:00 to 5:30 PM and/or Sundays Sept 14, 21 and 28 from 9:30 to 11:30 AM. Come to one or come to all – try us out !!

In order for our teachers to know you’re coming and for us to assign a host family to greet you, please contact Rabbi/Cantor Anne Heath in advance at or by phone 781-956-8673.  Small class sizes, credentialed teachers, laptop language learning lab, teen Hebrew buddies, and host family assigned to each visiting family help make the Hebrew school at Congregation Agudath Achim in Taunton so much different from “your father’s Hebrew school.”

Come explore the difference. Interfaith families welcome. There is no charge for these September get-acquainted classes. Attendance after September requires formal enrollment, tuition and synagogue membership. We work hard to make your participation affordable.

The Jewish – Arab Peace Song

JEWISH MUSIC ROCKS – this Shabbat morning we explored the idea of what makes music Jewish music. Our opening theme included contemporary music that expresses desires for peace and a better world.  Visit Jewish Music Rocks for the start of the discussion on our site and then follow along the blog for additional musical entries from this Shabbat and subsequent mornings throughout 5775.  A schedule for this exploration may be found in the description of our Shabbat Morning Services.

In this song, Jewish-Israeli and Palestinian singers and musicians joined together to perform the Hebrew-Arabic song “Heveinu Shalom Aleinu” (We Brought Peace Upon Us) – “Ma Ana Ajmal Min Salam” (There is Nothing More Beautiful Than Peace). Sung in both Hebrew and Arabic, this Middle Eastern, Sepharadic-style, jazzy and inspiring song rocks with hope. The video include lyrics in English. Transliterations of the Hebrew and Arabic lyrics follows.

PERFORMERS (in order of appearance):
Israeli Jews:
Leah Shabat
Shlomo Gronich
Zehavah Ben
Eli Luzon

Sahmir Shukri
Nivine Jaabri
Elias Julianos
Lubna Salame

yesh beneynu hiburim
she’horeynu lo halmu
yesh beneynu diburim
she’ad koh lo nishme’u.

anahnu kan bishvil koolam
anahnu gesher ve’soolam
bishvil mi she’holem
bishvil mi she’halam.

ve’od be’hayeynu
ve’od be’yameynu
nashir be’koleynu:


idak lou yib’a idi
imanak wil’ahlam
minamar dinya jdidi
danya mahbi wa’salam

wilama ‘niya titsafa
kool inas biyib’ku nas
minsir eylet hub
eyli tishrab min kas.

min kas i’salam
min kas i’salam
kas i’salam:


ken, horeynu kvar akhlu
boser ad etmol shilshom
akh shineynu titpal’u
lo tikhena od hayom.

sawiyeh minwahed al’kaloob
sawiyeh minawer al’kool
ma awlad i’salam
ma awlad al-ahlam

(Arabic and Hebrew)
min kas i’salam ve’od be’hayeynu
min kas i’salam ve’od be’yameynu
kas i’salam nashir be’koleynu

Hevenu Shalom Aleinu…
Ma Ana Ajmal Min Salam…

From the Pacific Free Press article here.