It is with great sorrow that we note the passing of inspirational Jewish singer, healer and liturgist, Debbie Friedman this past week. While Debbie's influence was particularly felt in the Reform movement- her music reached beyond any one stream of Judaism and many of her melodies are part of our prayerful music in Reconstructionist communities as well, and among the musicians, liturgist, rabbis, cantors, educators, song-leaders and shlichei tzibbur in our own music network, Harmoniyah (www.jrf.org/music)
She wrote once, when asked to share about a sacred moment she had experienced, "My confrontation with death and my acceptance of aloneness freed me to incorporate spiritual consciousness into my life. For me there is no separation between spirituality and living. Spirituality is at the core of Life ."(Lilith Magazine 1988)From the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association: The rabbis of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association extend condolences to the family and friends of Debbie Friedman. Her words and music helped many to express the prayers of the heart. In an all too short lifetime, she created a legacy that will long endure. Along with the many people whose lives were touched by her spirit, we will miss her.
To see the funeral service for Debbie Friedman held at Temple Beth Sholom, CA:http://www.tbsoc.com/debbie/
Here's a link to a collection of remembrances in the L.A. Jewish Journal including one from Hava Nashira alum Danny Maseng: http://www.jewishjournal.com/debbie_friedman_tributes
NY Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/11/arts/music/11friedman.html?_r=1
Debbie's music can be found here: http://www.debbiefriedman.com/store.html
May her memory and her music always be for a blessing in bringing us closer to God, each other and the celebration of our Jewish heritage.
From Rabbi Daniel Pressman, Congregation Beth David, Saratoga, CA: 'The Talmud teaches that in the Temple, the musicians played a harp-like stringed instrument, called a kinor, in modern Hebrew, a kinor is a violin. The Talmud says (Arachin 13b): “The kinor of the Sanctuary had seven strings… The kinor of the messianic days has eight strings…. The kinor of the world to come has ten strings.”'
"An anonymous author wrote, “Sometimes a precious instrument, such as a violin, may break, but the music played on it lives on. The body is the humble instrument of the music of our lives. When it is no more, its music still resounds in our memories, our imagination, and our gift of sharing reminiscences of the past.” The Talmud teaches us that the ten-stringed instrument of the world to come has the fullest, richest sound. I like to think of Debbie tackling the challenge of that new instrument, even as the music of her life will continue to echo in the hearts of those who knew and loved her. Zikhrona liv’rakhah. May her memory be a blessing."
“The people gave the music life,