Saturday, December 21, 2019

Three problems with using musical instruments during Shabbat services

These are solely my own opinions regarding the challenges presented by the presence of musical instruments in synagogue during Shabbat (Sabbath) and Shalosh Regalim (Festival) services:

~ Competing harmonies.  As I've posted previously, blending my harmonies with those of other harmony singers is one thing, but trying to avoid clashing with the chords of a guitar or other instrument, which is an inanimate object, can be a challenge that I don't always appreciate.  I've been davvening a cappella (praying without instrumental accompaniment) almost my entire life, so I'm used to choosing my own harmonies.  I'm not used to this, and I'm not sure whether or not I like it.

~ Competing musicians, so to speak.  My husband and I have found that the instruments frequently drown out the singers, making it difficult to hear the words of the prayers being sung.

~ "Basso continuo," so to speak.  The current trend of using musical instruments, such as the harmonium or the cello, to accompany announcements of who's sick or to signal the coming end of the Silent Amidah, for example, is one that I don't appreciate.  I also wonder whether this custom was borrowed from the church.  We Jews have been davvening (praying) silently for some 2,000 years.  What's wrong with good old-fashioned silence?


Post a Comment

<< Home

<< List
Jewish Bloggers
Join >>