Prayer and Hazzanut Lessons in the Age of Kibbutz Galuyot

"וּנְפֻצוֹת יְהוּדָה יְקַבֵּץ, מֵאַרְבַּע כַּנְפוֹת הָאָרֶץ." (ישעיהו יא')

The ingathering of the exiles (kibbutz galuyot) to the land of Israel was accompanied by a convergence of different customs and prayer traditions.
When these ancient traditions came together under the exciting setting of modern life in Israel, it brought about renewed and unique prayer traditions, giving life to the phrase וְנותְנִים בְּאַהֲבָה רְשׁוּת זֶה לָזֶה לְהַקְדִּישׁ לְיוצְרָם בְּנַחַת רוּחַ.

In our generation, the hazzan (cantor) is positioned between the congregation and the prayer stand, joining the ancient traditions of our fathers­­—reflecting styles of different ethnic groups from east to west—and the new melodies of modern-day Israel, which together, unite the various communities with our Father in heaven.  

ראש השנה, יום כיפור, חזן, ימים נוראים, תפילה, חזנות, בית כנסת, סידור, כיפה

The website “Yehiyu Leratzon” serves as an educational platform for the hazzan (cantor) interested in studying to become a prayer leader. Yehiyu Leratzon offers a way of teaching that combines all ethnic styles of prayer, from ancient melodies to the modern songs of Israel, with the Sefardic style serving as the backbone.

The melodies and the accuracy with which they are delivered are based on a combination of the Sefard style, the tradition of our fathers, the synagogue of my youth, a compilation of melodies and ideas from different congregations and cantors, and with some minute alterations stemming from reverence for the tradition of passing down these holy melodies through the generations.

The goal here is not to define prayer, but to help expand the Israeli acoustics of the soul.

"יִהְיוּ לְרָצוֹן אִמְרֵי פִי וְהֶגְיוֹן לִבִּי לְפָנֶיךָ ה' צוּרִי וְגֹאֲלִי" (תהילים יט)

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© Yuval Ben-Yehuda |Israel