Episode 28: Excavating the Secrets (with Rabbi Deborah Sacks Mintz)

(0:59) Our guest today is Rabbi Deborah Sacks Mintz

You can find Deborah’s music on bandcamp, spotify, and YouTube 

(1:05) The Hadar Institute empowers Jews to create and sustain vibrant, practicing, egalitarian communities of Torah, Avodah (service), and Hesed (loving kindness).

(1:44) Deborah is part of Joey Weisenberg Hadar Ensemble

(1:52) You can spot and hear Deborah as part of Josh Warshawsky’s Chaverai Nevarech ensemble 

(1:53) Listen to New Moon Rising’s new live album 

(2:00) The Jewish Theological Seminary is the Conservative Movement’s institution of higher learning in New York City. They have rabbinical, cantorial, educational, and master’s degree programs. 

(3:22) T’fillah as empowerment

(4:56) Nusach- the musical modes used in prayer services that change depending on the time of day, week, and year

(3:22) Shul is the yiddish word for synagogue 

(6:43) Deep dive into ethnomusicology 

(7:43) Dr. Paul Rardin, currently  Elaine Brown Chair of Choral Music and Chair of the Vocal Arts Department at Temple University

(8:27) Kevah- fixed prayer, the “form”.  Kavannah- Fluid prayer, the “fire” 

(12:46) Carnatic or Karnatak music is the classical music of South India

(13:20) Oseh Shalom– The Jewish liturgical prayer for peace found at the end of the Amidah, Full Kaddish, and grace after meals 

(15:19) L’hitpallel is the verb form in Hebrew meaning “to pray” or “to t’fillah.” You can learn more about the etymology of this word in our very first episode! 

(18:40) Minyan- singular. Minyanim- plural. The group of ten people needed for traditional prayer. Also used to mean a prayer community. 

(18:36) Smicha- Rabbinic ordination

(21:38) This midrash (commentary/story) about King David is from Pesachim 117:a verse 12

(26:08) Anim Zemirot, also called “Shir HaKavod,” the hymn of glory, is a prayer-poem attributed to Rabbi Yehudah HeChassid, 12th century Germany. It is traditionally said in the musaf (additional) service on Shabbat and holiday mornings.

(27:03) What are the tools in your prayer-leading toolbox? 

(30:00) Shaliach Tzibur- Hebrew term for prayer leader, literally translated as “emissary of the community.” 

(30:16) Hilchot T’fillah- The ways/laws of prayer. 

Rambam’s Mishneh Torah- Code of Jewish law compiled by the great scholar Maimonides between 1170-1180 CE 

(31:11) Chutzpah- Yiddish word meaning nerve/audacity

(33:57) Chazzan- Hebrew word for Cantor 

(34:10) MiSinai- Literally “from Sinai.” A term used to describe a melody that has been used in a community for so long and is so loved, that the origin is usually lost and it feels like it was given on Mount Sinai with the ten commandments. 

(36:36) Simcha- Literally “celebration,” used here to mean a Jewish lifecycle celebration, like a B Mitzvah. 

(37:11) Kahal- Community/Congregation 

(39:27) Chatzi Kaddish- Literally “half kaddish.” The half, full, and mourner’s Kaddish prayers act like punctuation in a service. The Chatzi Kaddish Deborah is referring to, where the “correct” melody is almost never sung, comes after the Torah service and before Musaf on Shabbat and holidays. 

(41:09) Min Hameitzar- “From the Narrow Place.” Deborah’s melody uses the text of Psalm 118 verses 5 and 6. 

(42:25) Davka- Hebrew word meaning definitely or specifically 


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