Friday, August 23, 2013

Rosh Hashanah With the Israel Defense Forces Chief Cantor, Choir, and Orchestra


There's still another week left to August, so it's hard to believe that Rosh Hashanah is only 12 days away. But this is a strange year calendar-wise, a year in which the first day of Chanukah falls on Thanksgiving Day in November.

In the coming month we'll be focusing on the Chagim, the Jewish holidays that include Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Shemini Atzeret, and Simchat Torah. As usual, we'll be emphasizing humor and fun, including the Monday Joke to Start the Week, and we'll be looking for and sharing the best of the music videos and parodies that seem to be becoming a part of the holiday experience.

But we are in the middle of the month of Elul leading up to the most serious days in the Jewish calendar. Whether you call them the High Holidays, Days of Awe, or just Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, these special days also give us a chance to share some posts that reflect the spirituality of the season.

How many armies do you know of that have a chief cantor? We know of one, and of course it's Israel. And Israel is the only country where you'll see its chief cantor, Shai Abramson, in military uniform singing with a similarly dressed choir of soldiers and a formally dressed Raanana Symphonette orchestra. This video was recorded last year in Tel Aviv's Great Synagogue. The selection is Unetaneh Tokef, a powerful liturgical poem that is the core element in the Musaf service on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

The video features footage of the Yom Kippur War and one of its heroes, Brig. Gen. (res.) Avigdor Kahalani, who was a battalion commander in the Armored Brigade, fought in the battle of the Valley of Tears and was awarded a Medal of Valor.

Enjoy, and repent. Shabbat shalom.

(A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.)