The eight Psalms recited in Qabbalat Shabbat (of which this is the second) are replete with images of music, sound, singing and joyful worship. It makes sense to enact the poetry by joining our voices in joyful melodies like this popular one by Carlebach.

This melody was originally a setting of Psalm 102, verse 14, especially it's final "Ki va mo'ed" - "the time has come"! Its use in Qabbalat Shabbat is familiar to many in the community as the Carlebach melodies took root in ... [all the UK Jewish youth movements that pray? including Orthodox? How did it get to the UK? From American synagogues? Or young adult communities?]

Our harmonies for this tune have a slightly gospel or African touch (heard in the later parts of this track), which seems to have developed on the young adult independent minyan scene in London and Cambridge in the early 21st century. On a good week some of us go totally crazy and put blue notes in. Clearly the music lends itself to such an interpretation: "Ki va mo'ed" has been sung by gospel and Baptist choirs from Harlem and New Orleans, collaborating with Neshama Carlebach (daughter) for instance.

As heard on this track, to enhance the flow it's good if some people sing a moving part in the silences between phrases, especially if the strong beat itself is silent.


Psalms (Tehillim) 96


from Friday Night with the Cambridge Egalitarian Minyan, released April 1, 2010
Leader: Zach Eilon
Photo: a terebinth, given that all the trees of the wood are singing for joy ("Az y'rann'nu kol 'atsei-ya'ar", Psalms 96:12)



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Gal Chadash Cambridge, UK

EgalMin is an inclusive, informal and active community which is famous for its alternative, egalitarian Kabbalat Shabbat services. Being a part of EgalMin means being part of a community which takes great joy in prayer and challenges itself to engage in learning, whilst also providing a social hub for its members and continuing to be an active part of the wider JSoc community. ... more

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