Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Rosh Hashanah Calling

While you are supposed to turn off your cellphones or put set them to silent during services, here is one call that you can take:

That was I Just Called to Say Shana Tova, and to give credit where credit is due, here's the text that goes with the video over on YouTube:

Shana Tova from Victoria's Voice Professional Voiceovers http://vicsvoice.com 
http://vicsvoice.com/index_files/Hebrew.htm שנה טובה מויקטוריה פיירנרמן קריינות באנגלית 
Need a professional US English voiceover? Contact me via my website! צריך קריינות מקצועית באנגלית אמריקאית שפת אם? צור קשר דרך האתר שלי! 
Credits: * Concept, Voiceover and Execution: Victoria Feinerman 
* Peace Sign, Gold Eggs, Family at Beach with Dog, Symbol of Medicine: FreeDigitalPhotos.net http://www.freedigitalphotos.net 
* Telephone, Honey, Man Praying: Stock.xchng http://www.sxc.hu/help/7_2

And while we're on the subject of calling, here is Leonard Cohen live in concert performing his song based on the High Holy Day liturgy, "Who By Fire," featuring Sonny Rollins on saxophone:

And if you liked that one, how about this amazing performance, featuring an extended guitar solo by Javier Mas:

The lyrics are based on the thousand-year-old Unetanneh Tokef prayer. The following is a traditional translation of the poetic Hebrew, a bit different from what appears in the Reform prayerbook:

We shall ascribe holiness to this day. 
For it is awesome and terrible. 
Your kingship is exalted upon it. 
Your throne is established in mercy. 
You are enthroned upon it in truth. 
In truth You are the judge, 
The exhorter, the all‑knowing, the witness, 
He who inscribes and seals, 
Remembering all that is forgotten. 
You open the book of remembrance 
Which proclaims itself, 
And the seal of each person is there. 
The great shofar is sounded, 
A still small voice is heard. 
The angels are dismayed, 
They are seized by fear and trembling 
As they proclaim: Behold the Day of Judgment! 
For all the hosts of heaven are brought for judgment. 
They shall not be guiltless in Your eyes 
And all creatures shall parade before You as a troop. 
As a shepherd herds his flock, 
Causing his sheep to pass beneath his staff, 
So do You cause to pass, count, and record, 
Visiting the souls of all living, 
Decreeing the length of their days, 
Inscribing their judgment. 
On Rosh Hashanah it is inscribed, 
And on Yom Kippur it is sealed. 
How many shall pass away and how many shall be born, 
Who shall live and who shall die, 
Who shall reach the end of his days and who shall not, 
Who shall perish by water and who by fire, 
Who by sword and who by wild beast, 
Who by famine and who by thirst, 
Who by earthquake and who by plague, 
Who by strangulation and who by stoning, 
Who shall have rest and who shall wander, 
Who shall be at peace and who shall be pursued, 
Who shall be at rest and who shall be tormented, 
Who shall be exalted and who shall be brought low, 
Who shall become rich and who shall be impoverished. 
But repentance, prayer and righteousness avert the severe decree. 
For Your praise is in accordance with Your name. You are difficult to anger and easy to appease. For You do not desire the death of the condemned, but that he turn from his path and live. Until the day of his death You wait for him. Should he turn, You will receive him at once. In truth You are their Creator and You understand their inclination, for they are but flesh and blood. The origin of man is dust, his end is dust. He earns his bread by exertion and is like a broken shard, like dry grass, a withered flower, like a passing shadow and a vanishing cloud, like a breeze that blows away and dust that scatters, like a dream that flies away. But You are King, God who lives for all eternity! There is no limit to Your years, no end to the length of Your days, no measure to the hosts of Your glory, no understanding the meaning of Your Name. Your Name is fitting unto You and You are fitting unto it, and our name has been called by Your Name. Act for the sake of Your Name and sanctify Your Name through those who sanctity Your Name.

Here is a relatively traditional rendering of the prayer featuring Naftali Herstik, chief Cantor of the Jerusalem Great Synagogue:

And with that, we say, May you be inscribed in the Book of Life for a good year, a year of peace and prosperity, happiness and contentment, love and kindness, and all the blessings that God might bestow!

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