Jewish Journal

In loving memory of our chazzan, Debbie Friedman

by Rabbi Steven B. Jacobs, Temple Kol Tikvah, Woodland Hills

January 20, 2011 | 5:19 pm

When the New Reform Congregation [now Temple Kol Tikvah in Woodland Hills] was established in 1984, Debbie was our chazzan for 3 years. She responded, and the congregation was thrilled, as truly “the old dreamed new dreams and the youth saw visions.” Our shul was “alive to the sound of music” to Debbie’s presence and her music. Debbie gave voice to the voiceless through her voice and her passion for justice.

Prof. Stanley Chyet z’l’ of Hebrew Union College was a poet and reflected thusly:           

what is that poets do
they sing
wind and insects
the substance of their songs
and maybe of themselves
they wander lost
among flaming riverbanks
at dusk their voices rise
above the howling winds
above the din of insects
their voices rise above tall marsh trees
above tree tops their voices
fling out into space
into the arteries of creation.

Debbie was our musical poet…but not ours alone…to our movement….to the Jewish people…to the world. May she rest in peace as she teaches the angels above to sing songs of healing…a Mishaberach to you, Debbie.

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