On Shavuot, Why Is That Calligraphy Singing?

Published: 
May 25, 2009

Source: JTA

 

Edmon J. Rodman urges his adult readers to "hold on to the Tree of Life" by joining those who chant the Torah with its traditional melody. He shares the experiences of many new Torah readers who have declared that it was a life-changing experience for them. He also shares tried methods of initiating new readers into the community of Torah chanters from online learning resources to face to face study group tutorials.

 

Rodman points out the following online tutorials for Torah chanting:

He also shares the tried method used in his minyan:

"At our minyan, we have had success in teaching Torah reading by organizing small classes, four to six students, who study with a hired teacher.

Each student pays a portion, and the minyan underwrites the balance. Meeting one evening a week for a short six weeks, the students, adults all -- some with good Hebrew skills, some still working hard -- are ready to chant at one of our Shabbat morning services.

Some totally zing it, others struggle. Proper names and tricky trope combinations can trip up even the most polished reader. Our experience has been be patient and correct gently. This is the investment that a community must make to continue a tradition that goes back to Ezra, and some say even Moses."

Updated: Jun. 04, 2009
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