Music and prayer have been combined since the most ancient times. One cannot find musical symbolizations in the Siddur, the prayer book, but there is a musical tune, conveyed from generation to generation, that sets the atmosphere for the service and allows the congregation to focus on the connection with the Divine.
Get right into the mode for the upcoming Holiday with Rabbi Avi Novis-Deutsch, Dean of the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary, as he explains with great emotion and passion how the same verse is recited in different tunes in multiple synagogues around the neighborhood.
The soul is thine, and the body is thy work: הַנְּשָׁמָה לָךְ וְהַגּוּף פָּעֳלָךְ,
O have compassion on thy labour.: חוּסָה עַל עֲמָלָךְ הַנְּשָׁמָה לָךְ.
Watch the video below:
Avi Novis-Deutsch is presently the Dean of the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary. Ordained as a Masorti rabbi by the SRS in 2003, Rabbi Novis-Deutsch also has an MA in Jewish Studies from JTS. He served for nine years as a pulpit rabbi at two Masorti congregations in Israel, most recently, at Haminyan Hamishpachti Masorti Kfar Veradim. Rabbi Novis-Deutsch also worked for two years as a Jewish educator in Berkeley and in the Bay Area, California. He is married to Dr. Nurit Novis-Deutsch. They and their three children live on Kibbutz Hanaton.