Prayer is a lot of things;
It is union.
Flailing and finding.
Prayer is reaching.
Mostly, for me, it’s about trying.
What follows are some of the songs that help me try harder and help me feel closer to what matters during these days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, these Days of Awe.
I hope they can be of some service to you. At the very least, I hope you enjoy.
Kol Nidrei – Nadav Bachar.
Mercy – Dave Matthews Band.
“Love is not a whisper or a weakness, no, love is strong.”
Man in the Mirror – Tuck Andress.
The Ba’al Shem Tov has a beautiful teaching about mirrors. He says that when we see negative qualities in other people, it’s only recognizable because somewhere in us, we have that very same negative stuff. Likewise, the good we see in each other is a reflection of the good within us, that’s how we can recognize it, because it’s familiar.
MJ nailed it in this epic song and in this version, Tuck Andress flushed out all the unfortunate over-exposure of MJ’s message.
Karav Yom – Eviytar Banai.
There is something about Eviytar’s voice that melts the hard spots in me. This song is from a debut album called “Ha Lev V’ha’Ma’ayan” – “The heart and the fountain.” The words in the song are attributed to Israel Ba’al Shem Tov.
“The day is coming that is not day and is not night.
My gratitude for You is great even though it is still night
We are keeping guard of your city all day and all night
Daylight illuminates the darkness of night.”
Back Porch – Lazer Lloyd.
Lazer rocking the Jew Blues.
Promise Land – Trevor Hall.
We don’t read the parsha Zot HaBracha before Yom Kippur, but we’re gonna get to it soon. Among Moses’s last words to the Jewish people are: “Ashreicha Israel” – How fortunate are you Israel. “Never again has there arisen in Israel a prophet like Moses, whom G-d had known face to face.” This isn’t a song about Moses – it’s a song that reminds me how deeply he wanted the Promise Land. I want to want the Promise Land that deeply. I want to do the work it takes to get there.
The Impossible – Mike Dawes.
To me, this song and performance is about serving G-d with everything we’ve got.
Every. Single. Thing. It’s about sanctifying the permissible and putting to use our G-d given talents and gifts in His service and in the service of others. Prepare to have your mind blown.
When You’re Smiling – Louise Armstrong.
This is a reminder about how much the energy we put out in the world matters; and about how much better it is when there is joy involved.
Below is the 2014 version of a mix tape. Not every song or version is enabled for mobile and ads happen… this is as good as this round will get on that front. I’d love to hear what you’ve got on your playlists – feel free to upload your suggestions in the comments below.
(If you are opening this from a mobile device, you’ll need the official YouTube app in order to play it as a complete playlist).