Posts Tagged ‘Debbie Friedman’

A Sad Day

Photo by Limmud/Flickr

As I am sure you have all heard by now, Debbie Friedman passed away on January 9th.  I am writing this having just finished watching the live stream of her funeral.  I watched it along with the congregation that was there in person and 7,150 other people on the web.  I cried through a lot of it.  Her influence on the Jewish world is almost immeasurable.

At Temple Beth Torah, we will be singing a lot of her music during this period of Shiva and Shloshim and on January 28th, we will mark our Shabbat with a service of her music and a sermon in song about her contribution to the Jewish world.

I will try to record that and make it available through the blog.

Most of all at this time, my heart goes out to her family.  Debbie’s passing has touched so many people, that we think that she belongs to us.  Her poor family, although I am sure touched by the outpouring of love, must deal with this loss in such a public way.  As Debbie herself said, “Heroes are just people that we call another name.”  I pray that G-d will be with Debbie’s family and give them strength enough to bare their own sorrow along with the sorrow of all of her fans.

Debbie, thank you for all that you have given to the world.  Thank you for your music, your spirit, your patience, your joy.  We will never forget you.


Songs of the Spirit

Friedman, Debbie

Upon hearing the news of the severe illness of singer-songwriter, Debbie Friedman, I tried to remember the first Debbie song I had ever heard.  I couldn’t.  Debbie’s music has always been a part of my Jewish life and her style changed the face of Jewish music, especially in the Reform movement.  There are those that love it, and those that could do without out it, but nobody would deny its impact.  Debbie is widely credited with bringing the folk musical style and the guitar into reform worship.  Her music is simple, yet lovely, and unlike a lot of other “folk” or “rock” style Jewish music, hers lends itself to piano accompaniment just as well as to guitar.

I will be singing a lot of Debbie Friedman music in services tonight.  I will be putting the power of her song into the universe and hoping for the best for her recovery.  The words and melody of Debbie’s Mi Sheberach have guided countless thousands through the throws of illness and pain into recovery.  May we do the same for her as we join throughout the country.

Mi sheberach avoteinu
M’kor habracha l’imoteinu
May the Source of strength who blessed the ones before us
Help us find the courage to make our lives a blessing,
And let us say, Amen.

Mi sheberach imoteinu
M’kor habrachah l’avoteinu
Bless those in need of healing with R’fuah Sh’leimah
The renewal of body, the renewal of spirit
And let us say, Amen.