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Shira with Shira - 2018

December 20- Every Shabbos our congregation gathers in the sanctuary, with prayers in our hearts for those in need of healing. Together we sing Mi Shebeirakh for all types of healing - from recovering from an illness to spiritual healing.

For this week's Shira with Shira I am sharing the musical setting that I composed with the brilliant Oran Eldor a few years ago. We chose to use: אל נא רפא נא להEl Na Refa Na Lah -- "Please, God, heal her," (Numbers 12:10-13) which are the words that Moshe cried out when his sister Miriam fell ill.  We hope that you are able to join us this Friday evening where we will offer this version as our community healing prayer.




December 13- Every Thursday Cantor Lissek is teaching a brand new class as part of our Life Long Learning series. You can learn more about it on page 21 of your Kol Yisrael or by visiting this link!

For this week's Shira with Shira we explore TWO versions of Shiru L'Adonai! The first by Cantor Dan Singer and the second by Cantor Laurie Akers. We hope you join us this Shabbat to see which version we'll share!

                           Click the photo below to see the video!


December 7- This week’s Shira with Shira is all about light! Hanukkah is about the divine spark in each and every one of us. Gd charged the Jewish people to be a “light unto the nations.” Hanukkah is a wonderful time to remember that sentiment, as we light the hanukiah each night, watching as the flames and our spirit radiate and shine brightly for all to see. Happy Hanukkah from my family to yours.    


Click this link to listen to Heavenly Light sung by Cantor Azi Schwart and me. Shabbat Shalom!

November 15-  At the end of the Amidah, during our private meditations, we pray, P’tach libi b’toratekha u-v’mitzvotekha tirdof nafshi, “Open my heart to your wisdom, so my soul will pursue your ways. The music of our liturgy can lift our souls, enabling us to pray or enhancing and deepening our prayers. In choosing this musical setting I turned to the composition of Danny Maseng that brings this ancient text to life in contemporary idiom. We hope that this arrangement will also inspire you, and open your heart and soul.

For this week's Shira with Shira we offer Elohai, Ntzor. To listen to the track click here or on the photo below. You can also find the words below in both Hebrew, transliteration, and English, if you would like to sing or follow along. Shabbat Shalom!

                                        Click on the album cover to listen to this week's Shira with Shira track!          


November 8- For this week's Shira with Shira, we share with you an Ani Maamin, "I Believe" mash up. Cantor Lissek shared this version of two beloved melodies with all who were in attendance at Temple Israel's 80th Anniversary of Kristallnacht: Night of Broken Glass. We hope you enjoy Ani Maamin, composed by Beth Styles and Oran Eldor. We do believe with all of our heart, that the future of the Jewish people is bright and that there will be everlasting peace.

Special thanks to Pablo Abas for his amazing videography and to Ginger Wyrick for her beautiful playing.

Please click here or the photo to view the video.

November 2-

“We pray for the healing of our people
We pray for the healing of our land
And peace for every race and nation
Every child, every woman, every man.”

Last Shabbat, we witnessed the deadliest act of anti-Semitism in North American history — the attack at the Tree Of Life - Or L'Simcha Congregation in Pittsburg. The hateful speech did not stop there. All over the world, acts of anti-Semitism continue to fill our news feeds and newspapers. This Shabbat we tell the world we will not be silent. This Shabbat, we are responding with our greatest show of solidarity. A continental Solidarity Shabbat with the Jewish community of Pittsburgh.

At synagogues, community centers and homes across North America, in partnership with Jewish Federations of North America (#SolidarityShabbat, #StandWithPittsburgh), American Jewish Committee (#ShowUpForShabbat) and the ADL - Anti-Defamation League (#NeverIsNow), we will be gathering together in prayer, compassion, and unity — as one people, across Shalom Park, and across the continent. We will stand as a reminder of the power of community.

We felt that power last Saturday night as we mourned and comforted one another during Havdallah. 
We felt that power on Tuesday evening as hundreds of people, surrounded by our brothers and sisters of faith, gathered at First Baptist Church-West.
We will feel that power again this Shabbat and again next week at the 80th Anniversary of Kristallnacht: Night of Broken Glass.

My good friend, Rabbi Menachem Creditor offered these words as part of his prayer for Pittsburgh:
“We pray to You for renewal
as we spread our protective wings over one another again,
running to justice,
refusing weariness,
and choosing life.

May we sing louder than weapons
and merit to see You in each other’s eyes,
sanctifying Your Name
by standing together
by rising up again,
this time rebuilding Your World
by saving each other.”

This week’s Shira with Shira, offers Leon Sher's Heal Us Now.

Please Join us tonight and tomorrow as we again come together as one united Jewish community for Solidarity Shabbat. Shabbat Shalom! #ShowUpForShabbat


October 25- For this weeks Shira with Shira, we are featuring Cantor Laurie Akers singing her beautiful song Y'hiyu L'ratzon, which she will be singing at my installation.

Click the link to listen:

"Yih’yu l’ratzon imrei fi
v’hegyon libi l’fanecha
Adonai tzuri v’goali.

May the words of my mouth and meditations of my heart
be acceptable to you."

As I finish the final preparations for my installation, I am humbled by all the love and support I have received from the Temple Israel kehillah and my mentors, friends, and family who have helped me arrive at this momentous event.

I look forward to enjoying this song, and others with you at The Installation of Cantor Shira Lissek, where I will stand, just like Laurie, under the chuppah as I officially make TI my home as your Cantor.

Shabbat Shalom!


October 18- For this week's Shira with Shira we introduce you to the amazing Hazzan Alisa Pomerantz-Boro, President of the Cantors Assembly! We are so excited that she will be joining us for The Installation of Cantor Shira Lissek. "I've always found such passion in Jewish music." Cantor Pomerantz is a true teacher and role model who embodies the essence of what it means to be the voice of a congregation.

Please enjoy these two videos:

There is still time to sign up for the Installation! 
Click this link to RSVP ->

Please consider supporting this event by making a donation in honor of Cantor Lissek. These donations will help provide for larger musical programs and events at Temple Israel. Contributions must be received by Friday, October 19, 2018, to be listed in the event program.


October 11- With all of this stormy weather, I can’t help but reflect upon this week’s Parsha, Noach. G-d told Noah to build an arc and said that he would protect him and his family. For 40 days and nights, it stormed. Noah had to trust G-d and trust that a time would come when the world could start over again. That’s a hard thing to do. To blindly trust that things will work out.

A storm or in our case, a hurricane can mirror life. Outside it may seem like there is no end in sight. We may be scared and literally hide inside, waiting for a sign that it is ok to come out. For Noah, the sign was the dove who flew back to the arc carrying an olive branch. This afternoon, after the wind and the rains subsided, the sun beamed down on Temple Israel and there was the most beautiful Carolina blue sky. It was like the beginning of a brand new day.

I felt grateful! Grateful to be safe, grateful to have this amazing community, grateful to have mentors and friends in my life that share my passion for healing through music. For this week’s Shira with Shira, I want to express how grateful I am for each and every one of you. I hope you enjoy “Grateful,” written and performed by my dear friend Beth Styles, who will join me at my installation on October 28th. Shabbat Shalom.


October 4 - Thank you all for watching Shira with Shira before and during the holidays so that you could learn our new music and participate more fully in services. It was a magical time to pray and celebrate the High Holy Days with all of you! This month on Shira with Shira, leading up to my Installation (on October 28th), I am excited to introduce you to some of my extraordinarily talented mentors who will be joining us that day to help me create a special musical and community building experience. This week we are featuring Cantor Azi Schwartz החזן עזי שוורץ who literally changed my life. By making me his cantorial partner for five years and sharing his vision for transformative worship experiences through music I became the Cantor you know today. If you have not heard Cantor Schwartz’s magnificent voice and brilliant interpretations, you are in for a real treat. Here is a video of our recording session of Oseh Shalom by Benji Shiller arranged by Oran Eldor. Hope to see you on October 28th at 4 pm.

September 27- As we approach the end of Sukkot, we think about the spiritual and physical quest we’ve taken over this holiday season. Starting with, Rosh Hashanah, we celebrated the creation of the world and new beginnings. We then took 10 days of introspection and repentance, leading us to Yom Kippur where we recalled the journey we’ve taken over the past calendar year. Sukkot reminds us of the fragility and impermanence of humanity while also bringing together community and creating oneness under the open sky of the sukkah. We now approach Simchat Torah, where we end and begin the story and teachings of the Torah, mimicking the cycle of life.

We thank you all for joining the TI family as together we finish the transition from 5778 to 5779, and for letting us have a front row seat to your experiences along the way. On behalf of Temple Israel and our many auxiliary groups, we wish you a Shabbat Shalom and look forward to celebrating Simchat Torah with you next week! Please enjoy this week's Shira with Shira by clicking on the photo below:


September 13 - This week we again share Hayom T'amtzeinu. It's message still holds true on Yom Kippur, carrying a deeper yearning to be heard. In the piyut, "Unetaneh Tokef," we repeat, "on Rosh Hashanah, it is written, on Yom Kippur, it is sealed." This is a time to ask for forgiveness from G-d, from other people and from ourselves. More importantly, if you want to be forgiven, you yourself have to be forgiving. The last service of Yom Kippur is Ne'ilah, where the gates of heaven are closing. We pray that G-d will hear us, grant us divine forgiveness and inscribe us for a good year! We hope you take the time to reacclimate yourselves with the Noah Aaronson melody and sing with us during Yom Kippur services. L'shanah Tova!

Click the photo below to watch last week's video!

September 6 - The moment of Rosh Hashanah is upon us in just a few days. This T’fillah, Hayom T’amtzeinu focuses on the power of this moment, Hayom, today, not tomorrow or next week, but Hayom-today. Hayom, today, is the moment we ask for our prayers to be heard. Strengthen us, today. Bless us, today. Raise us up, today. See our well being, today. Lovingly accept our prayers, today. Hear our plea, today. Support us with your righteousness, today…and we all sing out Amen, may it be so! At our Selichot study session on Saturday night, Cantor Lissek taught the community this uplifting setting by Noah Aaronson. Now is your chance to learn it too so that we are all ready to join our voices in prayer at Temple Israel this week. Please enjoy this week's Shira with Shira! Click the picture below to see today's video.

Hayom t’am’tzeinu. Amen

Hayom t’varcheinu. Amen

Hayom t’gad’leinu. Amen

Hayom tidr’sheinu l’tova. Amen

Hayom tickt’veinu l’chayim tovim. Amen

Hayom tishma shav’ateinu. Amen

Hayom t’kabel b’rachamim uv’ratzon et t’filateinu. Amen

Hayom tishma shavateinu. Amen

Hayom titm’cheinu bimin tzidkecha. Amen


August 30 - This Saturday night, join us for Selichot services at 10 p.m. With its haunting music intended to instill a mood of solemnity, Selichot serves as a prelude to the sacred themes of the Days of Awe. We will also take this opportunity to introduce contemporary settings of the liturgy and dive into the introspective nature of the prayers. This week's Shira with Shira introduces "Avinu Malkeinu" by Max Janowski. This arrangement will be heard on Selichot and the High Holy Days. To listen, click here. Our Selichot services will be preceded by a musical study session at 8:30 p.m. and dessert reception at 9:30 p.m.

August 23 - WAKE UP!!! This week's installation of Shira with Shira reminds us that Rosh Hashanah is upon us and it's time rejuvenate and return to our best selves. We hope you enjoy our version of Hashiveinu/ Return Again. Click here to view this week's video.

August 16 - Shma Kolenu, Hear Our Voices - We ask that G-d hear our prayer on the High Holy Days. This is a new contemporary setting that we are excited to share with you and will be used this year at Temple Israel’s High Holy Day services. To listen, click here. I so enjoyed praying with you at “Welcome Home Shabbat” and hope to see you on Friday evening and Saturday morning for services. 

August 9 - As we approach the month of Elul and the High Holy Days, we begin to look inward, preparing ourselves and our souls for the New Year. This installment of Shira with Shira offers you Or Zarua by Rick Recht. We hope this song inspires you to reignite your light from within. Click here to view this week's video.

Piano - R. Monty Bennett

Video - Casey Topol Pressberg


August 2 - Cantor Shira Lissek is STARVING, but can’t quite put her finger on what will satisfy her hunger. Click here to watch this week’s edition of Shira with Shira to see how the story unfolds.

*Special thanks Monty Bennett and John Topol.

July 26 - Click here to watch this week's Shira with Shira video on our Facebook page. We are currently working on a YouTube channel, so stay tuned!

July 18 - The fast of Tisha B’av is a day of communal mourning on the Jewish calendar and has become a powerful ritual of collective grieving for the brokenness of the world then and now.  Each of us has a role in fixing the brokenness in the world.   It is us who individually can begin to make ripples that contribute to healing our very broken world.  One way is through prayer.  In our song of the week Eli, Eli- Oh G-d my G-d, we pray the words of Hannah Szenes, which translate to “Oh lord my G-d, I pray that these things never end, the sand and the sea, the rush of the waters, the crash of the heavens, the prayer of man.”  Join us for Shabbat and Tisha B’Av services this weekend where you will hear this beautiful setting by Oran Eldor. Click here to listen.

Sun, June 23 2024 17 Sivan 5784