Congregation Neve Shalom Celebrating Imaginative Judaism
1240 Dautel Lane, Creve Coeur, Missouri 63146
In the Rainbow Village • (314)863-4366
The Doll House Paintings
Why I Don't Have the Blues
The Forgotten Photographs
The Legend of The 36
Digital Photography
Civil Rights Story
Summer Vacation
Dan Weeks
The Circle Maker
..Sh'khinah abides
Little Cayman
Deep Time

Music & Worship

The Neve Shalom Diwan

What's a diwan? It's a collection of the music of a particular community. It is always evolving. Jewish music preserves the footprints of our people. Our music retains traces of our wanderings, east to west, and back again. Wherever we have lived, we have adapted the music of our environs. And we have lived practically everywhere. Jewish music also preserves something fundamental to our identity, that is, our "eastern" origins. We are a Middle Eastern people. In St. Louis, Missouri, it is easy to forget that we are an eastern people. Our heart is in the Middle East, in Israel, wherever our head may be, and we return there whenever we chant our prayers, or intone a line of Torah, or sing the liturgy to our Creator.  You will hear tunes in this Diwan that may be rare in American synagogues. I have built a minhag of music adapted from the Chassidim, from modern tunesmiths, from the vast resource of Sephardic and Oriental Jewish music, from my own resources. We sing because all Jewish prayer is a song to the Creator--to the God out there and to the God in here. The soft, muffled hum of Jews at prayer is the perfect sound of song in the synagogue. When we hear outside the sound we are making inside, we know we have found something elusive, complex, beautiful: who we are, how we have come to be here, and with Whose help.

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