In the final program in this 4-part concert/lecture series featuring Asher Shasho Levy we will focus on the extensive body of Judeo-Spanish translations of the Selihot and High Holiday liturgy, in particular, those of Rabbi Reuven Eliyahu Israel, which form a unique part of the Seattle Rhodesli liturgy.
5pm PT | 8pm ET
About the series:
In most Jewish communities throughout history, the dominant language of prayer has been Hebrew, the "holy tongue." Yet since antiquity, there has been a rich parallel tradition of prayer in the “mother tongue” - the primary language spoken in a region or country. This series focuses on the varied tradition of liturgy in the languages of the Middle East, North Africa, former Ottoman Lands, and beyond, as they are currently practiced in the United States. These liturgies, composed in different Judeo-Arabic languages, several dialects of Judeo-Spanish/Ladino, various Judeo Iranian languages, and Portuguese, served different functions for different communities, ranging from translations of Biblical passages and traditional Hebrew liturgy, to completely new texts composed to meet particular communal needs. We will move through the cycle of the year with sessions devoted to Shavuot, Shabbat, and the High Holidays, exploring these texts, the context of their development, the process of their proliferation, and a variety of musical settings.
The final program in the series, focused on the High Holidays, will take place on August 24th, 5pm PT | 8pm ET.
Oudist, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist Asher Shasho Levy is a Syrian Jewish musician and scholar of Sephardic heritage and culture, who seeks to spread the beauty of the Sephardic tradition through his writing, recording, research, and concerts. He performs and teaches internationally and is the founder and leader of the Aram Soba Ensemble, a group dedicated to the musical heritage of Syrian Jewry. Studying with elders and scholars in the Sephardic community of Los Angeles, Asher has amassed a large repertoire of liturgical music, secular song in Hebrew and Judeo-Arabic, as well as piyyutim, pizmonim and baqashot, the religious poetry and song of the Jewish Middle East.
This event is presented by The HUC-JIR Jewish Language Project and the Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music. It is co-sponsored by the Cantors Assembly, the Sephardic Educational Center and Sephardic Studies - UW Stroum Center for Jewish Studies and the Los Angeles Hebrew High.