Musical Note By Cantor Sherwood Goffin
On Shemini Atzeret, we read Geshem, whose traditional musical chant (also sung for Tal) is at least one thousand years old. It predates the melodies we sing for the kaddish of Rosh Hashana & Yom Kippur. The Geshem melody is sung for the Kaddish of Musaf, the beginning of the Chazzan's repetition of the Musaf Amidah, and for the piyyutim (poetry) of Geshem itself. According to Chassidic custom, we will introduce a contemporary melody for the congregation to join with. However, in order to preserve the integrity of the ancient chant, I will only do this for every other paragraph, where we will sing "Shifchi Kamayim Libaych", by Reb Shlomo Carlebach. This dovetails perfectly with the text, that ends with: "Shofchu Domom Kamayim", the allusion to the martyrdom of our people through the ages.
Daven well and sing along!
(c) 2007 Lincoln Square Synagogue and Sherwood Goffin