by Cantor Sherwood Goffin
Tefillat Tal, the Prayer for Dew
One of the melodic highlights of the festival service for Pesach is the very majestic, yet deeply inspirational “Tefillat Tal,” the Prayer for Dew. This sanctified, ancient melody of the Ashkenazic synagogue service was standardized in the period between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries in the Rhineland communities of Germany. Now that the rainy season is over in the Land of Israel, we pray that the Dew will be copious and preserve the crops. It is also a time “when the windows of heaven are open to our prayers for blessing and life.” (Pirkei de R’ Eliezer)
In the beautiful poetry of Tal, composed more than a millenium ago by R’ Elazar HaKallir, I will intersperse the traditional nusach with the beautiful “Shifchi Kamayim” by R’ Shlomo Carlebach, that interprets and complements the words and melody of this profound prayer.
© 2009 Cantor Sherwood Goffin and Lincoln Square Synagogue