In the pleas of our prayer on Yom Kippur, we fervently pray that our voices might rise up to reach God, and that ultimately, God might hear those very voices. Expressing this concept, we invite you to explore the text of Shema Koleinu and the beautiful piyyut (liturgical poem) of Ya’aleh with the teachings of Joey Weisenberg, Rabbi Chen Ben-Or Tsfoni, and Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz.
Joey Weisenberg: Rising Up the Ladder of Song
Musician, composer, and teacher Joey Weisenberg is the founder and co-director of Hadar’s Rising Song Institute. He is the author of The Torah of Music (2017 winner of the National Jewish Book Award) and Building Singing Communities. He has released seven albums with the Hadar Ensemble, most recently Nigunim Vol. VII: Songs of Ascent (2019). This article was published in the Hadar Institute’s 2020 High Holy Day Publication, Connection Points.
Rabbi Chen Ben-Or Tsfoni: Ya’aleh – The Journey of Yom Kippur
Rabbi Chen Ben-Or Tsfoni is the spiritual leader and one of the founders of Congregation Nigun HaLev. She is part of a group of spiritual leaders who work to build and renew Israeli Judaism. Prior to becoming a rabbi, she worked ten years as a social worker and was one of the founders of Ha’Midrasha Educational Center for the Renewal of Jewish Life in Israel. This piece was prepared with Orli Moss, BJ’s former Director of Israel Engagement, now a rabbinical student and intern with Rabbi Ben-Or Tsfoni.
Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz: Shema Koleinu
Rabbi Dr. Shmuly Yanklowitz is the President & Dean of the Valley Beit Midrash (Jewish pluralistic adult learning and leadership), the Founder and President of Uri L’Tzedek (Jewish Social Justice), the Founder and CEO of Shamayim (Jewish animal advocacy), the Founder and President of YATOM (Jewish foster and adoption network), and the author of eighteen books on Jewish ethics.