Learn to chant the Torah

Jonathan Robie jonathan at texcel.no
Mon Sep 14 08:54:51 EDT 1998

At 09:05 PM 9/13/98 -0400, bdlerner at JTSA.EDU wrote:
>Don't demean yourself. If you are Jewish, it's insulting to describe an
>uneducated ear as "goy ear."  If you are not Jewish, it's unnecessary and
>adds nothing helpful to our "conversation," unless you are indicating that
>you are not Jewish.  

Dear Dov,

Thanks for pointing this out. This was a self-deprecating statement - I was
basically trying to say, "it sounds good to me, but then again, what do I
know, since I'm not Jewish, and haven't really heard that many cantors?"
But the term "goy" really is one of those words that tends to separate us,
and it really is insulting.

>By the way, the vast majority of Bar and Bat Mitzvah
>young people chant their Haftarah/Prophets portion from memory and rarely
>learn the "cantillation" or trope signs. I am very hope that others are
>joing me and many of my colleagues in requring our students to learn the
>trope and thus acquire a skill, not just a performance.

I was fascinated by the trope signs. I didn't know about them until I saw
that web site, but I'm familiar with systems used in Eastern Orthodox chant
that seem somwhat similar. I wonder if there is a connection?

>Hope this is helpful, and if I have overstepped the boundaries on this
>list to you or anyone else, please forgive me.
No, you certainly haven't overstepped the boundaries on this list to me. As
the new list owner, I've got a lot to learn. You're helping me learn.


jonathan at texcel.no
Texcel Research

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