The Henya Rivka Raskin Memorial Musical Center was established as part of “Mizmor Rivka” activities on behalf of the community. It acknowledges music as an important and essential component in a person’s soul and the faith in change for the better generated within those who make proper use of it. The center plans to offer top-level professional music studies in many different areas, including dance, singing, and playing musical instruments. It will also run advanced club programs at a subsidized cost – and always with a look towards the needs of the community
MUSIC IN JUDAISM
Music has a special strength: Everyone connects to it, even if the performer and the listener speak different languages. Melodies carry great significance in the Chassidic movement since the day of its founding by the holy Ba’al Shem Tov. Many Chassidic sayings speak of the unique quality of the niggun and its ability to uplift the soul: “While every lock has its own key, the craftsman has a general key, by which he can open all locks. This is music.”
“The power of melody can extricate a person from even the deepest mud.” Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, known as the Alter Rebbe, Ba’al HaTanya V’HaShulchan Aruch, writes that “the tongue is the quill of the heart and melody is the quill of the soul.”We learn often about singing from Torah sources. We can find musical instruments in theBook of Genesis, and in the Book of Exodus, we read about the Song of Miriam at the Parting of the Red Sea. In the Beis HaMikdash (Holy Temple) built by Shlomo HaMelech (King Solomon), the son of David, “the sweet singer of Israel”, there were guards and watchmen who sang and played musical instruments. The Talmud speaks about King Chizkiyahu, who would have been fit to be Moshiach, if only he would have sung in praise of the miracles G-d performed for him.
MUSIC AS AN EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENTAL TOOL
In the current Israeli educational system, as with many others throughout the world, there is an understanding that music is one of the most complex and richest modes of natural human expression. It is an integral part of our lives, and through the melodic tones, it communicates both to the experience of the world around us and our inner personal world.Music is a basic human need with a most profound and important expression in our personal and communal lives equally.Educators see musical education as a vital tool for growth, supplementing other forms of enhancement in a person’s developmental years. This integrative source of progress provides unique skills that are usually not developed through alternative means of education. Apart from the tremendous importance of music in developing personal skills,there is an important social meaning to musical activities. When music is sung and performed in a group, the active participation and coordinated physical movement sharpen and develop the group’s social interactive skills and its ability to perform in a qualitycoordinated manner.Musical activities require the most complex abilities, demanding a combination of cognitive, emotional, and psychomotor skills. In contrast to most other fields, with an emphasis on one dimension or other of a person’s talents, music in general and musical performance in particular create an integration between extremely different skills, those that in most cases do not work together. Many studies have shown that active involvement in music also contributes to advancement in learning subjects seemingly unconnected to music. On the emotional side, the proper use of musical activities channels emotions,regulates certain urges, lessens tension, and leads a person’s energies in a more positive and constructive direction.
The music must continue…