I’ll admit it- there was a time when my younger self was not into Debbie Friedman, ZL. Growing up in a Conservative minyan in a Reform shul, and being the youngest by a generation in said minyan, I mostly thought her stuff was kinda weak. English? Who sings prayers in English? Non-Jews do, that’s who.
I didn’t see what Momma K saw in her, using her music in her Sunday school class. I didn’t see how a song about a latke going bad b/c it wasn’t being fried quickly enough was going to do anything to help my fellow Sunday School students (most of whom were jerks who were not interested in being there or, as far as I could tell, being jewish) actually get into the history, the tradition and the faith of our people.
Of course, it’s easy to see now how wrong I was then. How many loved ones, friends, teachers, how many yids are moved by her voluminous catalog of songs? Friends and acquaintances are sponsoring memorial singalongs across the country, another noted how quiet facebook was during the funeral ceremony. This is the fourth post that’s referencing her on Jewschool in the last few days. How many melodies of hers have I sung and not even known it?
And that’s a question I pose to you, readers. What are your favorite melodies of hers? Let me go one step further. I’ve decided to stay home in the county of rulers instead of joining so many of our friends at an amazing LimmudNY weekend. A friend and neighbor is hosting a singalong service on Friday. Full singalong. What are melodies we could use in a full hebrew liturgy service?