with Alexander Massey
Hello, and welcome to my website. I am a teacher, writer, composer, leader of prayer, celebrant and singer. At the heart of my work is a love of prayer, text, Torah, Judaism, people, teaching, music, and above all, God. I hope that you will find something here that will nourish and inspire you.
- View my forthcoming or previous events.
- For handouts of recent conference sessions, type the search terms in the box on the right, and click on ‘Go’
Prayer / T’filah
Spending time with God, alone and in the company of other people, is, for me, fundamental to keeping sane, developing as a human being, maintaining a balanced life, and finding the clarity and energy to live well. T’filah (what is sometimes translated as prayer) is rich with challenge, nourishment, discipline, learning, healing, discovery, joy and mystery. It is also a practical tool for living; it helps bring me back to myself, to awareness of what is needed, and can spur me into clear, decisive, positive action. As well as praying alone, and with others, I also lead prayer, sometimes in Jewish Renewal services with no siddur (prayerbook) at all, sometimes in Progressive services for different communities (including full cantorial work for High Holy Days, and shiva prayers). Being a professional singer, instrumentalist and composer, all these roles sometimes come into play as well. And I can act as a celebrant for special occasions, such as a brit shalom, a marriage blessing, a bar or bat mitzvah, or a healing service.
On this website, you will find many words: commentaries, sermons, prayers, essays, meditations, articles, song lyrics, and a brand new translation of the Shema, expanded into a 21st century midrash that uncovers layers of meaning from wordplay in the original Hebrew, cross-references in Torah, Talmud and other Rabbinic sources, and a rich range of ideas drawn from Jewish and non-Jewish writers up to the present day, including extensive new commentary. [Paras. 1 and 2 are complete; para. 3 is on its way …]
And you’ll also find a great deal of Jewish music. Every piece of music I write is deeply wedded to text, its meaning and kavanah (prayerful intention), so with every piece, I include an essay that shares ideas about the meaning of the words within Jewish tradition, as well as refreshing ways into prayer, text and Judaism. There are congregational melodies, choral pieces, solos, nigunim, chants, and rounds – for Kabbalat Shabbat, Shabbat morning, Havdalah, weekdays, davennen, weddings, simchas, High Holy Days, healing services, memorial and Yizkor services, Shavuot, Pesach, conversion, parashot, interfaith, peace, and more …
Eventually, you will be able to buy and download the audio tracks, as well as sheet music. As well as there being two anthologies of new tunes (melody and chords), many of these have been arranged as individual pieces of sheet music with full piano parts, choral combinations (2 part, SATB, SSAA, TTBB), and duets. New pieces are coming out all the time, and I often write a piece in response to a specific request, a moment in the cycle of the Jewish liturgical year, a lifecycle event, or an occasion in the life of a community. Contact me using the form if you would like to discuss commissioning me to compose some for you for a special occasion in your community or family.
I have had a 30 year career as a professional performer, teacher, choir trainer, workshop facilitator, and leader of prayer and ritual. I can come to your community to offer a performance, talk, Judaism-spirituality-and-personal-development workshop, special service, shabbaton, singing workshop for choirs or your congregations. (View my forthcoming or previous events.)
Call +44 (0)7771 988207 or get in touch using the contact form.