Category: Portion / Parsha

V’asu Li Mikdash and the ‘holiness project’

Composition and audio © Alexander Massey 16 Feb 2017: V’asu li mikdash v’shochanti b’tocham. Recording with English words: “We’ll make You a holy home, and You will live with us.” Buy the sheet music: $2.25 (approx. £1.80), minimum 4 copies

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Miketz, Dreams, Chanukah and Human Rights

In the previous parsha (Vayeshev), we have met Joseph with his multi-coloured robe, the envious brothers who sell him into slavery, and learn of their wicked deception of their father Jacob. In an interlude we hear of Tamar’s righteous deception

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Kedoshim 5774 – How can we ‘be holy’?

Lev. 19:1-20:7 The portion Kedoshim begins: “And G-d spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to all the congregation …” So this is an ideal opportunity to consider what Moses was told to share with us as a community. Kedoshim tih’yu –

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I lift my eyes to the mountains (Ps 121)

Written and first performed for the Oxford Unitarians service at Harris Manchester College, Yom Hashoah 5774/2014 Composition and audio © Alexander Massey 23 January 2014 In English: In Hebrew: Many commentators have seen this psalm as expressing total confidence in

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The Priestly Blessing (Y’varech’cha)

Y’varech’cha Adonai (May You Be Blessed) – Composition and audio © Alexander Massey, 3 July 2013 The simple meaning I have always loved the sounds of this blessing (sometimes called the ‘Priestly Blessing’), whether in Hebrew or English. The verbal repetitions,

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Tazria-Metzora 5773 – The three holy garments, and the personal touch

Tazria-Metzora (Lev 12:1-15:33) Thought, word and deed As my own personal response to a section of Torah that I find difficult to relate to in modern times, I have been looking at Tazria-Metzora through the lens of a traditional, but

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Mi Chamocha No. 1

Composition and recording © Alexander Massey – 14 March 2013 Who is like You among the gods, O God? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, awesome in splendour, doing wonders? A new song the redeemed sang to Your name

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Mi Chamocha No. 2

Music and audio © Alexander Massey 14 March 2013 Watch/listen on YouTube Buy SOLO sheet music (vce + pno, Fm, C-C) – £3.50 Buy CHORAL sheet music (SATB + pno, Fm) – £7.50 (£1.50 per copy, min. 5 copies) Commentary The words

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Vayishlach 5772 – Jacob wrestles, and becomes himself

What’s in a name? Jacob wrestling at Yabok (Gen 32:23-33) Today’s story can say something, I think, to everyone, because it is about an ish tam, a simple, normal man, an average person, Jacob, in a normal family, that is to

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Mah Tovu No. 1

Mah tovu ohalecha Ya’akov, mishk’notecha Yisrael. “How good are your tents, O Jacob, how pleasant your dwellings.” (Num 24:5) When the renowned magician Bilam was commissioned by King Balak to curse the Israelites, despite all his best efforts, Bilam found

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