Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Few Gender-Neutral Torah Calls

A few years back, I was humbled to be asked by my friend and teacher Rabbi Becky Silverstein what recommendations I had regarding gender-neutral ways to call folks to the Torah.

Tonight, while going through some old files, I found a sheet I had made up for this purpose and realized I had never posted it online anywhere.

If these calls speak to you, please share wherever this is needed (and I suspect that, in reality, this is needed everywhere where non-male people can be called to the Torah).

How folks respond to the gender implications when mentioning lineages entails a chart I can provide at a future time.


New music up and on its way…

With my new recording studio set up, I am happy to be making new recordings again of which I’m proud. The two recent recordings I’ve made that are most relevant to the post are of piyyutim (פיוטים, “liturgical poems”) to which I’ve set music. Their words are by an anonymous Jewish poet from some time in the early Middle Ages; Ezra Fleischer (עזרא פליישר) collected these texts in his book Pizmoney Ha’Anonymus (פזמוני האנונימוס). Each of these piyyutim were intended to be sung for the Torah readings throughout the year (and likely–the years–as the division of the piyyutim in Fleischer’s book indicates that the author was probably used to the Torah reading not taking one year, but several years). I’ve matched the two short excerpts for which I’ve composed music in accordance with as presented below (and you can click also for text and sheet music):

Parashat Naso (פרשת נשא): “Yitbarekh Elohey Olam” (יתברך אלהי עולם) recording | sheet music | text.

Parashat Nitzavim (פרשת נצבים): “Attem Nitzavim” (״אתם נצבים״) recording | sheet music | text.


Parashah Im Peyrush (Torah Portion With Explanation) for Lekh Lekha (pilot?)

You can find at this link a short packet I created to introduce a little bit of the concept of midrash as well as a particular midrash for this week’s portion.  Enjoy!

Sheet Music for Hayyom Harat Olam & Le’el Orekh Din

Some sheet music I wrote back in 2011 but neglected to post: for Le’el Orekh Din and HaYom Harat Olam. They’re both audible at

Dorff-Nevins-Reisner & Tucker condensed: highlights from a few CJLS responsa on homosexuality from 2006

This is a .pdf file that is a selection of what I deemed some of the most crucial (and accessible) parts of Rabbis Dorff’s, Nevins’ and Reisner’s, and Tucker’s teshuvot on which the Committee on Jewish Law & Standards of the Rabbinical Assembly voted on December 6, 2006. I used this 10-page packet (double-sided, so it was only 5 pages) today–reading selectively from it–at Shaar Shalom in Halifax at an event where a few members of our community whose Jewish lives have been impacted by their LGBTQ identity spoke about their Jewish LGBTQ autobiographies. After hearing individuals’ narratives, we then studied these two responsa. We had about 50 people or so, and the program was a success in my estimation! I hope that if you want to use this resource that this will come in handy.

Elleh Ezkerah Sheet Music

I wrote a melody to sing the refrain of Elleh Ezkerah as presented in Mahzor Lev Shalem a few years back but couldn’t find this on my site anywhere. Now it is free for the world. Audio at this link.

Piyyutim from Rabbi Shemu’el III for Parashot Mattot Mas’ey

Would you like to view this file I’ve titled “Piyyutim 5775 Parashot Mattot Masey With Sheet Music?” In it you can find sheet music and text for two piyyut excerpts for the Shabbat of Parashot Mattot Mas’ey–words originally by Rabbi Shemu’el III, with texts based on יוצרות רבי שמואל השלישי: מראשי ההנהגה בירושלים במאה העשירית מהדורת יוסף יהלום ונאויה קצומטה יד יצחק בן-צבי ירושלים כרך שני |The Yotserot of R. Samuel the Third edited by Joseph Yahalomand Naoya Katsumata (Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi, 2014: Jerusalem, Israel), Vol. 2, pp. 632-642. Click away, and sing this Shabbat–and whenever you’d like.

NOTE: In “Shim’u Omer Bey’ur Misgavkhem,” all of the non-worded notes can be sung to “ya la lai,” “yum
bum bai,” “ya da da dai,” or any other nonsense syllable(s) effective for congregational singing. Also note that the first and last 8-measure sequence of nonsense syllable(s) are intended be sung as many or as few times as desired.