Rabbi Shefa Gold, the inspirational composer and performer of spiritual music and leader in the Jewish Renewal Movement, will lead a Chant Ritual on Saturday, May 10 at 8:00 pm in honor of the 20th Anniversary Celebration of Pardes Hannah. Rabbi Gold is director of C-DEEP, The Center for Devotional, Energy, and Ecstatic Practice in Jemez Springs, New Mexico. Her deep spiritual friendship with Rabbi Elliot Ginsburg, who will be honored at this weekend’s Shabbaton, brings her to Ann Arbor to help the Pardes Hannah Renewal Community celebrate.
Shefa brought her love of music and musical ability to her rabbinical studies and received her ordination from both the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College and from Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi. In describing her pathway into chant, she explains, “I want to study the sacred text with mind and heart, and with the body as well. Chant is very much a heart practice, a devotional practice. I’ve been doing it for many years because it’s my way in. I love it so much. Traveling about half the year doing retreats and seminars and teaching groups the power of Hebrew chant–as well as training chant leaders in Kol Zimra, a two-year program for rabbis, cantors, and lay leaders—is ‘my rabbinate.’ “
Shefa’s love of chant is also evident in her ten albums and liturgies that have been incorporated into several new prayerbooks and into the services of synagogues throughout the country. Her book, The Magic of Hebrew Chant: Healing the Spirit, Transforming the Mind, Deepening Love, presents the fundamentals of chant and elevates chant as a transformational tool, in meditation, in prayer, in healing. Rabbi Rami Shapiro comments, “I have chanted daily for decades and Shefa was my teacher. Let her be yours as well.”
In addition to her exceptional talent in music, her book Torah Journeys: The Inner Path to the Promised Land, illustrates the depth of her mystical reading of Torah and the creative ways she has evolved to help others find meaning in a weekly meditation upon the Torah parsha. She has also written, In the Fever of Love: An Illumination of the Song of Songs that Rabbi Lawrence Kushner says, “offers American Jews seeking to rediscover the melody of meditation the perfect primer and inspiration.”
Shefa is on the faculty of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality and includes her understanding of Buddhist, American Indian, Christian, and Islamic spiritual traditions in her teachings, finding the underlying core of devotional energy in each faith system. For more information on Rabbi Gold, see www.rabbishefagold.com.
Rabbi Shefa Gold will be presenting a Chant Ritual with music and story to honor Rabbi Elliot Ginsburg and the 20th Anniversary of Pardes Hannah at 8 pm at the home of Linda and Richard Greene.