The Sounds of Debbie Friedman
It’s with a heavy, but inspired, heart that we bring to you some ideas for incorporating Debbie Friedman’s music into your wedding day.
Why heavy? Debbie Friedman, an American Jewish song writer and performer passed away just a few weeks ago on January 9th. She had been in an Orange County, California hospital suffering complications from pneumonia, and even though Jews around the world held prayer services and song sessions in her honor and desire for recovery, Friedman lost her battle and, momentarily, Jews lost their source of music.
But not for long, because Friedman’s soulful chants and uplifting melodies had been known to bring peace and comfort while she was alive, and it was no different after she died. With the news of her passing, her songs surged the Internet giving new life to those who’d never heard them and reassurance to long-standing fans. For many young Jewish Americans, Friedman’s music was heavily incorporated at Jewish summer camp or Hebrew school programs. I can remember song leaders at Camp Alonim in Brandeis, California connecting me to my heritage at Shabbat services through Friedman’s song book. And fifteen years ago, I could go to several different friends’ bar or bat mitzvah services at different synagogues and still hear the same familiar tunes accompanying a 13-year-old’s very special day of becoming a Jewish adult. At holidays, her music erupts with ruach (spirit) and joy, reminding us why we celebrate year after year.
So, why not take some of Friedman’s songs that speak to the hearts of Jews everywhere and incorporate them in your wedding day? What a great way to keep Friedman’s memory alive and tie in your day to a special and inspiring Jewish American woman.
For a first dance song or a performance from a friend or relative on the wedding day:
Listen to the song.