Hallelu Avdei Adonai

UPDATE 9/22/21: Friends of Cantor Richard Kaplan share with sadness the news of his death on the first day of Sukkot 5782, 9/21/21.

This chant, which comes from Iraqi Jewish tradition, uses the phrase “Praise God, Servants of God” from Psalm 113:1 as a chorus and acrostic verses highlighting attributes of God: Mightiest of the mighty, Blessed among blessed, Greatest of the great…Guardian among guardians, Sustainer among sustainers. Here is a captioned version of the chant as presented in the 2000 “Tuning the Soul: Worlds of Jewish Sacred Music,” from Richard Kaplan & Michael Ziegler.

This video adapts, with permission, the one found on Kaplan’s YouTube channel by adding the lyrics with no other changes.

A note on teachers and transmission: I first learned the chant from Amy Smith and Bill Savedoff who taught it to Fabrangen Havurah for the high holidays years ago. Members of Fabrangen reported hearing the tune from a nearby synagogue when they were living in Jerusalem and helped our son share it during the service when he was bar mitzvah….again, years back. This video was prepared to share with Hill Havurah, 5781/2021. But a video with the fast-paced lyrics might be of use to many.

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