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From the charts to your machzor:
songs for the High Holidays.
FROZEN YOGURT & CUSTARD
n time for the 2013 High Holiday
season, JNS.org has compiled a
list of the top five popular songs to
put you in the mood for introspection,
repentance and renewal — and a few
just to make you smile.
Here is your High Holiday playlist:
1. "Who By Fire" (Leonard
The consummate coffeehouse theolo-
gian lands in the No. 1 spot on our list,
having borrowed the title and concept
of this song directly from the emotion-
al centerpiece of the High Holidays
liturgy, Un'taneh Tokef
Another song of Cohen's deserves
honorable mention here: "The Story of
Isaac," a post-modern retelling of the
famous near-sacrifice that highlights
the moral ambiguity of Abraham's
choice. The section of Genesis that
contains the original story is tradition-
ally read on Rosh Hashanah as part of
the Torah service.
2. "Man in the Mirror"
Back from the time when Top 40
songs were still allowed to have simple
moral messages, the prince of pop
reminds us that changing the world
must always begin with changing
As with the silent confessions of the
Yom Kippur Musaf service, the High
Holidays are a time to give our friends
and family a break and turn our criti-
cal eye to the person looking back at
us in the mirror.
3. "Getting Better" (The
A golden oldie about turning things
around: "Man, I was mean, but I'm
changing my scene and I'm doing the
best that I can:' sings Paul McCartney.
Sometimes we lose faith in our abil-
ity to grow out of lifelong patterns of
getting hurt and hurting back, but
the song insists that change is always
possible when we open our hearts and
truly listen to our loved ones.
4. "Please Forgive Me"
This one's about saying sorry for lov-
ing too much, rather than too little.
After all, don't many of our conflicts
come from holding on too tight? Not
Monday, September 2nd
Magical Mimes interactive
Leonard Cohen: Topping the chart!
5. "Unwritten" (Natasha
Here's one for the millennials. A tal-
ented young British singer-songwriter,
Bedingfield sings with conviction
about the ever-present possibility of a
fresh start. Her chorus offers an opti-
mistic counter to the traditional image
of the sealing of the Book of Life:
"Today is where your book begins, the
rest is still unwritten ..."
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to mention the heart-wrenching power
of Adams' voice, which moves the lis-
tener like a good chazzan ought to.
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And a few more just for fun...
"Oops! ... I Did It Again"
This song marked the original pop
princess' transition from ingenue to
femme fatale. Perhaps it can inspire
those of us who walk around feeling
ethically spotless to remember that we
all make the same mistakes (and usu-
"On Bended Knee" (Boys II
Those of us Jews who are not football
players (so, all of us) only "take a
knee" once a year — during the Yom
Kippur Musaf service when cantors,
rabbis and often whole congregations
bow down in unison to commemorate
the ancient Temple service.
"Wake Me Up When
September Ends" (Green
For the shul-shluffer (synagogue
sleeper) in all of us.
Binyamin Kagedan has a master's degree
in Jewish thought from the Jewish
Theological Seminary of America.
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August 29 • 2013