We’re bringing the songs of the synagogue down to the floor - kirtan style! Beginning December 28th, we will be dedicating one Saturday a month to breaking down the barrier between prayer leader and listener. Kirtan is a participatory event, not a performance. Kirtan Chadasha (renewed worship) is a form of call and response Hebrew chant, providing an environment of heightened participation, communal feeling and connection to the Divine.
Though the kirtan format originated within Indian culture, Kirtan Chadasha is not Indian. It’s new, but not new-age. It is a return to the long lost call and response chanting of the Second Temple. This is a participatory chant where short, sacred phrases from the Jewish tradition are treated as powerful, universal meditations.
It is a time for us to move off the bima and down to the floor, a time for all of us to get grounded with Hebrew chant that reaches deeply within our souls.
We sing to G-d as an act of love, an act of connection, a way to seek repair in ourselves through our relationship to the Divine. Ultimately our aim is to be conduits to help bring healing, repair, and love to the world. This is a taste of what we are bringing to the Puget Sound community with sacred Hebrew chant, through Kirtan Chadasha.
The kirtan is an informal, non-liturgical, session in an intimate gathering space following minchah prayers in the synagogue. We will use some instrumentation that is traditional to the kirtan, such as a harmonium and tabla (Indian drums). Traditionally participants sit on the floor (on zafus or floor pillows), stand, or for those wish to sit there will be benches. Each chant is simple, melodic, and repetitive enough to be learned easily. This meditative worship experience is meant to ground us, bringing the heavens down to earth.