Over Shabbos, I was eating lunch with a neighbor, and he brought up an interesting observation after we concluded a zemer (song).  Amongst non-Jews, you don’t hear people breaking out in song, and singing together as one.  Sure, people will sing songs to themselves, either quietly or out loud.  But have you ever heard more than one person getting together with another and singing it together in its entirety?  The only exception I can think of is religious functions like church and/or Christmas carols.

But Jews very frequently join together in song.  Whether at the Shabbos table, at a wedding, mesiba, oneg shabbos, or other type of simcha, Jews get together and sing together in unison.  It creates a spiritual bonding that uplifts the soul.  I think it is very special and should be treasured.


9 Responses to “Singing”

  1. SephardiLady Says:

    Aishel, No offense, but I don’t think that you have spent enough time to make such a blanket observation about non-Jews. Having been in public schools and involved in a number of activities involving a cross-segment of American society, I can say that breaking out into song is common enough.

    While the singing that takes place at a chatunah, e.g. “Siman Tov v’Mazal Tov”, can’t be compared to the time my entire middle school bus broke into a rendition of “Lean on Me,” I can definitely say that breaking out into song happens. 🙂 But, it certainly can’t compare to singing a zemer around a Shabbat table.

  2. anon Says:

    In any non-religious camp, you can find plenty of people breaking into a song with others.

  3. aishel Says:

    I guess you guys are right. I just never hear a few people breaking out in song together. I guess I’m just sheltered 🙂

  4. SephardiLady Says:

    Aishel, If you ever need a non-sheltered view, you can get my email from my profile. Of course, I was still pretty sheltered both by my parents and my friends. But, that is a story for another time.

  5. Shoshana Says:

    SephardiLady is right. My elementary school actually started every day by gathering all the students in the library and singing several songs to start the morning on a good note.

  6. aishel Says:

    I’m gathering from the comments above that its only the camps and schools that are doing the public singing. In my original post, I was referring to your average adult.

  7. SephardiLady Says:

    With kids, song is more common. But, I can tell you about a football game I attended where one team’s fans broke out into a rendition of the song with the refrain “hey, hey, goodbye” when the opposing fans starting leaving early in the 3rd quarter when their team was being crushed.

    Lehavdil, the bond is nothing like that created at a Shabbat table. But, it was quite a moment (at least if you were cheering for for winnign team).

  8. aishel Says:

    Ok, ok, I fold. I hereby take back my original post


  9. zahranaqvi Says:

    Aishel I skimmed through your blog, and read this thread completely but I m not agree with your statement. You can find that chorus even on wedding functions of muslims that they bring a rhythm in their singing, and there is no question arise about the religious ceremonies, even millions of people can make only one sound.

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