Friday, March 21, 2008

The Missing Sense - Achashverosh & Music

Me'am Loez, Esther 1:6:

Achashverosh made a banquet that gave pleasure to four of the five senses. The sense of taste was stimulated by the food and drink. The sense of sight was delighted with the beautiful hangings and decorations. The sense of smell was satisfied by the perfume of the garden's blossoms. The sense of touch was gratified by the fine couches provided for each guest.

The only sense that was not provided for was the sense of hearing. Although the king had the finest musicians, he did not provide music at his banquet. People have different tastes in music, and it is impossible for those who do not enjoy it to shut it out.

Furthermore, music can bring a person to a very high spiritual state. Sometimes it can bring a person to a level where the soul almost departs from his body, and he enters into a lofty mystical realm. Since Achashverosh prepared the banquet especially to make the Jews transgress the Torah, such spiritual edification was the last thing he desired.


At March 21, 2008 at 11:29:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The guitarist is artist-Rabbi Elyah Sukkot of Yerushalayim and the clarinetist is his son-in-law, musician-sofer Rabbi Shmuel Rosenberg of Tzefat. No doubt the simchah was "ein le-shayer!"

At March 21, 2008 at 8:17:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice blog! thanks for sharing!

At March 24, 2008 at 3:19:00 PM EDT, Blogger Freddie said...

I can’t imagine a party without music. I’m new to Judaism but I heard this in the Purim story I listened to earlier and because I have a great love of music, this stuck in my mind very well.

If anyone reads this and knows of some good Jewish music to recommend I’d be most grateful. I’m looking for religious music, preferably in Hebrew; modern or otherwise.

At March 25, 2008 at 3:35:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...


If you would like some traditional music, I suggest that you try:

1. The first Chabad recording arranged by Velvel Pasternack in the "Nichoach" series.

2. The first Bobover Choir tape led by Rabbi Moshe Kesler, with simple piano accompaniment.

3. "Modzitz Classics," featuring Rabbi Ben Zion Shenker.

4. "Azamer Bishvochin," the first CD in the Breslov Research Institute series, produced by Ben Zion Solomon.

Instrumental recordings:

1. "Awakening From Above" and "Between Heaven and Earth" by Andy Statman

2. The Naftule Brandwein klezmer collecton on Rounder Records.

3. Dave Tarras, "Freilach Yiddelach"


1. Anything you can find by Rabbi Chaim Louk, esp. "Musika Andalousit."

2. Hakki Obadia's Iraqi-Jewish music CD on the Global Village label.


Give contemporary Chazan Helfgot a try, or some of the old timers like Moshe Kousovitsky and Yossele Rosenblatt.

Then there is all of the new Jewish pop music and folk-rock, which I'm sure you don't need me to tell you about. (I'm a fan of Simply Tsfat.)

At March 26, 2008 at 2:09:00 PM EDT, Blogger Freddie said...


Thank you for the recommendations. I think I’m going to end up being a fan of Simply Tsfat too :) From the snippets I’ve been able to listen to they sound like a lively and fun band. Although, I have yet to find some of these, I was able to sample a few. I think I might also like some of the Andy Statman stuff. Hakki Obadia's Iraqi-Jewish music also has that minimalist sound which I enjoy.

Thanks again,

At March 10, 2009 at 5:30:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Music to Try -
C Lanzbom - Beyond This World - instrumental of R Shlomo Carlebach popular music

THe Diaspora Yeshiva Band - The Last Diaspora


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