One such cantor who has always been particularly easy to connect with was Cantor Jeff Myers. He had the warmth, the friendliness, and the interest in knowing my name and who I was. Jeff has a humble and quiet way about him, definitely not one of the flashy cantors.
I vaguely remember him telling me once that he was studying to pursue rabbinic ordination, that he enjoyed the learning and wanted to expand professionally. Jeff had been a cantor for many years. He actually led the choir at his shul when he was only 15, then went on after college to receive a degree in Sacred Music from the cantorial school at JTS, as well as a Masters in Jewish Education. He served as a cantor for decades at synagogues in Illinois, Long Island 19 years in Massapequa, until his shul merged with another and New Jersey.
Jeff had been leading his new congregation for barely over a year when the tragedy struck. When his last congregation of seven years made the unfortunate decision of discontinuing the position of cantor altogether, Jeff began his first position as a rabbi — at the Tree of Life Congregation, in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Jeff had been leading his new congregation, in his very first position as sole spiritual leader of a community, for barely over a year when the tragedy struck.
My colleagues and I watched in awe and amazement as our friend — the quiet, unassuming, genuinely humble Jeffrey Myers — rose to the near-impossible task of navigating this horrific and overwhelming situation: managing the national press and political pressures, leading his congregation through the tragedy, comforting grieving families while officiating at multiple funerals and shiva minyanim…. The role of spokesman for the American Jewish people was instantly thrust upon him, even while the trauma was still fresh and raw; leadership on an international scale was suddenly demanded of him — and true leadership is what he gave us.
True leadership inspires and unifies, and cannot be defeated Cantor-Rabbi Jeffrey Myers We crave strong, true leadership in our lives, more so in a crisis.
TELL HIS PRAISE IN SONG AND STORY
We yearn for leaders who confidently and genuinely embody the loftiest ideals we hold dear, who cannot be swayed from the true path, who hold fast to the deep communal center when the going gets roughest. A true leader does not get rattled.
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A true leader is completely there for you, completely trustworthy. A true leader finds the perfect words when everyone else is at a loss for them.
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And we rest this day with thee. Tune: Gott Sei Dank, Baker, Psalm A soul thirsting for God Whoever has left the darkness of sin yearns for God. On my bed I remember you.
Psalm Prayer Father, creator of unfailing light, give that same light to those who call to you. May our lips praise you; our lives proclaim your goodness; our work give you honor, and our voices celebrate you for ever. As morning breaks I look to you, O God, to be my strength this day, alleluia. Canticle: Daniel , 56 Let all creatures praise the Lord All you servants of the Lord, sing praise to him Revelation Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord.
Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord. All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord.
Sun and moon, bless the Lord. Every shower and dew, bless the Lord. Fire and heat, bless the Lord. Dew and rain, bless the Lord. Ice and snow, bless the Lord. Light and darkness, bless the Lord.
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Let the earth bless the Lord. Mountains and hills, bless the Lord. You springs, bless the Lord. You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord. All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord.
O Israel, bless the Lord. Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord. Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord. Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael, bless the Lord. Let us bless the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Blessed are you, Lord, in the firmament of heaven. From the midst of the flames the three young men cried out with one voice: Blessed be God, alleluia.
Let the sons of the Church, the children of the new people, rejoice in Christ, their King Hesychius.
For the Lord takes delight in his people. Psalm Prayer Let Israel rejoice in you, Lord, and acknowledge you as creator and redeemer. We put our trust in your faithfulness and proclaim the wonderful truths of salvation. May your loving kindness embrace us now and for ever.