Jewish music of all kinds is highlighted on this album – from Yiddish, Ladino and Yemenite folk songs to contemporary settings of Jewish prayer to classic Israeli favorites.
The band, Ein Lanu Z’man, is the house band of Agudas Achim – a conservative congregation in Alexandria, VA and is lead by Hazzan Elisheva Dienstfrey.
Talented members of the congregation donate their valuable spare time to create the fabulous sound. Learn more about the band, here.
Below, find information about each track from the album. You can listen to excerpts here.
Ein Lanu Z’man – We Have No Time
1. Halleluyah – Kol HaN’shamah (2:23)
Music: Paula R. Goldberg/Words: Psalm 150:6
© Transcontinental Music Publications, All Rights Reserved
Psalm 150 is filled with musical imagery, but it is this last verse of the psalm that captures the element essential to prayer: our neshamot — our souls: “May everything that has breath, may every soul, praise God.”
2. Hineih Mah Tov (1:15)
Music: Yemenite Folk Melody/Words: Psalm 133:1
“How good and pleasant it is for all people to dwell together in unity.” These words have been set to so many different melodies, both old and new. This Yemenite folk melody fills the words with joy and pure fun. We should not only “dwell” in unity. We should celebrate in unity!
3. Ale Brider (2:40)
Music: Yiddish Folk Melody/Words: Morris Winchevsky
This Yiddish classic reminds us that we should celebrate our differences but that in the end, we are ale brider, all brothers.
4. Erev Ba (1:49)
Music: A. Levanon/Words: O. Avishar
The melody of this song describing a simple evening in Israel elevates the words so that although they may speak of a mundane scene where flocks are drifting to the outskirts and dust is rising up from their paths, we hear the beauty of the bells and the quiet of the shadows as erev ba, evening comes.
5. L’chu N’ran’nah (1:24)
Music: R. Sirotkin/Words: Psalm 95:1-2
We sing these words every Friday night as we welcome the Sabbath. Once we utter these words, we understand the importance of music in our tradition: “Go forth singing songs of joy to the Eternal. Let us shout to our Savior. Let us turn to God with thanks. Let us shout to our Savior with a joyous song.”
6. Eliyahu Hanavi (4:18)
Music: Yehuda Solomon and David Swirsky/Words: Liturgy
© Moshav Music, Inc.; www.moshavband.com
Elijah the Prophet makes appearances at many important events in our Jewish lives: at the bris of a newborn son, at the Passover Seder, and at the closing of Shabbat, to name a few. Many are familiar with the traditional words of welcome for Elijah, but this contemporary melody brings new life to this beautiful text.
7. Buena Semana (2:13)
Folk Melody/Words: Traditional
At the conclusion of Shabbat, we join together and wish one another a good week — Shavua Tov in Hebrew, Buena Semana in Ladino.
8. Ten Shabbat (3:59)
Music: D. Seltzer/Words: C. Hefer
Jerusalem is filled with incredibly beautiful sites, but it is really a time of the week that sets this holy city apart from every other city in the world. As daylight begins to fade on Friday and Shabbat is about to come in, stores close, people rush home to be with their families, bus drivers wish you “Shabbat Shalom” as they drop you off before they end their route for the day. A siren is heard throughout the city to let everyone know it is time to light candles, and then there is quiet. As the chorus of this song states: “Behold, peace descends on the approaching Sabbath. Grant Sabbath rest and peace in Jerusalem.”
9. Et Dodim (2:17)
Music: Oriental Folk Melody/Words: Song of Songs
A song still enjoyed at Sabbath tables in Sephardi circles, Et Dodim carries with its exotic melody the words of an exotic text: the Song of Songs.
10. Shnirele Perele (1:30)
Music: Yiddish Folk Melody/Words: Folk Tradition
Traditionally, as Jews, we are constantly waiting for the Messiah. And we have many ideas about what will happen when he comes. This song anticipates only good things to come – that however the Messiah should come to town (riding a wagon, riding a horse, or walking), he is most definitely coming, with blessings on his lips for the entire land.
11. Eliyahu Medley/Laner V’libsamim (5:28)
Eliyahu — Music: Folk Melodies/Words: Liturgy
Laner — Music: Abihu Medina/Words: Rabbi Shelomoh Shabazi
This medley features traditional Ashkenazi and Sephardi melodies for the words Eliyahu Hanavi, and then pairs them with an ancient piyut, or liturgical poem, written by Rabbi Shelomoh Shabazi. The words paint a picture of the Havdalah service, in which we use a candle, spices, and Kiddush cup to sanctify the moment we leave behind Shabbat and look forward to the new week.
12. V’ulai (3:09)
Music: J. Sharet/Words: Rachel
This song illustrates the longing for Israel and all of its beauty. Even when we know it exists, it is still hard to believe: “Oh Kinneret, my own, were you real or simply a dream that I have dreamed?”
13. Ozi V’zimrat Ya (1:52)
Music: Yemenite Folk Melody/Words: Ex. 15:2; Psalm 24:8
Jewish literature describes God in so many different ways: merciful, omniscient, awesome. These two verses emphasize God’s strength, oz. But it is God’s song that is tied to this strength. Music can indeed be very powerful!
14. Y’rushalayim Harim Saviv Lah (3:28)
Music: Joanna Selznick Dulkin/Words: Psalms 125:2 & 122:6
© Joanna Dulkin
This song is truly a prayer for peace for the Holy Land: “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so does the Eternal God surround our people, from this time forth and forever. Pray for peace for Jerusalem and for Israel.”
15. Eilu D’varim (2:36)
Music: Jeff Klepper/Words: Peiah 1:1 & Shabbat 127a
© 1989 Jeff Klepper; www.jeffklepper.com
As Jews, we are expected to follow many rules. This song highlights some of our treasured morals and values: to honor our father and mother, do acts of lovingkindness, pray daily, welcome the stranger, visit the sick, rejoice with the bride, comfort the mourner, pray with sincerity, and make peace among people.
16. Nigun for Sabbath’s Farewell (from “Havdalah Suite”) (2:59)
Music: Michael Isaacson
© Michael Isaacson
Bidding farewell to Shabbat is one of the most difficult things we have to do — we have to go back to our busy lives, and the peace Shabbat brought to us will not come to us again for another week. This nigun, this melody without words, captures the essence of the beauty of Shabbat along with the sorrow of having to let it go and move on.
17. Oseh Shalom (3:39)
Music: Spanish-Portuguese Folk Melody/Words: Liturgy
These words of peace have been set to hundreds of melodies. This melody is one of the oldest, having been preserved through the Spanish-Portuguese community. It is still sung in Spanish-Portuguese synagogues throughout the world.