Singing her way from the Deep South to hipster Williamsburg, Shira Kline is making a name for herself.
Like Dafna Israel-Kotok, Shira Kline — better known by her stage name, ShirLaLa — has been singing her entire life.
The youngest of three children, Kline, 34, was raised in an “incredible Jewish home” infused with art, music and a love of Judaism.
Her dancer mother frequently hosted artists from around the world in their Monroe, La., home. Her father, Rabbi David Kline, who Kline says has “been my main teacher my whole life,” would make up song sheets for every holiday.
In a gripping new documentary that aired Tuesday night on PBS to mark National Holocaust Remembrance Week, historian and author Daniel Jonah Goldhagen makes a convincing case that genocide — the systematic effort to eliminate an entire group perceived of as deserving of death — is even more destructive than armed conflict, and yet often can be prevented.
If Mayer Davis needed proof that music can fill in the spaces between the words in our lives, he found it one Shabbat morning when, after leading the services as cantor at Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun on the Upper East Side, he visited his ailing mother.
Esther Frankel Davis, whose husband, Avrum, is a well-known cantor, was by then seriously ill and no longer able to speak or recognize family members. But she loved when her son sang to her, and sometimes she would hum along, with eyes closed.
Every year about this time, I remember Samuel Beckett’s enigmatic play, “Waiting for Godot.” Beckett refused to identify Godot with God, but this period of the Omer is when Jews wait for God, and the parallel is compelling.
I worry that with each passing year in this country, Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, is quietly and gradually becoming obsolete.
You don’t need an actuary to know that the number of survivors of the Holocaust, which took place between 65 and 71 years ago, is declining rapidly, and thus the authentic voices of those who lived through the horrors are diminished every day.
What is the Kohen’s most important role? Whenever we think of a Kohen (a priest) our thoughts immediately go to the cultic, the sacrifices and the Temple. Most associate the priest’s role with the ritual. While these responsibilities are critical, Parshat Shmini teaches us that the Kohen has what is, perhaps, an even more fundamental role.