Jewish music and mystic

A radio program of the European Institute of Jewish Music hosted by Hervé Roten

MUSIQUES JUIVES D’HIER ET D’AUJOURD’HUI – October 22, 2013, JUDAÏQUES FM (94.8), 21H05


The esoterism is part of the religious Jewish heritage since long ago. Several mystical currents succeeded through centuries, but none have really seperated itself from normative Judaism.
The goal of the mystic is generally the vision of God and the understanding of the mysteries of the Creation. But some mystics, such as Rabbi Nahman of Braslav (1772-1810), dedicated it to a pre-messianic vision.

It is observable that music is often associated to Jewish mysticism. As underlines the musicologist Amnon Shiloah : « In the mystical world, prayers and chants associated were perceived as ways for the soul to raise to superior worlds. »

The kabbalistic writings don’t dedicate systematic discussion on music, and doesn’t give an explicit opinion on this matter. But contrarily to the extreme theological opinion that sees in music the expression of the devil, or that authorize it under strict conditions, the mystics see the music to have a divine origin. « For them, it was created by God on the third day, when the Eternal gave the angels a part of his breath for them to sing its glory day and night. »

This broadcast aims to study that relation between Jewish music and mystics.
Franklin Rausky, conference master at the Strasbourg’s University and director of studies at the Elie Wiesel Institute in Paris, will talk of the big time periods of Jewish mystics, illustrated in music by Hervé Roten.

An initiatic and musical journey not to miss…

herve_photo_retouche_fond_uni_bleu_500px.jpgOfficer of the Ordre of Arts and letters, PhD in musicology at Paris University Sorbonne, prize-winning graduate from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, Hervé Roten is the director of the European Institute of Jewish Music since its creation in 2006.
Ethnomusicologist, he quickly developed an interest in the safeguard and digitization of archives, subjects he taught for several years in Reims and Marne-La-Vallée universities.
Author of many articles, books and recordings related to Jewish music, producer of radio programs, Hervé Roten is recognized today as one of the best specialists of Jewish music in the world.

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