Music and cuisine in the Jewish tradition

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


In the Jewish tradition, food and music have a deep and ancestral relationship. As soon as the time of Salomon’s Temple, and probably before, the Hebrews offered food to the Eternal. The Jewish holidays were marked by the singing of the Levites, sometimes with instrumental accompaniment. After the destruction of the first and then of the second Temple, prayer replaced sacrifices, but we took the habit of continuing the ritual with a festive meal that was to be well celebrated, following the image of the sacrifices that took place in the temple of Jerusalem. The table, the music and the altar, all mixed up in one mystical impetus! Is it the reason why, still today, the celebration of Jewish holidays is the time for big feasts often accompanied with singing?

Judaism is one those rare religions where it is custom to eat while singing, and to sing while eating. All meals start and finish by singing prayers. During Passover, Purim or Hanukka, the guests sing songs, not forgetting the zemirot of Shabbat and the tish nigunim of the Hassidim.

The relation between cuisine and Jewish music is so rich that we decided to dedicate to it three programs, as we did for the Jewish mothers, other pillar of Judaism. In this first broadcast, the cantor Jacques Arnold will talk about the table songs during Jewish holidays. In the second broadcast of May 6th 2014, we will talk about the gastronomic specialities of the Yiddishland through songs. Finally, in the last broadcast of June 2nd 2014, we will discover the notes of Sefardi meals of ancient Ottoman Empire and of North Africa.

Don’t miss this radio series where there will be to drink and to sing...

Listen to the broadcast :

- Music and cuisine of the Sefardi
- Music and cuisine of the Ashkenazi

Listen to the playlist : Music and cuisine in the Jewish tradition

Musique et cuisine juive - Hervé Roten (Judaïques FM 94.8)

Officer 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 for 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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  • Musique et cuisine juive - Hervé Roten (Judaïques FM 94.8)

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