The Canticle of the red sea

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

MUSIQUES JUIVES D’HIER ET D’AUJOURD’HUI – Tuesday February 14, 2017, JUDAÏQUES FM (94.8), 21H05


The canticle of the sea (in Hebrew: שירת הים) is one of the three poems seen in the Hebrew Bible. It is followed by a short song, sang by Myriam and the other women: “Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing. 21 Miriam sang to them: Sing to the LORD…” (Exode 15, 20-21)

This canticle expresses the gratitude of the Hebrew people towards God for having freed them from Egypt and from Pharaoh’s army swallowed by the sea. That story from the Torah, which inspired many film directors and music composers, is daily sung in the morning prayer Az Yashir Moshe, and during Shabbat Bechalah’, also called Shabbat Shira.

During that Shabbat, in which is sung the canticle, there are also customs and particular songs that are explained to us – in music – by the cantor Jacques Arnold.

We will also hear readings of the Parasha and Haftara in different rites: Ashkenazi, Spanish-Portuguese (Jacques Arnold) and Moroccan (Marcel Lévy).

There will also be several religious poems and prayers talking about the crossover of the red sea.
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 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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