Cantillation

Learning Torah and Haftarah cantillation, also known as leyning, is a way of deepening our connection to Torah, of opening up our hearts and bodies to the experience in a way that study alone cannot.

The musical phrasing and varying intonation of the tropes and words has an affect  that reading aloud does not.  It may not happen for you the first time you try leyning directly from Torah, but with practice the combination of singing and sacred word has the power to deepen emotion and open doors of understanding of our Torah.

There are various ways to approach learning Torah cantillation. When I began learning I had a bias toward diving in and learning the tropes by learning a section by ear while reading the Torah trope. This may have worked, but it was not the wise way to go, as I later realized. I read a line in a book on cantillation that said learning to leyn in that manner was like trying to memorize the dictionary without learning to read, or something like that.  Hearing that was an aha moment for me, and now I begin students with learning the vocabulary of Torah trope.

There are many variations of Torah cantillation. I learned online at www.bible.ort.org, a very wonderful and professional resource, you can also buy a CD from them.  Also, Cantor Neil Blumofe, now Rabbi Neil Blumofe, has recordings of Torah cantillation online as well.  These are the 2 main resources I have used, but I have learned a little something from many many sites, and I am indebted to them all. See Cantillation Resources for a list of many more great leining resources.

Please feel free to contact me any time, if you are wanting to find out more about Torah cantillation or private tutoring.

Thank you for visiting these pages and may you have great joy singing Torah,

~ Amy