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September 16, 2010 / howgood1

The Bar’chu – A Call To Prayer

After the opening verses from the Psalms, if there is a minyan, the Bar’chu is recited.

The Bar’chu is essentially a call to the community to come to prayer. It is traditionally recited standing up with those reciting the prayer bowing briefly at the beginning of each sentence and straightening back up before singing “Adonai”, G-d’s name.  The chazan or person leading the prayer service chants the first line.  The congregation then chants the second line which is the repeated by the leader.

Some say that the source of the Bar’chu, or at least the traditon of bowing comes from Chronicles I 29:20 – “And David said to all the congregation: ‘Now bless HaShem your G-d.’ And all the congregation blessed HaShem, the G-d of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and prostrated themselves before HaShem, and before the king.”

The following is an elaborate choral arrangement of the Bar’chu composed by Salomone Rossi, one of the few composers of classical music that worked with Hebrew prayers.

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One Comment

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  1. Jacob / Sep 16 2010 10:39 AM

    Howard, love the first four posts. Keep it up, from strength to strength. I’ll be following with keen interest.

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