Dr. Jerry Glantz























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The Man Who Spoke To God - Cantor Leib Glantz - Cantor, Composer, Researcher, Writer, Educator, Zionist leader.

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Sample Essays


No words can enable you to grasp the full impact of the dream that is developing into a fascinating reality -- a reality that for many years has consisted of difficulties, sorrows, obstacles, and sometimes even pain. I remember when you and I (not long ago) used to exaggerate and be frightened by the difficulties existing in Israel because we were not lucky or privileged enough to enjoy the
  achievements as well. I am happy to tell you that now, for the first time, Israel is lifting the weight of her accumulated troubles and is beginning to laugh, rejoice and celebrate. I consider myself a very privileged man and cantor to be able to be part of Israel at this time.
  One of the greatest affairs Israel has ever had was the celebration of Independence Day. The sight of thousands of people thronging the streets, glorying in their happiness and freedom, has left on me an unforgettable impression.
  Excerpt from a written address to the delegates of the Eighth Annual Conference/Convention of The Cantors Assembly of America (May, 1956).
Is the cantor a singer, a composer, a musical interpreter, a "deputy of the people" (Shli’ach Tzi’bur) a "messenger to God," or is he all of these together? The difficulty of defining the role of the cantor lies in the fact that the institution of "Cantorate" or "Cha’za’nut" is a completely Jewish phenomenon, a unique and specifically Jewish creation. It is, therefore, difficult to compare the Cantorate with
  the existing institutions of other religions. We find the institution of priests (Ko’ha’nim) among the Egyptians, the Phoenicians, the Indians and other nations that were in existence at the time of the creation of the Jewish priesthood. The Cantorate, however, is distinctly originally Jewish, and in order to understand it we must read the Bible again and observe the very roots of Judaism in the days of its birth.
  Excerpt from: The Cantor -- A Unique Creation of Jewish Life, by Cantor Leib Glantz, 1947.
Music in itself is a religious miracle. It cannot be explained in words, neither it’s meaning nor its influence. For example, genuine musical audiences are in fact religious audiences, if not consciously, then certainly emotionally and instinctively. There is often religiosity in the heart even when the mind denies it and the most radically minded person is often intensely religious, although he is often unaware
  of it. The religious feeling that is created and that responds to Choch’mat Lev exists in many places and in many hearts and souls, for the "Wisdom of the Heart" may not be clearly defined but it is always rich and deep and reaches more people than the "Wisdom of the Mind." The Jewish prayer book brilliantly acknowledges the kinship between music and religiosity. It contains a remarkable daily prayer in which God is proclaimed as "the one who chooses music” (Ha’Bo’cher Be’Shi’rei Zim’ra). This description of God as a lover of music is based on many manifestations of Jewish religious expression that we find throughout Jewish history, from the days of the Bible through the ceremonial services in both Holy Temples in Jerusalem (A’vo’da), up to the early days of the synagogues of the Diaspora.
  Excerpt from: The Cantor -- A Unique Creation of Jewish Life, by Cantor Leib Glantz, 1947.
There is a new generation in Israel -- a generation that is not only neglecting, but rejecting one of our most sacred cultural heritages -- our original religious music – Cha’za’nut.
People of mediocre taste are actively depleting the stature of our traditional music. They are cultivating a fashion of cantorial recordings for the sole purpose
  of cheap entertainment. At the same time, our writers, poets, artists, intelligentsia as well as our religious scholars are becoming indifferent towards this great cultural asset.
  Some define themselves as “secular” -- careful not to be stigmatized, God forbid, with a trace of Judaism from the past. Religious scholars are engulfed in a peculiar snobbism, totally ignoring our popular original art.
  Should not this worry us? Can we afford to let this cultural treasure disintegrate before our eyes? Is it not our holy duty to wake up and struggle for our nation’s musical soul, especially in this historical period “When the Lord restores the fortunes of Zion”?
  Excerpt from: We Must Not Let Cha’za’nut Perish! by Leib Glantz, 1957.