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October 31, 2014 | 7th Cheshvan 5775

Adam Graubart, Congregation B'Nai Shalom, Westborough, MA

I just read on Facebook and confirmed with an online Jewish newspaper that Debbie Friedman has passed away this afternoon. She was hospitalized for a few days with pneumonia. I always wanted to meet Debbie Friedman. My hope was to have her be invited by my congregation for a Friday night service.

 Debbie Friedman was the queen of Jewish music. My rabbi would often sing her songs or just reference her musical genius. Although I never met the musical genius, I admire her. First of all, I just had a very mild case of pneumonia, so I guess I could say I have a lot sympathy for what she must have gone through. Secondly, I am a musician. Only a special woman like Ms. Friedman could sing, compose, and play instruments as she could. Finally, Debbie Friedman revived synagogue service life. A conservative synagogue will sing the traditional melodies, but Friedman's tunes make Reform Jews smile. We will miss the Jewish Mozart that was Debbie Friedman. Like Mozart, she could write piece a fter piece and each would sound wonderful. Just like Mozart, she died way too soon for her time.

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