“Chanting the Hebrew Bible, Second, Expanded Edition: The Art of Cantillation” by Dr. Joshua R. Jacobson— An Encyclopedic Book

Jacobson, Joshua R., Dr. “Chanting the Hebrew Bible, Second, Expanded Edition: The Art of Cantillation”, Jewish Publication Society, 2017.

An Encyclopedic Book

Amos Lassen

Joshua R. Jacobson has completely revised and updated his classic text on chanting the Hebrew Bible. He gives us the history of the ancient Jewish tradition of chanting the Bible and a comprehensive explanation of cantillation with all of its rules and regional variations. Jacobson takes us step-by-step as he analyzes how chanting dramatizes and interprets the meaning of the biblical text. He also gives us complete notation for the six musical systems of cantillation, a guide to Hebrew pronunciation and helpful hints for those who teach cantillation.

I have in the past chanted Torah and have always felt that it takes a lot of time and preparation to do so mainly because I have either never heard the reasons for a line to be chanted a certain way or just have not had the time to do so. My mind has been changed by this test since the former is so well explained and makes so much sense. We gain insight not only of the text but of the skills involved in chanting.

This is a text for everyone from beginning chanters to those who are advanced and chant all the time. It is the second edition of Dr. Jacobson’s classic text and it features a week-by-week guide to Torah, haftarah and megillot readings for Shabbat and holidays. It has useful new examples and exercises; a new comprehensive general subject index; a new, easy-to-read, clear Hebrew font; and a link to a new website with audio recordings and video lessons. Through cantillation we gain interpretation and understanding .


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