Lord's Song in a Strange Land

Lord's Song in a Strange Land

Winner of the 2000 Musher Publication Prize by the National Foundation for Jewish Culture

Across the United States, Jews come together every week to sing and pray in a wide variety of worship communities. Through this music, made by and for ordinary folk, these worshippers define and re-define their relationship to the continuity of Jewish tradition and the realities of American life.

Combining oral history with an analysis of recordings, The Lord's Song in a Strange Land examines this tradition in contemporary Jewish worship and explores the diverse links between the music and both spiritual and cultural identities. Alive with detail, the book focuses on metropolitan Boston and covers the full range of Jewish communities there, from Hasidim to Jewish college students in a transdenominational setting. It documents a remarkably fluid musical tradition, where melodies are often shared, where sources can be as diverse as Sufi chant, Christmas carols, rock and roll, and Israeli popular music, and where the meaning of a song can change from one block to the next.

"Jeffrey Summit's well-researched book is a superb way of understanding what keeps Jewish communities inspired and motivated."--Elie Wiesel

"Rabbit Summit's skillful weaving of anecdotal and historical reference into the fabric of each service makes this volume idea for any serious Introduction to Judaism course."-- Moment

Jeffrey A. Summit is Associate Professor of Music at Tufts University where he also serves as Rabbi and Executive Director of Tufts Hillel Foundation. His recording "Abayudaya: Music From the Jewish People of Uganda" (Smithsonian Folkways Recordings) was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of Traditional World Music.

Audio Files

The following audio files are from Lord's Song in a Strange Land by Jeffrey Summit.

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