Rex Isenberg - Hear O Israel (2019) first page only.jpg


choir (SATB with divisi), organ or piano

3 minutes 30 seconds

TEXT: Old Testament (Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Psalm 72:19, Numbers 15:40-41)

TRANSLATION: Gates of Prayer for Shabbat and Weekdays (alt. Rex Isenberg)


COMMISSION: Dr. Byron Adams

PREMIERE: February 24, 2019, The St. Thomas Choir and Dr. Jeffrey Parola, Organist and Choirmaster, St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal Church, Hollywood, CA

CONCERT NOTES: Hear, O Israel is an English-language setting of the Sh'ma and V'ahavta prayers from the Jewish tradition. Shared across Jewish and Christian litrugy, these Old Testament passages comprise the essential Jewish credo, recited by observant Jews in their daily prayer. The refrain "Hear, O Israel" ("Sh'ma Yisrael") is a proclamation of God's jurisdiction over the people Israel. The middle portion ("And you shall love...") is the V'Ahavta, a set of instructions for demonstrating your devotion to God by learning scripture and observing His Mitzvot (commandments). This text is presented in a joyous, triumphal setting in celebration of God's glory, suitable in Christian and Jewish contexts alike.