What is a Crypto-Jew?

One of the groups that results after the inquisition were those who existed outwardly as Christians but practiced Judaism in secret.   The other groups were those Jews who held fast to their faith and religious practice and those Jews who totally converted to Christianity and were absorbed by Christian society.

There are many crypto-Jews in southwest United States, in states such as Texas and New Mexico.  Many were raised as Christians, but they keep century-old customs tied their Jewish roots.  For example, they might light two candles every Friday night, they might cover the mirrors in the house after a funeral, or they might have certain practices regarding to salting or eating meat.

Many people find out about their Jewish ancestry later in life, often when a parent or grandparent dies.  Then all of a sudden, they want to learn about this other life.

There are various groups and leader that help people through this process. One is Chavurah Zohar Yisrael of Dallas and the B’nei Anasum, an educational organization that provides lectures and guest speakers.  The Chavurah is a group that hold traditional prayer services and meets in the Rabbi’s home approximately twice a month for Sabbath services, along most of the major Jewish holidays.


Idan Meyer – Hebrew Chants (Kirtan)

It was next to impossible to find any detailed biographical information on Idan Meyer.  Based on his music, he appears to have studied in India where he learned Indian chants and Kirtan style music, which he then sometimes applies to Hebrew.  Meyer is a very common Jewish last name, so it’s quite possible he has a Jewish background or ancestry.

According to this site:

Early in his life, the music of India provided a strong and rich influence on his musical knowledge. More recently, Idan has gone back even further to the land and roots of his musical birthright: a new musical exploration from his own tradition–the jewish tradition–infused with an eclectic eastern sound.

Idan’s passion brings a new life to these ancient, sacred texts.

Idan is also listed as an instructor at the “Ra Yoga – Breathe in Light” yoga studio in Orange County, California.

You can find his music on YouTube, SoundCloud, and ITunes.  His active Facebook site is: https://www.facebook.com/Idanmeyermusic, and says he lives in Los Angeles.  His family members are listed with the last name of Hameri.

SoundCloud includes two instrumental songs, “A Trail of Your France”, and “The Treasure in Your Heart”, which are very nice “World Music”, but don’t sound like chants at all.  That site also includes the album – “Songs of the Spirit”, which is clearly more Indian chant based, because chants includes words like “Shiva Shankara”, “Narayani Om”, and so on.  ITunes includes only the “Songs of the Spirit” album.

You might want to learn to read Hebrew before attempting any Hebrew chanting.  The Hebrew alphabet consists of only 22 consonants (four of which are gutterals, and two of those are practical silent in modern Hebrew).  The HebrewGarden.com site teaches the letters, along with some Hebrew chants from traditional Jewish liturgy.

On December 30th, 2016 he presented “A Night of Hebrew Chants” in conjunction with a Hanukkah Celebration in Bhakti Yoga Shala, Santa Monica, California.  The only other event I could find was October 14, 2015, “A Healing Music Journey” – Changing, Singing, and Soudn Bathing with Idan Meyer and Gabriel Logan Braun with occured in Venice, California.

Sample Hebrew Kirtan Videos

Kadosh Kadosh Kadosh

When Miryam (Miriam), the sister of Moses got was afflicted with leprosy, Moses simply prayed 5 words: EL NA REFA NA LA, and she was healed.  Many people today use this as a Hebraic formula for healing, based on the Jewish Bible (Torah). In the video below, Idan Meyer plays with “The Qadim Ensemble“.

Light – hebrew Mantra by Idan Meyer and Tina Malia

Kirtan, what is it and why should look forward to practicing it?

kirtan_group_scottlandshantiIn the Hindu society, there are many ancient practices which are applied in the modern settings for holistic healing and also an alternative medicine. Kirtan is also one of such practices and for your information; the practice is very popular and is practiced by many people throughout the world. In Sanskrit, Kirtan is a word which can loosely translate as the “practice of reciting, narrating, describing or telling an idea about a story.” In a religious context, Kirtan is applied for the intentions of gaining some form healing. An individual performing Kirtan is referred to as a kirtankar, and the performance of this religious tune is usually accompanied by the use of popular musical instruments such as the veena, tabla, flute and the harmonium. The melodies from these songs and the accompanying storytelling aspect of Kirtan do evoke positive emotions from the participants, and this is seen as what brings out the healing aspect.

From the melodies, it is possible to create a holistic healing channel which gives way to the negative emotional feelings to escape the person performing the Kirtan. Consequently, all that is left is a mind free from thoughts which would otherwise lead to negative emotions, and that is how the healing devotion of Kirtan arrives. Many persons who tried this rite have found it to be very interesting. Reason being is that is possible to accompany the storytelling aspect with some acting which can cover mythical, religious on social causes. The meaning here is that Kirtan can be applied to many issues that affect many people in the society and lead to awareness among the people performing the rite. The recitations of storytelling concept in Kirtan can follow a dialogue-style as seen in dramas, and with this, Kirtan is an exceptional religious ritual since it eliminates chances of being bored as it is with many other meditation rituals.

In many societies all over the world, music forms an integral part of people’s day to day living. Consequently, a new wave of debate has been emerging whether it can be right to classify the many hymns from different communities from various parts of the world as forms of Kirtan. Perhaps it would be difficult to give a precise response to these kinds of questions. However, one thing for sure is that Kirtan is distinct from other religious hymns given it is performed in a unique way and has an ancient root which makes it further different. Describing Kirtan in a special way is that its performers do direct the hymn glorifications to Krishna, a Hindu deity, for the intentions of having positive energy flowing onto the Kirtan performers, removing life path obstacles and reinforcing the center being of human life.

Benefiting from the holistic healing power of the Kirtan recitations require total devotion. Participants are required to be present both in the mind as well as with their physical presence. Through this kind of mental immersion, the Kirtan songs and recitations will take their actions and transform and individual’s mind, energy and spirit in a healing manner. Anybody may participate in this form of meditation as Kirtan always aims at bringing people together for the common good of achieving wellness. Men and women of any age can take part in the energy-filled recitations, and some change is always guaranteed provided enough devotion is there. From this, we can learn that Kirtan chants are recommended for persons who may be having a difficult time going through some things in their lives. Still, it is okay for anyone to participate in Kirtan chants as the final objective is always to elevate an individual’s wellbeing.

It has been over 500 years since Kirtan made its way out of India to other parts of the world. Its universal application means that many cultures all over the world are embracing the meditation strings of Kirtan have proven successful in bring people together and glorifying them with positive energy. In Judaism culture, Kirtan too has found its way, and its many elements can be felt in the Hebrew language. Many prayer chants in Hebrew do take Kirtan forms of recitations, and the outcome is that people find it more captivating to connect with their inner soul. The same also applies when making religious musical chants in Judaism. Strings of music, clapping and the devotional dancing as seen in the Kirtan performers is evident in any Hebrew religious activity. Kirtan in Hebrew is seen as a glorified way to welcome people to sing and recognize the presence in a powerful way which in the end ensures that anybody present gets to be positively transformed.

Getting healed from any meditation rite requires extensive immersion. Kirtan is no exception. However, the good aspect about is that it is fun to participate in Kirtan chants, and recitations and one thing for sure are that a person will feel transformed. It is also very simple to practice. Any movements involved are not in any mystic, and in case you don’t get the chants right, mumbling is still allowed and is very okay. Other meditation rites are limiting in that they can limit your participation. Kirtan is different. You can get your friends or family and participate in performing the rite as much as you would wish. If you want a meditation form that can calm your mind in an energetic way, then you should better opt to Kirtan citations as they are magical in their holistic healing.

Many people all over the world are inquiring and embracing Kirtan. The urge to join it is just irresistible and the reason for this is that it delivers on its promised holistic healing. The sounds from the chants, musical strings, clapping, dancing, and the many activities involved invoke a mysterious feeling that brings different people together and makes them forget about the bad things that may be happening in their lives. If you are planning to free your life from all the distractions and personally feel better, that is possible provided you follow the magical musical strings of the Kirtan recitations.

Now, what happens when you mix Hebrew and Judaism with Kirtan, you get something like the “Kirtan Rabbi“, as shown in this video below:


The Holiness of the Hebrew Language

hebrew_holiness_ana_bekkoachYou don’t learn the Hebrew language merely because it is the language of the Bible and therefore deemed sacred. If that is your reason for learning the language, then it takes one person to be religious and be familiar with the Holy Bible for him to study the Hebrew language.

There are fine reasons to learn the language, and one of them is the study of a centuries-old religion and the greatest book of all time The Holy Bible. It’s true that you might be lost in translation as there have been many versions of the original Holy Bible. Some if not most of these versions have not given justice to the original meaning of the words. The Hebrew language particularly the original one is based on an actual definition or what is called literal definition which is a far cry from the image based definition that are taught to us by the Greco-Roman concept of learning modern languages.

However, anyone’s interest might be heightened by extensive knowledge on the Hebrew history, heritage, and culture. The most interesting thing about understanding their language is that it leads you deeper into a wide range of information on anthropology. It is said that there are many ancient tools, ancient texts, and inscriptions that would make you understand more the language, the Bible, and the culture, in the past and the recent.

Nonetheless, being able to understand fully the book of all time that is believed by millions of people of various religious denominations is quite a success in its right already. Not only will it inspire people to do something or believe in something; it also gives you the means to direct your life in a way that’s transformative. Many people big or small regarding social status have anchored their beliefs and principles in Christianity and religion which for the most part would be more understandable to many when the Bible is read in its original language: the Hebrew language.

There are several reasons for you to be inspired by the Jewish people. Being a nomadic people of the near east, the culture that they perpetuated and the language they speak are intertwined. For an adventurer at heart, you would find it a pleasure reading Hebrew literature, not just The Bible, when you know that every Hebrew word is defined by an action taken in the nomadic journeys of the Hebrew people in the wilderness.

The Bible has so many modern translations that most of them have lost the original meaning that can be found in the Bible with the original Hebrew language. It is said that the modern languages all have the Greco-Roman perspective where words are abstract.

The original Hebrew language, however, is a language that is based on concrete action and not profound meaning. When you say Angry in English, it means a lot of things. It can be passive anger, a violent attack, a verbal reprimand and much more but for the Hebrews, it only means one thing: the flaring of the nostrils
in anger.

Another big difference between the modern language and the original Hebrew language is that of function. The modern world says the ark is large, and it gives the modern man a whole lot of images in the mind. However, the original Hebrew language would give you the size and the dimension that tells you of its functions.

In recent years, there are many opportunities that await those who are willing to gamble or take risks. These people are required to make themselves better as well. Often they have to acculturate themselves or learn the basic etiquette at least of a different culture. Other times they have to learn a second language to survive, to communicate better, or to build a career.

The Hebrew language is not an exemption. It is one of the languages that have to be learned, primarily because it is an official language of one of the powerful countries in the world-Israel. It is also the language that unifies Jews from all over the world. In fact being that is the most important reason why Hebrew came to be. And you know how Jews are. Many of the most stable companies in the world
are owned by Jews.

If you have religious endeavors as well, or you are a scholar who is tasked to study the language, you would find it a need to study Hebrew. Perhaps the best thing that you can have when you know the Hebrew language is that you would be able to understand the original language in which the Holy Bible was written. By then you would be able to understand the Catholic Religion which is one of the widely practiced religions all over the world and the most influential as well.

It might surprise you to know that the Hebrew language thrives in actual word definition in contrast to the concept of imagery that the Greco-Roman system that is taught to us from birth. To explain this further, let’s take as an example the word anger. In the modern language, it would mean many things: a violent attack, verbal assault, an insult, or a heated argument. In Hebrew, it means flaring nostrils due to anger. Now you see my point. The Bible didn’t say how big was Noah’s Ark. The size of the ark was told, the dimensions, that is. This is because the second aspect of the Hebrew language that you should be aware of is a function. The
description of the ark was given to elucidate its function.

Before the Hebrew language was only limited to literature and liturgical materials. It was only in the nineteenth century with the persistent efforts of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda who studied the language since birth that it started being used as a spoken language.
In fact, until today there are still groups that think of it as blasphemy to use it as an everyday language.

However, the language continues to be the language being used in most Jewish communities, and it is also the language that is used by the Ottoman and the British Palestine.

So there you go. You have all the reasons to study the Hebrew language when you are given the chance to do so. The best means to do so is with the use of the Pimsleur language audio programs that are available at The Talking Book Store. In this manner of learning it, you don’t have to find a language trainer. You can learn the language even while waiting in rush hour traffic.