She posted something today that I thought all of you should know about. Laura was trying out BBYO’s BuildAPrayer thinger (which I covered here) when she stumbled across something to something so unexpectedly odious that it made me choke on my sandwich when I read it:
They had all different kind of things you could put in there. I clicked on “Traditional” rather than “Pluralistic” (which really just means “add the Imahot and take out most of Pesukei de Zimra”, which I think isn’t what pluralistic actually means), and there is a gigantic list of prayers.
See if you can spot the thing that’s not like the others.
I don’t know how it got in there, but apparently Debbie Friedman is now essential repertoire for even the “Traditional” service. Note, though that it’s one of the few that’s not “recommended”.
I disagree with one element of Laura’s conclusion to this bizarre liturgical tale. She writes, “What other folk song is considered ‘traditional’ material?” If Laura meant, “What other American guitar folk song is considered ‘traditional’ material?” I might let her off the hook. But it is far from the only songs in the liturgy that originated as a folk song.
I’m suggesting that plenty of our liturgy that we consider piyyutim originated as folks songs. (Not to mention the many German drinking melodies we make regular use of.) At the very least, songs like “Chad Gadya” can certainly be described as traditional inclusions in the haggadah.
However, I agree with Laura’s final statement on the subject:
This is crazy. My world is turning upside down.