Shefa Gold

Rabbi, Composer, Spiritual Leader
1954 -

Shefa Gold is a Rabbi, composer, and spiritual leader in the liberal Jewish denominations in the USA. She was ordained as a Rabbi both at the Reconstructionist institution, and directly by Rabbi Zalman Schachter Shalomi, the founder of the Renewal Judaism movement. She lives and works mainly in New Mexico. 
As a part of the new age era in the US during the Seventies, Shefa Gold found a strong connection to Buddhism and wanted to bring some of its practices to Judaism. Gold combined the old practice of Hebrew chanting with ideas from Buddhism by using biblical verses as Mantras in order to achieve a deeply spiritual experience. She teaches Hebrew chanting at Kol Zimra, a formal training program in Jewish chant. She is also a leader and a teacher at ALEPH (Alliance for Jewish Renewal), and with her partner, she founded C-DEEP, Center for Devotional Energy & Ecstatic Practice. 
She is a composer of spiritual music and produced more than 10 albums. One of her famous melodies is for the biblical words Ozi V'zimrat Yah, (from psalms). The melody begins in a very similar interval as the Hymn Amazing Grace (the famous “new Britain” melody).

The beginnings of "Amazing Grace" and "Ozi  VeZimratya":

This melody exemplifies Gold's combination of diverse backgrounds.

Additional Sources:

Rabbi Shefa Gold official website: https://www.rabbishefagold.com/ 
Shefa Gold on Hebrew Chanting:
With shruti boxes and drums, practitioners chanting their way into Judaism

Shefa Gold in a conversation with Rabbi Rami Shapiro about combining her background in Judaism with Buddhist, Christian, Islamic, and Native American spiritual traditions: https://www.spiritualityhealth.com/articles/2013/07/24/rabbi-shefa-gold-giving-voice-sacred-texts 
From that, Gold's definition of chanting: the musical and rhythmic repetition of a sacred phrase from a holy text. “I found that if I focused in on one phrase, repeating it with a compelling melody, then that phrase could transport me to expansive heights and fathomless depths.”

Rabbi Shefa Gold Jewish Chanting Meditation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2jom_88GQE&ab_channel=GoldieMilgram 

About the craft of Hebrew chanting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XSpicYFRho0&ab_channel=jtanews

For information about ideas such as community, growing up in a jewish community, political changes, This PHD dissertation: Miria Kano, Storied Lives in a Living Tradition: Women Rabbis and Jewish Community in 21st Century New Mexico. The University of New Mexico, 2013. This dissertation revolves around a group of women rabbis and their experiences, between them Rabbi Shefa Gold.

On the participation of Shefa Gold in the Eshet Hazon ritual: Chava Weissler,‘Women of Vision’ in the Jewish Renewal Movement: The Eshet Hazon [‘Woman of Vision’] Ceremony. Jewish Culture and History 8.3 (2006): 62-86.‏

 

The picture was taken from reconstructingjudaism.org

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