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about

Kavanah is Intention. It is the seed of every mitzvah, the cry behind every prayer.

Kavanah is what takes a routine act and makes it sacred. Kavanah is the intention that transforms habit into ritual. I’ve spent the past eleven months saying kaddish for my father – and I’ve discovered something. It’s not the words we say nor the regularity with which we say them; it’s not how fast we davven nor in what language; it’s not the depth at which we can meditate and it’s not the journey nor even the way we treat our fellow travellers. To behave ethically, morally; to treat your fellow humans and the environment with kindness and care may make you a mensch, but it’s the intention behind your behavior that determines the degree to which your own soul will grow.

“Everything is in the hands of God except reverence for God.” (Berachos 33b) 
What this means is that our intentions are critical. The only thing that is not determined by divine grace is what we choose to focus on. “Y’hei sh’mei rabba m’varach, l’alam ul’almei almaya.” May God’s great name be blessed forever and ever. If that’s our focus, if our intention is to praise God’s name and live for something greater than our own egos, then every mundane thing we do is more than what it seems. Then we will accomplish that which we are each meant to accomplish.

These songs are my kavanot, my intentions. I offer them for their own sake; in memory of my father, Mordechai ben Avraham Mendel; and in gratitude to my family – my brothers, my sister, my mother, my kids, and mostly, my wife, Mary, whose presence in my life makes all of this possible.

credits

released April 27, 2002

Steve Klaper:
Guitars, vocals, 
harmonica, charango
Caitlin M.G. Klaper: 
Vocals
Judy Lewis: Vocals
Phyllis Miller: Vocals
Larry Shlom: 
Bass guitar
Dan Kolton: 
Bass, cello
Randy Leipnik: Keyboards
Paul Vornhagen: 
Tenor & soprano sax, 
flutes
Nikki Puroff: Violin
Jamie Rusling: Percussion

Produced by Randy Leipnik at Semper, Oak Park, MI

© 2002 Steve Klaper/Ashira Music (BMI)


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Jewish Troubadour Oak Park, Michigan

Hazzan Steve Klaper is a Jewish troubadour -- a spiritual storyteller, minstrel and teacher. An ordained Cantor, Maggid and teacher of Torah, Steve draws upon his Orthodox Jewish roots and over 40 years experience as a professional musician, infusing traditional Jewish teachings with melodies, sacred tales and wisdom from a variety of traditions -- ancient teachings that feel somehow familiar. ... more

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