Prayers and Melodies

by Steve Klaper

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We create music for many reasons, to serve many purposes. Sometimes we’re rockin’, sometimes we’re prayin’. As I approach creating music for worship, I try to remain aware of what my teachers have taught me -- that the music is a gift and, when it really works, I have the privilige of being a conduit to something greater. It’s not about clever progressions or key changes; the melodies and harmonies are pretty but they’re not the point. Above all, it’s not about me and it’s not about showcasing my songs as works of creative expression. It’s about getting out of the way and letting emotion create a channel through which spirit might flow unrestricted.

One of my teachers told me that, if I happen to create a melody that moves people to a higher place, a melody which actually might be an aid to someone’s spiritual growth, that the melody isn’t really mine -- it was meant to be here and it’s purely coincidental that I was the one who brought it to life. The lesson, for all composers, is “serve the purpose you’re meant to serve, and then get out of the way.”

I wish to thank the many teachers who have taught me so much about music, creativity, humility and about living in the moment 
with mindfulness and gratitude, especially Sifu Robert Brown, Debbie Friedman, Rabbi Dovid Zeller, Danny Maseng, Rabbi David Cooper and Cantor Ellen Dreskin.

May these prayers and melodies be of service.


released April 13, 2006

Steve Klaper : Vocals, guitars, percussion
Randy Leipnik: Keyboards

Simple guitar and piano arrangements of songs for worship, adult and kids choirs, song sessions and zimriyot, including several melodies written for Mishkan T’filah, the new prayer book of the Union for Reform Judaism.



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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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Track Name: Or Chadash
O the sun will not be your light by day 

nor the moon by night, 

but Adonai will be an everlasting light for you

And your God will be your glory and on that day, 

there will be neither bright light nor deep darkness

Or Chadash, or chadash al tzion ta’ir

Or chadash, shine a new light upon Zion

Or Chadash, or chadash al tzion ta’ir

V’nizke chulanu m’heira l’oro

It will be one day known as Adonai’s

Neither day nor night, 
but at evening there will be light

Baruch ata Adonai, yotseir ham’orot.
Track Name: Tikku Vachodesh Shofar
Tiku vachodesh shofar,

Bakeseh l’yom chageinu

Ki chok l’Yisraeil hu

Mishpat l’Elohei Ya’akov,
l’Elohei Ya’akov
Track Name: Nishmat Kol Chai
Nishmat kol chai, tivareich et shimcha,
Adonai Eloheinu, 
V’ruach kol basar t’fa’er utromeim,

Zichricha malkeinu tamid

Let every living soul, 
bless your name O Lord our God

and may everyone acclaim your majesty

forever and forever

Through all eternity, you are our God

there is no other,
Lord of all generations

may all people sing your praises
Track Name: Yihiyu L'ratzon
Y’hiyu l’ratzon imrei fi, 
v’hegyon libi lifanecha

Adonai, tzuri v’go’ali

May the words of my mouth,

And the meditations of my heart,

Be acceptable to you O God,

My Rock and my Redeemer
Track Name: Bei Ana Rachitz
Bei ana rachitz,

V’lishmei kadisha, yakira 

Ana amar, tushb’chan

In You I trust

And unto Your glorious holy name

May I offer up these words of praise
Track Name: Kol Yoshvei Tevel
Oseh shalom bimromav

Hu ya’aseh shalom aleinu

V’al kol Yisrael, v’al kol yoshvei tevel

V’imru amein
Track Name: Ein K'mocha
Ein komocha ba’elohim,

Adonai v’ein k’ma’asecha
Malechutcha malechut, kol olamim

Umemshalt’cha b’chol dor vador

Adonai melech, Adonai malach, 

Adonai yimloch l’olam va’ed

Adonai oz l’amo yitein, 

Adonai yivarech et amo vashalom
Track Name: B'yado
B’yado afkid ruchi, b’eit ishan, v’a’ira

V’im ruchi g’viyati, Adonai li, v’lo ira

Into Your hand, I place my soul,

When I sleep and when I wake,

And with my soul, I shall remain,

My God is near, I shall not fear...
Track Name: Holy One of Blessing
Holy One of Blessing

let this holy time draw us near to You

in life, in peace, in joy.
Find rest in our rest, holiness in our deeds,

worth in our study, our study of Torah.

Feed us Your love of goodness,

Quench our thirst for excess.

Wash clean our hearts 
that we may serve You well.

Oh in this holy time,

Yes, draw us nearer to You

in life, in peace, in joy.
Baruch ata Adonai, 

she’otcha l’vadcha, 
b’yirah na’avod.
Track Name: Nachamu Nachamu
Nachamu nachamu ami,

Yomar Eloheichem,

Nachamu nachamu

Dabru al leiv Yerushalayim, v’kiru eileha,

Ki malah tziva’a, Ki nirtzah avonah

V’niglah k’vod Adonai,

V’ra-u chol basar yachdav,

V’niglah k’vod Adonai, ki pi Adonai dibeir
Track Name: Adon Olam
Adon olam, asher malach

B’terem kol yetzir nivra

L’eit na’asa v’cheftzo kol

Azai melech shemo nikra

V’acharei kichlot hakol

l’va’ado yimloch nora

V’hu haya, v’hu hoveh

V’hu yih’yeh b’tifara

V’hu echad, v’ein sheini

L’hamshil lo, l’hachbira

B’Ii reishit, b’li tachlit

V’lo ha’oz v’hamisra

V’hu eili, v’chai go’ali, 

V’tzur chevli b’eit tzara

V’hu nisi umanos li, 

Minat kosi b’yom ekra

B’yado afkid ruchi,
b’eit ishan v’a’ira

V’im ruchi g’viyati,
Adonai li, v'lo ira
Track Name: Shomeir Yisrael
Shomeir Yisrael, Sh’mor sh’eirit Yisrael

V’al yovad Yisrael

Ha’omrim Shema Yisrael

Shomeir goy echad 
Sh’mor sh’eirit am echad

V’al yovad goy echad

Ham’yachadim shimcha Adonai Eloheinu

Ham’yachadim shimcha Adonai echad

Ha’omrim shema Yisrael, 
Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echad
Track Name: Ki Mitzion
Ki mitzion, teitzei Torah

ud’var Adonai m’Yirushalayim

Baruch shenatan Torah Torah

l’amo Yisrael bik’dushato

For out of Zion shall go forth the Torah

and the word of Adonai from Yirushalayim

Praised be the One 
who gives Torah to all Your people

Thank You for giving us the Torah
Track Name: Oseh Shalom
Oseh shalom bimromav

hoo ya’a-seh shalom, shalom aleinu

All around the world, it looks like 

People don’t know how to live together 

Everybody steppin on everybody

Just to get a piece of the pie;
If we could only see that 

We’re all part of one big glorious creation, 

If only we could hear the music, 

Maybe we could sing together, I seh...
Oseh shalom ...

Tell me bout the land you live in

Tell me where we all will be tomorrow,

Everybody’s got a vision, 

Everybody wants to be free,
Seems we haven’t come too far

Until you look way back 
to where we started,

If only we could face the future, 

Maybe we could sing together, I seh...
Oseh shalom ...
Track Name: V'shamru
V’shamru v’nei Yisrael et haShabbat,

La’asot et haShabbat,
l’dorotam birit olam
Beini, uvein b’nei Yisrael, ot hi l’olam

Ki sheishet yamim asa Adonai

Et hashamayim v’et ha’aretz
U’vayom hash’vi’i, shavat vayinafash
Track Name: Eil Chai V'kayam
Eil chai v’kayam, 
Tamid yimloch aleinu L’olam va’ed

Baruch ata Adonai Hama’ariv aravim

Creator of day and of night,

Rolling light from the darkness

And darkness from light,

May the Holy Eternal One Rule over all,

Praised be the One 
whose word Makes evening fall...
Track Name: Kadsheinu
Kad’sheinu b’mitzvotecha,

V’tein chelkeinu b’toratecha

Sabeinu m’tuvecha, 
V’samcheinu b’shuatecha

V’taher libeinu, l’avdecha b’emet

V’hanchileinu, Adonai Eloheinu, 

B’ahava uv’ratzon, Shabbat kodshecha

V’yanuchu va Yisrael, m’kadshei sh’mecha

Baruch ata Adonai, m’kadeish haShabbat
Track Name: Rome Nigun
written in a backyard in Rome, NY
Track Name: Yishtabach
Eil ho’odot, Adon hanifla’ot

Master of Wonders, Creater of all Souls

Yishtabach shimcha la’ad malkeinu

We praise the Creator of all song

Habocheir b’shirei zimra, 
Melech Eil, Eil chei ha’olamim

Eil ho-odot, Adon ha’nifla-ot

Borei kol hanshamot, Ribon kol hama’asim
Yishtabach shimcha la’ad malkeinu

We praise the Creator of all song

Habocheir b’shirei zimra 
Melech Eil, Eil chei ha’olamim
Track Name: Mi Chamocha
Mi chomocha, ba’eilim Adonai

Mi komocha nedar bakodesh

Nora t’hilot, oseh feleh

Nora t’hilot, oseh feleh

Mal’chut’cha ra’u vanecha, 
Bokeia yam lifnei Moshe,

Zeh eili anu v’amru
Adonai yimloch l’olam va-ed

Adonai yimloch l’olam va-ed

And God shall reign forever and forever
Track Name: El Maleh Rachamim
El malei rachamim, shochein bamromim

chamtzei m’nucha n’chona

tachat kanfei hash’chinah
B’ma’alot kiddoshim, ut’horim

k’zohar harakiah mazhirim
et nishmat { ___________ } 
she-halach l’olamo(ma)

b’gan eiden t’hei m’nuchato(…ta)

la-chein ba’al harachamim, 
b’seiter k’nafav l’olamim

v’yizror bitzror hachayim et nishmato(…ta)

Adonai hu nachalato(…ta)

v’yanuach (v’tanuach) al mishkavo(…va) b’shalom, 
v’nomar amein
Track Name: Av Harachamim
Av harachamim, 
heitiva vir’tzoncha et Tzion

Tivneh chomot Yerushalayim

Ki v’cha l’vad batachnu

Melech Eil ram v’nisa, Adon Olamim

Vayihi binsoah ha’aron, vayomeir Moshe,

Kuma Adonai v’yafutzu oivecha

V’yanusu m’sanecha mipanecha

Ki mitzion, teitzei Torah

ud’var Adonai m’Yirushalayim

Baruch shenatan, shenatan Torah

l’amo Yisrael bik’dushato