Note: this interview was recorded before the holiday in Israel.
As the period of the High Holy Days begins, Arutz Sheva sat down with musician and educator Shlomo Katz, who is also a hazzan (cantor).
“These days are home turf for me,” he says. “I grew up in the home of a hazzan, I stood next to my father my whole life, and Baruch Hashem, for many years now I have been privileged to be a hazzan. So, for me, these days are more about swimming in the sea of the mahzor (High Holy Day prayer book), because there’s so much richness. The words are so much deeper than their simplicity.”
This time period, according to Katz, “is the most special time” of the year, particularly during the holiday of Sukkot, when all of Israel gathers together under one sukkah.
These days, Katz is working on a new album and, he says, “This is THE album, for me at least, because it’s the most personal and the most original. A number of my past albums were also original, but I never wrote words before. I never wrote in Hebrew. I’ve been here since the age of 9. I had a really special experience where I was on the plane on the way to a concert in South Africa. There was no cellphone reception and I had this quieting of the mind and an awakening of the heart.”
Writing in Hebrew, according to Katz, “is something else. I don’t know what I’m getting to. I really don’t. But if it’s getting into self-expression and the renewal of self-expression, there can’t be anything wrong with that.”
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Rosh Hashanah in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)