Yesterday I officiated at the wedding of the daughter of a musician friend. The music was beautiful and I learned of a new genre of Jewish wedding music. Just when I thought I had a pretty good handle on what I do for a living, I discovered a totally new text with many musical settings. I spent some time today educating myself on you tube.
"Mee ban see-ach" is a mediaval liturgical poem ('piyut') based on a an ancient Midrash on the Biblical Song of Solomon. I prefer this translation:
The One who comprehends the rose among the thorns
The love of (or for) the bride, the joy of the betrothed -
May He bless the bride and groom!
Either way, it's a beautiful text and it echoes the traditional opening lines of the Jewish wedding ceremony: Mi Adir . Mi Ban Se-ach has become a song of praise for the bride and is popular in Orthodox ceremonies. I found several musical settings on you tube. I liked this one best. I suspect that the melody and arrangement were originally Christian rock, or, that it could make that crossover very easily - but then again, what's new. and here's another a capella arrangement. As my Jewish music professor, ELi Schleiffer taught me - there is no such thing as Jewish music. We are always taking - and some times influencing - the religious music of our neighbors.