ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:
It's by Debbie Friedman who died yesterday at age 59. This is a recording of Debbie Friedman, whose melodies have re-shaped the sound of Jewish worship in Reform, Conservative and Re-constructionist synagogues.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MI SHEBERACH")
DEBBIE FRIEDMAN: (Singing foreign language). May the source of strength who bless the ones before us help us find the courage to make our lives a blessing, and let us say amen.
SIEGEL: I interviewed Debbie Friedman on this program back in 1997, a few days before one of her Carnegie Hall concerts. I asked her about this prayer for healing that would have sounded so out of place in a Reform temple, say, 50 years ago.
FRIEDMAN: And I think that the greatest breakthrough that has happened in these past maybe 20, 25 years, is that those walls are crumbling, that people have found now that we need to be integrated human beings that both know and think and also feel.
SIEGEL: And for a generation of American Jews, the music that evoked feeling was often the music of Debbie Friedman. She died in Orange County, California, of complications from pneumonia.
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