My relaxing spot ;)

I think everyone should have a place to relax, when they can. A place where you don’t worry about much, a place with nice scenery, and a place that is quiet.

Jericho, the oldest city in the world, the city of the moon, the lowest spot on earth, and my relaxing spot. There are many reasons to like the place including the weather, the history, religious spots, the fertility, the orange trees, and the quiet atmosphere. I will not say much more, but will leave you with a sample of the photos I took over the past few years there.

— Jack Rabah

Virtual Music… Interesting, but where is the buzz?

After listening to the performance of the virtual choir directed by Eric Whitacre, I was confused. From one side I enjoyed the performance and even felt an urge to join in and start clapping or making rain drop sounds, but from another side I was left high and dry 🙂

I believe that technology is doing a lot to bring us together and almost everyone is a skype call away, but when it comes to music and singing I am not sure it will cut it for me. Singing in a choir for me is a holistic experience and not just about sound. Feeling the vibrations, seeing my friends, looking into my conductor’s eyes, seeing his or her face expressions, and reading the body language of everyone there, even the audience, is all part of the choir singing experience.

Maybe I should trying singing in a virtual choice first, but I am kinda certain it won’t give me the buzz I’m looking for…

I know current technology, no matter how advanced, still has the delays which musicians can’t live with and can’t compensate for like Whitacre did in this piece. Can you imagine the Handel Messiah sung this way? I sure can’t! If you think otherwise, please share your thoughts below…

— Jack Rabah

The journey begins again …

Following the Eastern church calendar, yesterday marked the first day of Lent. As millions of Christians around the world prepare to celebrate Easter, most Christians in the Holly Land are just starting their journey with Lent.

Personally, this is my favorite time of the year. A time to reflect, and a time to enjoy simpler yet much more important things in life. Attending services at Church and chanting the most beautiful byzantine chants of the year is so soothing for the body and soul.

For the last couple of years, I got into the habit of posting a daily byzantine chant to our church group on facebook. This year I intend to continue with this ritual and take it as a chance to activate the blog I created a few years back and never used (http://palestinianchanter.wordpress.com/). I will try to review an album of byzantine chants every day during lent. I’m already one day behind, but hope to catch up later today 🙂

As I wish each one of you a peaceful day with friends and family, I leave you with the following set of photos I took at the Romanian Orthodox Church in Jericho. This church was built around the year 2000 and contains a main church, a smaller chapel, another underground church and cemetery for the nuns and priests, a hotel for Romanian tourists, and home for the nuns and priest who serve there. I keep going back to the church and every time I discover more of its beauty, especially the painted icons that cover every inch of its walls and ceiling. The photos below are of the main church, underground church, and the small chapel. Enjoy!

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— Jack Rabah

Thank You!

My dear friends & fellow bloggers:

Today marks the start of the 2nd month in the life of this blog. I never expected that I would enjoy or get so addicted to blogging in such a short time. WordPress has become my permanent 3rd tab in Chrome along with Gmail and Facebook  Every few hours I look at the Stats and look at the latest activity. Even though this is still an infant blog, I can experience first hand the global reach of blogging. I’m happy to say that I’ve had over 900 views this first month.

Please give me your feedback. I want to know what you like, what you enjoy, what you think I should drop? Feel free to comment below….

Finally, I would like to leave you with the TED speech that got me to start blogging:

Attitude, Awareness, & Authenticity!

Thank you all again!

–Jack Rabah

p.s. I received my copy of The Book of AWSOME a few days ago from Amazon 🙂