Cantor Matt Axelrod
Cantor Matt Axelrod has served Congregation Beth Israel of Scotch Plains, New Jersey, since 1990. He is a graduate of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America and a national officer of the Cantors Assembly. Cantor Axelrod is the author of "Surviving Your Bar/Bat Mitzvah: The Ultimate Insider's Guide," and "Your Guide to the Jewish Holidays: From Shofar to Seder." You can read his blog at mattaxelrod.com.
Articles by Cantor Matt Axelrod
Ein Kamocha: How to Hear Torah in the Modern Age
The prayer we recite when removing the Torah from the ark carries an important lesson about how to understand its ancient words across the expanse of time.
Mah Tovu: A Reminder of the Jewish Mission
The prophet Isaiah's vision of Israel as a light unto the nations is reflected in this essential Jewish prayer.
Jonah: The Apathetic Prophet
The real message of the story we read on Yom Kippur isn't about the power of repentance, but about taking responsibility for others.
Unetaneh Tokef: Do We Control our Fate?
The High Holiday prayer that asks us to consider our mortality is an urgent call to examine our lives.
Rosh Hashanah Musaf: A Call to Change Your Life
The Rosh Hashanah Musaf is the core of the service — and where we find its most iconic prayers and resonant themes.
A Modern State of Impurity
The Torah's discussion of the obscure condition called tzara'at tells us something profound about the human condition.
Birkot Hashachar: Giving Thanks Each Morning
This series of blessings are a beautiful expression of gratitude for the opportunity of experiencing another day.
The Majesty of Adon Olam
This poem, familiar to many worshippers as the closing hymn of the Shabbat service, conveys a complete framework for our relationship to God.
The Shema: A Model of Moral Development
The prayer's three paragraphs seem unrelated, but they lead us on the steps of a spiritual journey.
Kol Nidrei: The Power of Words
Why does the holiest day of the Jewish year begin with a dry legal formula renouncing vows?