Kadesh Urchatz from the Jews of Calcutta

I was fortunate enough to receive some excellent books of Jewish music from the late, Velvel Pasternack.  For more on this knowledgeable and influential musicologist, please see my blog from July 2019.

There were books he gave me of Sephardic music, Hassidic music, and others.  I perused these and found many songs containing the same liturgy but different melodies, depending on which communities the songs came from.  Not so surprising, considering the vast Jewish diaspora.

The holiday of Pesach (Passover) was approaching and I began searching for some good songs for that holiday as I am frequently called to lead musical seders.  "Kadesh Urchatz" is the seder, itself, the order of things in that ritual meal and "seder" means order.  I found a few different versions but the one that caught my attention was the "Kadesh Urchatz" from the Jews of Calcutta.  It flowed beautifully and set the seder up in a way that felt ideal for a symposium.  I took a few liberties with the melody and chords but did my best to remain faithful to the essence of it.

For Pesach Sheni (second Passover) on zoom, in addition to having several, talented guests do what they do, I played a few tunes having to do with the Pesach.  One of them was "Kadesh Urchatz."  So many people wrote in about it that I decided to play it again by itself and here is my video of it from home.  It is my way of extending my hand to the Jews of Calcutta from this Jew of the Ashkenaz.



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