Meir Finkelstein (b.1951)
Meir Finkelstein | L’dor Vador
Arranged for chorus by Joshua Jacobson (1999)
L’dor Vador falls in the central section of the central prayer of the Jewish liturgy. Observant Jews recite it in every day’s morning and afternoon services. It occurs in the Kedushah (holiness) section, which proclaims God’s sacred nature and the people’s ongoing bond with God. Worshipers stand during the Kedushah, as they would before a king. Shortly before L’dor Vador comes the verse from Isaiah familiar in the Latin Mass as the Sanctus.
During the recitation of L’dor Vador on Sabbath morning, the cantor and congregation join together in song, often with a call and response. The blend of soloist and group inspired this setting, with its accessible recurring melody. Modern Jews respond to the message of sacred communion and to the explicit linking of this generation to a chain stretching far into the past and continuing into the future.
Born in Israel and raised in England, Meir Finkelstein is well-known as an American composer of Jewish liturgical settings and has been active in television and popular music. When he was 14, he was appointed cantor for a small synagogue in Glasgow, Scotland, becoming the youngest cantor in all of Europe. At 18, he became cantor at one of the most prestigious synagogues in London, where he attended the Royal College of Music, earning a degree in voice, composition, and piano.
He moved to the United States in the late 1970s, first serving as cantor at a congregation in Wilmette, Illinois, and later at congregations in Los Angeles, Toronto, Southfield (Mich.), and Houston. His liturgical settings number more than 200, and his credits in popular media include scores for episodes of Dallas and Falcon Crest as well as producer and arranger credits on a number of albums.