Rabbi David is a skilled music director and composer who brings years of musicianship to bear on his rabbinic work.
Creative / contemporary settings
Esther 2021: From Darkness to Light
Purim retold, weaving tradition’s Book of Esther with actual transcripts from modern politics and news events ripped from the headlines. Join Rabbi David Markus and Bayit for this audiovisual remix of Purim’s timeless journey of empowerment and transformation from hate to joy and darkness to light. (A list of sources, and PDF of text marked up with cantillation / trope, can be found here at Builders Blog.)
Originally published here at Bayit. (February 2021.)
Isaiah 58 + Sounds of Silence for Yom Kippur
Originally published here at Bayit. (September 2018)
In response to a request on the Dreaming Up High Holidays 2020 Facebook group, R. Shafir Lobb turned the text of R. David’s haftarah into a video suitable for screenshare during this pandemic year:
Two poems for Rosh Hashanah Day 2
Originally published at Bayit. (August 2018)
Mary Oliver – Invitation
Mary Oliver (Invitation) [pdf]
Stanley Kunitz – The Layers
The Layers [pdf]
Chanah in poetry and trope
A contemporary poem by Rabbi Rachel Barenblat and Rabbi David Markus, set to haftarah trope by R. David Markus, originally published at Bayit. (August 2018)
Chanah poem with trope [pdf]
Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech
Set to trope by R. David for MLK weekend 2018, also published at Bayit and at OpenSiddur.
You can download an annotated PDF of the speech marked-up in haftarah trope here.
Nevertheless, She Persisted
Set to trope by R. David Markus for Purim / Women’s History Month 2018, also published at Bayit.
This trope mash-up of Esther and the 2/7/2017 Congressional Record (“nevertheless she persisted” silencing of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren) commemorates Purim and Women’s History Month at a time when society especially needs brave truth tellers to hold back the tide of hate.
Purim affirms Esther’s stand against official silencing, abuse of power, misogyny and anti-Semitism. At first an outsider, Queen Esther used her insider power to reveal and thwart official hatred that threatened Jewish life and safety. We celebrate one woman’s courageous cunning to right grievous wrongs within corrupt systems.
The archetype of heroic woman standing against hatred continues to call out every society still wrestling with official misogyny, power abuses and silencing. For every official silencing and every threat to equality and freedom, may we all live the lesson of Esther and all who stand in her shoes: “Nevertheless, she persisted.”