The congregation's voice before God
As cantor on Yom Kippur, a Duke professor unites spiritual life and lifelong love
Yonat Shimron, Staff Writer
For nearly four decades, Duke University professor Eric Meyers has been known best as an archaeologist and teacher. But his passion is singing, and on the Jewish High Holiday he serves in the rarefied role of a cantor.
His commanding lyric baritone will fill the sanctuary tonight to mark the beginning of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, considered the holiest day of the Jewish year.
For Meyers, 67, the work of the cantor, or musical prayer leader, is not so much a sideline as a lifelong love. From the time he was 8, growing up in Norwich, Conn., Meyers has been singing -- first in his childhood synagogue's choir, and later in pulpits in Massachusetts and New York, and in concert halls across the Triangle. Through singing, he said, he has been able to connect with a spiritual side -- one his academic work can't fully touch.
"Music keeps one human," Meyers said. "It's a totally different experience in the brain and heart. It takes you to a different place." . . . .