A prayer dedicated to “our brethren… who remain in distress and captivity”, has accompanied the Jewish nation since the ninth century. It was sung during WWI, at Hasidic music festivals, and just recently at a spontaneous gathering of soldiers in a darkened house in Gaza, after they had lost two of their beloved commanders
Throughout Israeli history, music has been utilized to calm the chaos of war and make sense of tragedy. When words can’t quite get it right, music often can. As we deep-dive into four of Israel’s most famous wartime tunes, we can start to understand why music is just so important to our dear country, especially during dark days such as these.
As Yom Kippur draws to a close, a nostalgic tune is sung in Ashkenazi synagogues around the world. While many Jews recognize this tune, most do not know that it was actually composed for Napoleon Bonaparte himself. So how did a Napoleonic marching tune make its way into our neilah prayer service?
“If only you had seen, O my sisters! What I experienced during childbirth” – These songs sung by Yemenite Jewish women helped them regain their silenced voices, by directly addressing the difficulties of childbirth and life in a patriarchal society
Yusuf Za’arur was a talented musician and expert qanun player who served for many years as the musical director of the Radio Baghdad Orchestra. When he immigrated to Israel, he had to fight for recognition, but his great talent led him to renewed success in Israel as well
A tour through the Bella and Harry Wexner Libraries of Sound and Song – Legacy Heritage Foundation at the National Library of Israel reveals the biblical Song of Songs is ever-present in contemporary Israeli music
Years after Zalman Pollack was a star of the Jewish world, his life’s work was rediscovered…
When celebrated African-American Yiddish soloist Thomas Larue crossed the Atlantic, he didn’t know what was in store…
Tunes from his childhood accompanied Yitzchak Freilich through the camps and on to his new life in America. Recorded by his son, they are now online as part of the National Library of Israel collection
Letters from Edith Gerson-Kiwi, the Grande Dame of Israeli musicology, reveal particular and universal truths about the ‘age-old capital of the world’