With the pain and terror in Israel and in our hearts, it is difficult to find a soundtrack besides the horror in the media. Our hearts are aching, and this heaviness, emotionally, is challenging. Many of you are asking what can you do and how can you help? Here are some organizations collecting funds that you can donate to now: kenesethisrael.org/israel
But, how can you help yourself- stay strong and keep your hope and fortitude going? Well, I made a soundtrack, a playlist that you can listen to on iTunes/AppleMusic (https://music.apple.com/us/playlist/love-and-hope-for-israel/pl.u-oZN6lIPvD0lB). These songs were written by composers in response to the war in Israel, they are prayers for Israel, and they are songs of hope and peace.
Like many artists, composers respond to tragedy with their art to deeper express pain and to also lift us up. Here is a recent composition, which premiered on Friday, October 23rd at Temple Israel in Michigan by Aaron Markovitz that expresses a need for us to take a stand and stand together.
Cantors, like me, all over the world are using music to bring us together and to hold each other in prayer and to stand together in unity. Last Shabbat we ended with Am Yisrael Chai!
This version of Am Yisrael Chai reminds us that the prayer for Jews all over the world (this is from the Abayudaya Jews of Uganda) stand as one. While that melody was upbeat and hopeful, cantors are also taking in the great pain we all feel and expressing it through their music. Cantor Azi Schwartz sings this “Shema” (Composer/Lyrics: Shmuel Elbaz/ Yossi Gispan) so beautifully.
I pray that the soundtrack of these songs, my playlist, and the prayers of our people give you great strength and fortitude in these challenging times.