Archive for January, 2014

Return To Modern North America Mix

January 24th, 2014 | The Mix | 1 Comment

Well, that’s it: I’m done with the army. Got an honorary release and all and now I’m back home in Toronto. This blog is no longer Tel Aviv-based.

It feels weird to be back – what’s with all this snow? Everyone speaks English! We’re all wearing big, puffy jackets and people actually listen to good music – well, some people… And there’s video game stores on every corner! Ah, it is good to be back…but it does feel strange. I got so used to Israel.

On my way here I got stuck in New York due to snow, so I got to go around Manhattan for a couple hours before coming back. I was so happy – I love New York and will likely be going to law school there in the fall. And so my return was not only to Canada but to North America in general – Mexico doesn’t count 馃槢 – and it was glorious. Here’s a mix to reflect my happiness at being back here, with all that is great and even not so great about this continent.

[Bit of a funny story: while I was in the army there were aspects of Israeli culture that really drove me nuts and I would sing “North American Scum” but change it to like, “Where the girls aren’t totally insane – back in NORTH A-MERICA! doo doo doo doo, do do do…” I had some Israeli friends who joined in on this also cuz they thought it was entertaining. Of course, none of them knew the actual song.]

Return To Modern North America from 1651800057 on 8tracks Radio.

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January 17th, 2014 | Features | 0 Comments

Today I was cleaning out the papers in my room on the kibbutz and I found the lyrics to this song we heard when I was at Michve Alon, at the beginning of my service. It’s a song called “Journey To Israel” by Israeli songwriter Shlomo Gronich performed by the Sheba Choir, which is made up of Ethiopian-Israelis. It’s called the Sheba Choir because one of the traditions of the Ethiopian-Jews is that they are descendants of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, who, according to the bible, came to visit him and see his kingdom. Tradition holds that in between the written lines in the Torah, Solomon – a known ladies man with something like 1000 wives – hooked up with her and they had a child who would found Ethiopian Jewry. Scholarly research goes against this tradition, but hey, it’s still a great story.

The song above is a touching account of a mother and her sons enduring a treacherous march on their way to Israel. The song reflects the experience of many Ethiopian-Israelis: while thousands of Ethiopian Jews were airlifted to Israel in the 80s and 90s by the Israeli and American governments, many also set out on foot to the holy land and survived numerous difficulties along the way. Below are the lyrics. Admittedly the song can get a little cheesy sounding, but I still think it has a great melody and its tale and the way it’s told are really moving and tragic.

The moon is watching from above
On my back is a light bag of food
The desert beneath me has no end ahead

And my mother promises my little brothers
“A little more, a little more
lift up your legs, a last push
towards Jerusalem”

The moonlight stood fast
Our bag of food was lost.
The endless desert
Cries of jackals

And my mother comforts my little brothers
“A little bit more, a little more
soon we’ll be redeemed
we won’t stop going
to the land of Israel”

And at night bandits attacked
With a knife and a sharp sword
In the desert, the blood of my mother

The moon is my witness and I promise my brothers
“A little bit more, a little more
The dream will be fulfilled
Soon we will arrive in the land of Israel.”

In the moon the image of my mother looks at me
Mother doesn’t disappear
If only she were by my side
she would be able to convince them
that I am a Jew.