From the Rabbi:
In Parashat Lech Lecha, after Avraham separates himself from Lot, God tells him:
"Raise your eyes and look from the place where you are, to the north, to the south, to the east and to the west. For all the land that you see I give to you and to your descendents forever..." (Bereishit 13:14-15)
The Hebrew words to this latter verse “Ki et kol ha’aretz asher ata roeh, lecha etnena u’lezaracha ad olam” were made famous in the song “Lecha eten et Ha’aretz Hazot” sung by Dedi Graucher z”l to the tune by Mona Rosenblum. The song quotes the original words from the Torah in order to show that the land promised to Avraham belongs to his descendants forever. Click HERE to listen.
This song became particularly popular during the Oslo accords and is still popular among religious Zionists.
The famed singer, Dedi, had many other songs connected to the Land of Israel. Dedi was also known for his acts of chesed (lovingkindness). He helped raise money for organizations that help kids with special needs and kids with cancer and he was always happy to sing at hospitals and for different charities.
Dedi passed away last month but his songs remain popular. Dedi’s emphasis on the Jewish people’s connection to the Land of Israel continues to resonate with Jews throughout the world.
The legacy of great music combined with chesed continues in Israel. During this current war, some of Israel's most famous singers have come forward to encourage and uplift our soldiers, injured civilians and the people of Israel. Hanan ben Ari, one of Israel's top singers, has stepped up to the plate in so many ways, doing concerts for Zaka workers, singing Kabbalat Shabbat songs at hospitals, performing at small impromptu weddings free of charge and even singing at soldiers funerals. He has brought so much joy and light to so many people during this time of darkness. HERE is one of his popular songs about caring for our children which has become an unofficial anthem of the current war (translated lyics HERE).
The popular Israeli singer, Yishai Ribo, who recently sold out Madison Square Garden went down to an army base in the south to entertain the soldiers and build up their morale by singing “Am Yisrael Chai” -- “The Jewish Nation is Alive.” He also encouraged haredim to volunteer in helping the war effort (thousands of whom have volunteered)
Last week, Noa Kirel, who performed on behalf of Israel at the Eurovision Song Festival, helped the Friends of the IDF raise almost $30 million, which will go to buy ambulances and mobile operating rooms. She recently sang Hatikva while draped in an Israeli flag at the Brooklyn Nets vs. Maccabi Ra’anana game in Brooklyn, NY.
As we read this week’s parasha, may we be reminded of the Jewish people’s claim to our homeland and the countless beautiful songs that keep us connected to the land and people of Israel.
Bonus songs: Here's a powerful song released following the recent tragedy, One Nation - Click HERE.