I am a Jew

Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0

Have you ever been to Israel and been surprised by how divided the country can sometimes appear to be? There are so many differences: religious and secular. Ashkenazi and Sephardi. Right wing and Left wing. Chassidic and non Chassidic. Rich and Poor. It’s hard not to wonder if we Jews are more different than we are the same.

Even in the Diaspora, our natural instinct is often to label people: orthodox, reform, conservative. When we think about how much divides us, it’s easy to get depressed and despondent. After all, what could we possibly do to help the situation?

We might be right to think we couldn’t do anything. But that’s not what Professor Linda Allen thought.

Allen, a Professor of Finance at New York University realized that there was one common bond that unites us that cannot be broken: we are all Jews. Further, Allen wanted to connect with people using a vehicle that speaks to everyone: music.

She knew that she found the right song when she heard Schlock Rock’s Lenny Solomon perform his original song Ani Yehudi (I am a Jew) as she said it was the “best Jewish unity song ever written.” So Allen along with her husband, Elliot, and her brother and sister-in-law, Dr. Alan and Karen Mazurek got the idea to make a song that adapted Solomon’s lyrics and drew from a large cross section of Israeli recording artists in a “we are the world” style collaboration, and they agreed to bankroll the production.

As if by Divine intervention, the pieces began to fall together quickly. Solomon signed on Kobi Oz, formerly of Teapacks, to produce the project who then secured popular Israeli artists such as Yirmi Kaplan, Lior Almaliach, Yehuda Katz, Roi Levi, Gilad Vital and Gadi Altman, as well as hip-hop artists Fishi HaGadol and Aksom.

via aish.com

Lyrics translated from Hebrew:

When I ask myself
Who am I?
I’m a bit Sefardi
a bit Ashkenazi
a bit Israeli
a bit galuti (exiled)
maybe religious
maybe secular
But in my heart of hearts
I am a Jew
And that is what makes me unique
Not better than the other… and not worse
Simply a Jew.

Sometimes a soldier
sometimes a student
I have a lot of past
and I also see the future
sometimes a mitnaged
and sometimes chassid
Maybe materialistic and maybe spiritual
but always always
I’m a Jew
And that is what makes me unique
Not better than the other…and not worse
Simply a Jew.

Suddenly I came back from a distance
Suddenly I came back from a distance
so we can be here together.
I will be safe, I’ll return to laugh
live comfortably without fear.
Because I am a Jew and that is unique.
Not worse, not better, a bit different.
Simply a Jew.

Nothing will break me my brother,
My soul is a part of high eternal light above.
To repair the world – is significant,
It’s how I was born. I am a Jew.
Simply a Jew.

Like other religions,
we have festivals, Shabbats, customs and mitzvot
While each is certain of their own justice
At the end we are all Jews, before the throne of His Holiness.

I am very afraid of a baseless hatred,
Love my country and love the nation.
I was here and there and all over the world,
I have two opinions on what you will to ask
and I’ve also got a third opinion,
Because I am a Jew and that is unique.
Not worse, not better, a bit different.
Simply a Jew.

Lenny Solomon is a Jewish rock musician who started the group Shlock Rock in 1986.  Shlock Rock’s music is a mix of pop-rock song parodies and original rock songs in English and Hebrew. The purpose of the band is to spread Jewish pride, identity and awareness throughout the Jewish community for the purpose of promoting Jewish continuity.  Shlock Rock has performed over 2,000 shows in the United States , Canada , Australia , South Africa, Israel and England. Shlock Rock has sold more than 200,000 CD’s, tapes and DVDs in the contemporary Jewish rock arena.
Lenny Solomon moved to Israel in 1996.  He tour the world 3-4 months a year and play Jewish rock music.
.
To visit Shlock Rock’s website click here. For more Lenny Solomon’s songs visit iTunes (including original song “Ani Yehudi”). Become fun on Facebook. You ca also follow Lenny Solomon on Twitter.
.
Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Facebook0Share on LinkedIn0Pin on Pinterest0