Friday, November 10, 2006

A Song for Shabbat

Jewish music is frequently so boring, so predictable and stale. Much of the creativity, both musicala and lyrical that one finds in secular music is quite often missing from the Jewish music world.

Some years back, I came across the music of Aaron Razel and I just loved it. He is an excellent musician, a beautiful Jew, he learns Torah, sings and composes with creativity, love, passion. I have seen him in concert and he is just great. His divrei Torah and his sweetness combine with his music. In our house, my kids know all his songs as we play his CD's all the time.

One song of his is pertinent to this weeks parsha. He sings what might seem like a strange passuk to put to song. It is from the akeida: הנה האש והעצים ואיה השה לעולה asks Yitzchak. Avraham answers אלוקים יראה לו השה לעולה בני. The final word בני can be read directly as if avraham is addressing Yitzchak, or possibly, with a pause, as if to say: You, my son are that Korban.

Well Aaron Razel sings this song and he repeats the word בני over and over, again and again. I have no clue whether he intended this but it so reminds me of the anguish of David Hamelech for his son as he is tortured by the loss of his son and is inconsolable as he repeats over and over:
בני אבשלום בני בני אבשלום (שמו"ב י"ט: א)
In other words, I hear David's anguish transferred to Avraham as he contemplates the prospective death of his son.

In addition, Aaron Razel includes a fantastic piano solo/improvisation interlude which just reinforces for me the feeling of Avrahams doubts and fears, second-thoughts and osciallations.

In my mind, there is much more to this song, but you'll have to listen to the whole thing and draw your own conclusions.

This website has a bit of the song (Fire and Wood) but it's a great album with some beautiful songs. Worthwhile!

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