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Songs in Reflection to Israel

Autor:   •  October 29, 2016  •  Essay  •  680 Words (3 Pages)  •  261 Views

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“Popular music from any time and place tends to reflect the spirit of the times. This is particularly true with Israeli music, which was and is influenced by the events, attitudes, and ideology surrounding it.” In the song entitled, “The Work Song” and the song “The Faith” we learn a lot about the history of Israel. These songs help us to understand the motivations behind early Zionistic movements. 

Noach Shapira wrote “The Work Song” in 1895. The lyrics speak about the Jews who came from Russia during the First Aliyah and who wanted to establish Israel as a Jewish settlement. In order to make this possible they had to work very hard so they can physically establish Israel. The put in a lot of effort, clearing swamps, and doing other labor within the land in order to make it possible for Jews to live in Israel. The song is promoting work and the benefits of hard labor. The song reflects on some of the ideology of Social Zionism. The Jews who are talked about in this song left middle-class, urban lives in Russia and entered an undeveloped land without comforts. They believed that they could rebuild the Jewish Nation through physical labor. They worked tirelessly for the Jews to be able to live in Israel one day as a nation in unity. We must thank the Jews who participated in the First Aliyah for the work they put into making Israel a place where the Jews can live.

“The Faith”, a song written by Rav Kook in the late nineteenth century, discusses the Jewish dream of living a life of Torah in the land of Israel.  The song is talking about the time of the first Aliyah, which was the beginning of modern Zionism. The song’s message reflects the ideology of Religious Zionism. Some events that may have influences the song is that at that time every country was becoming more nationalistic and ethnocentric, and the Jews were being treated miserably. This caused the Jews to also want a nation of their own. The Jews of Russian were being killed and treated horribly, therefore, they wanted to go to the holy land of Israel; the land they are always praying for. They wanted to give Jews the opportunity to learn Torah and follow in the path of Hashem in Israel. “They viewed Jewish settlement in Israel as a spur of the ultimate redemption.”

The Work Song and The Faith were both written during the same time period, the First Aliyah. They are also both talking about returning to the land of Israel; but The Work Song is talking about the physical labor and worth ethic necessary needed to make Israel a place for the Jews to Live, while The Faith is talking about returning to Israel in order to live a religious life in the land of Torah and our forefathers. All the Jews were suffering and being treated badly in Russia, so whether or not they wanted to return to Israel for religious or socialist reasons they both had a common thread of wanting to return to Israel. Both groups thought of Israel differently. The Social Zionists thought of Israel as a workers paradise, and the Religious Zionists thought of Israel as a spiritual haven for the Jews. Despite their differences, they both felt that the only place the Jews can be free and safe is in their own country, Israel.


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