Friends and family who were gathered at the latest Rispler Sheva Brachos were treated to a rare, experiential iteration of a classic that was originally sung by the Miami Boys Choir. As with many of Yerachmiel Begun’s compositions, this song makes its meaning known viscerally and vibrantly through rise and fall, grace and pace, solo and choir.
Brought to life by the brilliant baton of Jewish music patriarch Mona Rosenblum, the indefatigable Freilach Band carried a select lineup of Shira vocal talents to new heights, culminating in a display of vocal thunder, fire and earthquake—and the kids choir’s pure kol demama dakka.
The audience was spellbound as soloist Avrum Chaim Green scaled the song’s fluid stanzas, complemented by an intersection of two choirs—Shira, conducted by harmonic meister Yoely Horowitz, and the Kids choir, conducted by the ever-innovative Shea Rosen.
And so the song tells us:
During the times of the first Beis HaMikdash, Eliyahu Hanavi served as leader of klal yisroel, toiling tirelessly to return them to Teshuvah. Again and again, he beseeched them to make their way back to Hashem, to no avail.
One day, Eliyahu visited the site of Matan Torah, Har Sinai, to seek assistance from Hashem in returning His nation to the way of Torah.
As Eliyahu said, “Kano Kineisi Lashem”. We are obligated to exact zeal on those who do not follow God’s way.
“Va’ivoseir ani levadi”, he pleaded. Like Eliyahu, we have been left all to ourselves, with no Beis HaMikdash, and no guidance from the prophets. So we come to Hashem and ask, What more can we do? How can we endure, as Klal Yisroel has forsaken Your Torah?
And God said to him: “What are you doing here, Eliyahu?” And he said: “I have been zealous for Hashem, for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant. And I have remained alone, and now they seek to take my life.”
And God said: “Go out and stand in the mountain before Hashem, and Behold! Hashem passes, and a great and strong wind splits mountains and shatters boulders before Hashem—but Hashem was not in the wind. And after the wind, an earthquake—and Hashem was not in the earthquake either. After the earthquake, fire—but Hashem was not in the fire. And after the fire—a still small sound.
As Eliyahu heard all that, he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out and stood at the entrance to the cave, and beheld a voice that came to him and said: “What are you doing here, Eliyahu?”
And he said, “I have been zealous for Hashem. Klal Yisroel has torn down Your altars; they have killed Your prophets by the sword; and I alone remain, as they seek to take my life.
And Hashem said to him: “Go, return to your way to the desert of Damascus… and Elisha, the son of Shafat from Avel Mecholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your stead.”
Sung by: AC Green
Shira Choir Led by: Yoely Horowits