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Israelis Making The Holy Land a Better Place
Last uploaded : Saturday 21st Sep 2002 at 18:05
Contributed by : Sheila Raviv



As a child I often pondered the question "Why is Jewish music written in aMinor key?" Even then I would not leave a question alone until I found a
satisfactory answer. My father said it was the longing for Jerusalem. My Mother said it was from the thousands of years of wandering looking for a home. My rabbi said it was both of these and the Inquisition, the Holocaust.

Last night I found the answer.

After a day of terror, a day of sadness, and a day in which I learned that Kinneret Chaya [injured in a suicide bombing in the spring] is very depressed by the face mask she is forced to wear to protect her injuries, that she does not sleep at night, terrified by the terror, I
understood. Deep sadness and concern just below the surface, we sat in the most exquisite natural arena imaginable and played our part in changing the music from minor to major. The concert, "Strings above Jerusalem - Heart of
the World" took place last night. Alongside the Southern Wall Excavations of the Old City of Jerusalem, overlooking the Mount of Olives, awash with gentle lighting, within the ramparts of this most ancient and spiritual site on this earth we listen to the glorious sounds of music. President Katzav and Mayor Olmert both paid their respect to those who had lost their lives in the mornings
terror attack in Tel Aviv, and stressed our determination to continue to find beauty in
our lives, to hear the music of life and to honour our roots and the roots of Christianity here in this holy place and rights of all, Christians, Jews and Moslems, to come in peace and go in peace.

Among those sitting in the large audience were Evangelical Christian leaders from the Jerusalem Prayer Team, including Pastor Mike Evans whose efforts for Israel are without comparison, French industrialists, Brits, Venezuelans, Americans, Spaniards, Dutch, Canadians, wonderful Israelis from all over this little country and....this Welsh woman. Among the Americans was an exceptional man by the name of Earl Cox. Remember his name, he will be appearing on your television screens in the US encouraging support for
Israel. What a lovely man.

As we sat in the silence of a breezy Jerusalem night the eerie notes of a single shofar played by Shlomo Gronich from the ramparts, resonated through the valley, echoing off the walls of Har haBayit (the Temple Mount) as it had in ancient times. From the sad, wailing tones of the shofar rose the voices of children. The Flowers of Jerusalem children's choir sang "Shir Hama'alot"
(Song of the ascension to the Temple) with innocent clarity. The Jerusalem Symphony
Orchestra played "Tehilim" (psalms), violinists Keren Tennenbaum, Hagai Shacham and Nikolaj Zneider turned the strings of their violins into a prayer rising to the heavens. Zneider's emotional and emotive performance caused a
string of his Stradivarius to break in the middle. As he came back on stage he said "In this place even the strings have souls".

David Da'or walked onto the stage, head bowed as if in prayer, to sing a song entitled "Sh'ma Yisrael" (Hear O Israel). The purity of his voice, the overwhelming beauty of the surroundings and the significance of his words
brought tears welling up in my eyes and my heart. Daniel Levi, the French star, sang "Jerusalem of Gold" to perfection and then the two singers joined their voices in a prayer, "Hatikva" the Hope, the anthem of Israel. I cannot remember singing so loud, so strongly as our voices rose as one in a prayer for peace, for hope. Hope that we, as Jews, will achieve, finally, the right to

Surely the world is big enough to allow this small, innovative, generous, noisy, spiritual people the right to a tiny piece of land holy to us for 4,000 years? All we ask for is the right to be here, to thrive, to give to the world we live in and make it a better place. Tikun Olam, not Heres Olam. (loosely translated -
Leave the world a better place, do not destroy it)

I am inordinately proud of my husband. Through political storms and personal crises he has shown brilliance and determination to hold a concert which will enable the NEW Jerusalem Foundation to lay the foundations of the Centre for the Arts, a refuge for children with special needs. Thanks to those who would harm us the original stars did not come here, but who cares...we had the very
best, those who love Israel and do not take kindly to threats. They made us all cry in pride and joy. Kol haKavod.

May your personal music always be in the major key.
Shabbat Shalom Succot Sameach


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