YAAKOV SHWEKEY and Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein 370.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
If words are the language of the mind and music is the language of the soul,
then when combined with compelling intensity, the result is a new genre of
And this is exactly what South Africa’s Chief Rabbi Dr.
Warren Goldstein and Yaakov Shwekey, one of the most popular performers in the
world of contemporary Jewish music, have created – an innovative collaborative
production with a relevant Pessah message. Spoken through the language of
the modern world, the video is available on YouTube and the Chief Rabbi’s
website, and is a prime example of using current digital platforms to convey
Set against the backdrop of Shwekey’s emotionally
powerful Vehi She’amda
– Goldstein depicts the miraculous sweep of Jewish
destiny from the Exodus from Egypt to stopping a nuclear Iran, imploring us to
respond accordingly and to fulfill our divine historic destiny.
and edited by Wayne Kopping, the video message is presented with heartfelt
vigor, contextualising present-day events from an emotional point of
view. The video is in the spirit of the Haggada, of telling the history
of the Jewish people.
Interwoven with Shwekey’s inspiring music, it
features fascinating film footage from the Holocaust, the 1967 Six Day War war
and the current Iranian crisis, portraying a powerful message.
is not just about detached intellectualism,” said Goldstein. “The music and
strong visual imagery are about an emotional and spiritual response. It’s not
just an academic experience but an emotional and human one too.”
understanding of the world is repeatedly caught up in the latest Twitter feed
and hot-off-the-press headline, he said.
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“Often we get pulled into the
vortex of a particular event’s intensity, to the point where we are not able to
see the larger picture” Goldstein added.
The video is an attempt to look
at the bigger picture. By journeying through history, we are able to piece the
various fragments together to form a large, integrated whole. For director
Kopping, it is about big-picture issues facing Jews all around the
“Rabbi Goldstein is putting himself out there, saying the things
that need to be said, to as many people as possible. By using this
medium, we can actually reach Jews all over the world,” said
Kopping.(The video can be found on the following link: Chief Rabbi
Goldstein’s website: http://www.chiefrabbi.co.za/2012/03/vehisheamda/
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