Video: The Beauty of the Psalms in Song

“Mizrahi” [hard ‘h’] which in Hebrew means “Eastern”, describes the musical traditions brought by diaspora Jews returning to Palestine from places like Morocco, Iraq, Egypt or other Middle East/North African countries. Few of the new arrivals spoke Hebrew; it had been a dead language since before the time of Christ. It was revived in early 20th-century by a few pioneering families who would only speak to each other and their children in a modern form of classical Hebrew. Mizrahi music and the Hebrew language were a natural match and as the generations have passed has become very popular among young Israelis today.

The interesting thing is that the music of the Mizrahi countries might reflect the music of the land of Israel at the time of Christ, which historians note would have been influenced by the traditional music of both Egypt (the captivity) and Assyria (the Babylonian Exile). In other words, not only have the Jews returned to Israel, but also has her ancient language and music.

The first example below features the guitar-like oud, which was common in both Ancient Egypt and Assyria, flutes and winds were as well.

The second example is a blend of Misrahi and Western rock. By reading the transliteration of the Hebrew text of Psalm 150, which is repeated several times, you will notice how its poetry lends itself to the music style.

The Jews have their ancient homeland back, its language and music, and one day, soon I hope, they will also have their Messiah.

…rjt

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