The Idan Raichel Project: songs of secrets.

This evening we have Teri Dobbs, Professor of Music from the University of Wisconsin, as our facilitator with Rabbi Andrea Steinberger.

Professor Dobbs introduced us to this wonderful artist, Idan Raichel (The Idan Raichel Project)…who is a keyboard artist, a composer and a record producer…who brings together many multicultural artists for each of the amazing songs he writes.

Professor Teri Dobbs

Here is their website:

Idan Raichel Project

We listened to a few of their pieces…

First:   Shoshanim Azuvot — Sad Roses…


“In the mountains above our village there is a garden of roses.

tomorrow I will go early in the morning with the sound of the birds

I’ll bring a flower to my lover from the garden of the reds.  I’ll know…

I am his and he is mine forever.  I came down from the mountain to our

village, roses in my hair….but my lover is not at home.

Silence in the rooms in the river by our village.

My lover didn’t come back in the night.

He found another lover and my heart was broken.

No, G-d, make him come back.   Waiting day and night.

No, I don’t have the pow3er that another day will come.

Sad roses and he is not here.”

This is so moving and taken from the Song of songs —

Now listen to this one:  Hinach yafah

“You are beautiful.   In my bed I sought for weeks whom my soul loves and found it not.   I searched for it in all the town’s streets….this untruth and found it not.  The watchmen that go about the city found me but my love I found it not.  But I will not leave it until I will bring it into my city.  To my mother’s house, to my room, to my bed.   Behold, thou art fair, my love….thy lips are like a thread of scarlet.  They teeth are white like the light of the moon.    Who is that coming up front he wilderness from a far land traveling upon the wing of a large bird?  Arriving to my house… Behold thou art fair, my love.   I am stolen from your whose eyes that consume me like the first of the flame.  Who is that coming up from the wilderness from a far land traveling upon the wing of a large bird?  Arriving to my house…”

Does this not match Song of Songs 3?:

“Upon my couch at night I sought the one I love — I sought but found him not.  I must rise and roam the town, through the streets and through the squares.  I must seek the one I love.  I sought but found him not.  I met the watchmen who patrol the town.   Have you seen the one I love?”

and from Song of Songs 4:

“Ah, you are fair, my darling.  Ah, you are fair.   You eyes are like doves behind your veil….your lips are like a crimson thread…your mouth is lovely…..”

These songs have a call-and-return quality to them, similar to the Muslim call-to-prayer.    We agreed that they are beautiful (personal note: yes, I downloaded these pieces into my playlist as soon as I returned home).

One more:  Mi’ma’amakim (Out of the Depths)

Listen here:

Out of the depths I called unto you.  Come.   Your return shall rekindle the spark in my eyes.   Neither done nor forsaken the touch of your hand.  To the sound of your laughter shall glow here again.   Out of the depths I called unto you, come ‘neath a moon that shines brightly your way back to me.   In your ear whisper, ask again, who is it that calls to you tonight, listen who sings aloud under your window.  Who stakes his soul just for you to be happy….who’ll lend his hand to build you a home….who’ll lay his life down under your footsteps….who like the earth at your feet shall live on….who’ll love you better than all of your lovers….who’ll save you from the rage of the storm…..out of the depths.”

Out of the depths — a liturgy with which we are familiar….here is a one of the Psalms (written by King David) — they usually paint an individual in distress, always finds comfort in G-d.

Here is Psalm 130:

A song of ascents.  Out of the depths I call You, O Lord.  O Lord, listen to my cry; let your ears be attentive to my plea for mercy.   If You keep account of sings, O Lord, Lord, who will survive?  Yours in the power to forgive so that You may be held in awe.   I look to the Lord.  I look to Him;  I await His word.  I am more eager for the Lord than watchmen for the morning, watchmen for the morning.   O Israel,  wait for the Lord;  for with the Lord is steadfast love and great power to redeem.  It is He who will redeem Israel from all their iniquities….”

In these beautiful pieces by Idan Raichel Project, there seems to be yearning, soul-searching an comfort.   We found them particularly moving.

They reveal secrets from long ago…the secrets that our ancestors whispered to each other and that our souls remember.






Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s