In Parshat Lech Lecha, after Avraham separates himself from Lot (Breisheet 13:14-15), God tells him:
Raise your eyes and look from the place where you are, to the north, to the south, to the east and to the west. For all the land that you see I give to you and to your descendants forever…
The words “Ki et kol ha’aretz asher ata roeh, lecha etnena u’lezaracha ad olam” were made famous in the song “Lecha eten et Ha’aretz Hazot” sung by Dedi Graucher z”l to the tune by Mona Rosenblum. The song quotes the original words from the Torah in order to show that the land promised to Avraham belongs to his descendants forever.
This song was made famous thirty years ago during the Oslo accords and is still popular in the Religious-Zionist camp.
Other songs that connected to the Land of Israel which can be found in Dedi’s collection include “Hevron Meaz u’Letamid,” Hevron always and forever”, “Lo Nazuz Mipo,” “We will not move from here” and “Hu Yigal Otanu Bikarov”, “God will redeem us soon.”
Dedi was also known for his acts of chesed (loving kindness). He helped raise money for organizations that help kids with special needs and kids with cancer and he was always happy to sing at hospitals and for different charities.
Dedi passed away last month but his songs remain with us. Dedi’s emphasis on the Jewish people’s connection to the Land of Israel continues to resonate with Jews throughout the world.
The legacy of great music combined with chesed continues in Israel. During this current war, we have seen Hanan Ben Ari step up to the plate in so many ways, doing concerts for Zaka workers, singing Kabbalat Shabbat songs at hospitals, performing at small impromptu weddings free of charge and even singing at soldiers funerals. He has brought so much joy and light to so many people during this time of darkness.
The popular Israeli singer, Ishay Ribo who recently sold out Madison Square Garden went down to an army base in the south to entertain the soldiers and build up their morale by singing “Am Yisrael Chai”, “The Jewish Nation is Alive.” He also encouraged Charedim to volunteer in helping the war effort.
Last week, Noa Kirel who performed on behalf of Israel at the Eurovision helped the Friends of the IDF raise almost $30 million which will go to buy ambulances and mobile operating rooms. She recently sang Hatikva while draped in an Israeli flag at the Brooklyn Nets vs. Maccabi Ra’anana game in Brooklyn, NY.
As we read this week’s parsha, may we be reminded of the Jewish people’s claim to the Land of Israel and the beautiful songs that keep us connected to the land and people of Israel.