The ultimate rock-and-roll aliyah song

I was sitting in my tiny Jerusalem apartment last December when I suddenly had a major brainwave – how to promote Aliya through music, more precisely through rock-and-roll music. Cos there’s nothing like rock-and-roll to move the soul! But how? How to move Jews throughout the world in these troubled times to get up and make Aliya and achieve this through a rock-and-roll song that would enthuse them to the point leaving in their tens of thousands. In any case who in the Jewish Agency or Aliya departments in London or New York would believe that the miracle of mass-Aliya could be achieved by means of a blockbuster rock and roll Aliya song, and even less so composed and performed by an ageing croaky Anglo performer, even if he does have over two hundred songs on the Youtube. Aliya after all is a very serious business and who on earth would expect tens of thousands of our people to suddenly get up and dance and sing their way to the Promised Land on the wings of a David Ben Reuven rock-and-roll ditty?

So for days on end I scratched my balding head and my ancient guitar to try and find a solution and could find none. Until one Shabbat, as I sat in the local Bet Hakerem synagogue during the reading of the Torah portion a few days before my 119th birthday I was suddenly visited by a wonderful vision and a song title that thrilled my ancient bones to the marrow “Rock with Hashem, Roll with Hashem,” and then after Shabbat and Havdala I took up my guitar and the song flowed from me and before I knew it the first ever rock-and-roll Aliya song was written cut and dried in front of me.

I was thrilled to the very core of my being. I had done it, I had produced the first rock song in history that would bring tens perhaps hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of Jews back to their homeland. Why, this song could do more than a thousand Aliya Shlichim emissaries and in no time at all, just a few days on Youtube and radio, and I and the song would be the proud darling of the World Zionist Organization, the Jewish Agency, the newly elected Israel Government and US President Trump.

But then when I had calmed down a little from the dizzy heights of self-adulation I gradually began to face up to the numerous and daunting hurdles that would have to be surmounted before all my rocky dreams became reality. First, I would have to record my song with an impressive accompaniment and find a studio willing reluctantly to record for a very minimum amount. Then I would have to approach the various Aliya departments in the Jewish Agency and throughout the world and persuade them to even listen to the song and agree with my conviction that this was just what was needed to revolutionize Aliya and bring the wondering and wandering Jews back home.

Did I succeed in my historic endeavor? You can find out how I managed to overcome a tsunami of obstacles and how hundreds of thousands of Jews from all over the world answered my rock and roll Aliya call in unprecedented numbers in my forthcoming novel. In the meantime here is the lyric of my Aliya rock song which has caught the fancy of the entire Jewish world.

Words and music David Ben Reuven
Begun on December 1, 2018

Rock with Hashem, Roll with Hashem
All the way home to Jerusalem
You’ve been away far too long
So now at last you can sing this song
Rock with Hashem, Roll with Hashem
All the way home to Jerusalem

You’ve been roaming the world for far too long
So climb on board and sing this song
Rock with Hashem, Roll with Hashem
All the way home to Jerusalem

There’s a start-up nation waiting for you
Makes you so proud to be a Jew
So waste no time cos you’re no longer alone
The State of Israel is your very own.

The world today is an inhospitable place
For all those who belong to the Jewish race
So become an Oleh it’s the very best thing
Cos here in Israel you’ll feel like a king

And so my people let’s all sing along
This very happy Aliya rock song
Rock with Hashem, Roll with Hashem
All the way home to Jerusalem

Copyright David Ben Reuven, Jerusalem, December 2018

About the Author
London-born David Herman came on aliyah in 1966 after graduating from Cambridge University. In the 1960s, he founded the Good Times Publishing Company specializing in publishing newspapers in simplified English, French and Arabic for the Israeli school system. David currenty works as a translator, and is also very active in the field of songwriting and performing under the musical name, David Ben Reuven.
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