Make Your Own Israeli Music Video

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Celebrating Israeli Culture and Expression (Pride):
We believe that one of the most beautiful expressions of להיות עם חופשי בארצנו (To be a Free People in Our Land) is the flourishing of Jewish culture and art that has come as a natural progression from the Jewish people building a thriving society in their ancestral homeland.
 Click here for the downloadable pdf.

 

 Goals:

Reaching intimacy with Israeli popular culture.

Our identity is enriched and informed by many aspects of popular culture, yet Israeli popular culture often remains distant from us due to language. Thankfully, technology and our own creativity can now act as a bridging tool.

In this activity, we will look at the way videos of several popular Israeli rock songs  communicate – through visuals and through translations. We will then make our own interpretive music videos, and share our finished products with one another.

In this way, through creative interpretation, we will ‘own’ Israeli songs that tell fascinating and different stories about Israel today.

 

Part one – what does a video do?

In class, explore three songs and their video representations.

In this way the class will gain a language and an appreciation of the potential of this form.

1. “Hebrewman”, by Ehud Banai

 An interpretative music video: YouTube Preview Image

Speak up, the language of the Hebrewman 
Loud and clear! the language of the Hebrewman!.

It is the language of the prophets
of the sign up on the wall
it is old and sacred
It will open up your soul.
Speak up, the language of the Hebrewman 
Loud and clear! the language of the Hebrewman.

From the deepest mess of downtown Babylon 
it will take you to the next train to Mount Zion
It will get you up, it will make you fly
the language of the Hebrewman will take you high

You know Abraham spoke the language of the hebrewman
And also Jesus from Nazareth and Maria Magdalene 
Einstein, Jeremiah the Dylan and the Cohen
They know something about the language of the Hebrew man…

And when the Lord said let there be Light
it was in the language of the Hebrewman
and when Moses said: let my people go
it was in the language of the Hebrewman
speak the language of the Hebrewman.

והיה ביום ההוא אור חדש גדול יאיר                      [And on that  day a great new  light will shine]
לאט נפתח הסדק לאט נופל הקיר                         [The crack will open slowly, slowly will fall the wall]
וכשתגיע השעה יבוא אחד בשם אחד                    [And when the time comes on will come in the name of the One]
יכירו וידעו כל העולם שפה אחת                            [All the whole world will know one language]
speak the language of the Hebrewman.

והיה ביום ההוא יבוא אחד בשם אחד                    [And when the time comes on will come in the name of the One]
יכירו וידעו כל העולם שפה אחת                            [All the whole world will know one language]
לאט נבנה הבית קו לקו ואות לאות                        [Slowly we’ll build the Temple, line by line & letter by letter]
אל נא תאמר לי ביי ביי, אמור רק להתראות.        [Don’t say bye-bye to me, just say “Lehitra’ot”]
speak the language of the Hebrewman.

and let us all say halleluya
Let us all say : amen
a day will come and everybody
will speak the language of the Hebrewman.

Guiding questions:

 


 
2. Yetziat Mitzrayim (Exodus from Egypt), by Etti Ankri

Watch here: YouTube Preview Image

 English Translation:

To leave in the exodus from Egypt
To arrive in the desert
Perhaps we’ll find some water there
On the way to the mountain

 

May it open in two
The salt water
And we shall pass in between
All those who are weeping

 

And they are gaining on us
An army of cavalry
It is difficult for Moshe
The people have no faith in their hearts

 

The beach’s touch is calming
The sea gapes open its mouth
What if we return to Egypt?
Fear has no memory

 

We were builders of pyramids
Interpreters of dreams
We had nothing we could call our own
Only  salt and tears

 

This is Jacob’s pain
Over  little Joseph
Sown within us
Is senseless brotherly hatred

 

And sometimes it seems to me
When I am ready to give up
Pharaoh is my disorder
And I am sad for Egypt

 

And sometimes it seems to me
What we are still there
Walking towards the mountain
Begging for water

 

May it open up in two
The salt water
And we shall pass in between -
All those that are walking

 

Guiding questions:

 


 

3. Nothing at all – Knisiyat HaSechel

 Play the video clip of the song by Knisiyat HaSechel without translation.

YouTube Preview Image

What is the video saying to you?

[Here you should allow for a free-ranging conversation. If opinions are not forthcoming, throw out some observations: the fact that all the actors are children, that at first the kids are at an army exhibition, that there are kids from all ethnic and religious backgrounds. Why/what is the child climbing? What of the over-sized army uniform, stripping off the uniform? And what of the fetus-shaped gathering of bodies?]

There are no wrong answers for this conversation, personal interpretations and individual responses are welcome.

Now play the clip with the subtitles included.
YouTube Preview Image

The words to this song come from a poem written by a young soldier, Erez Shtark. He died in a notorious military helicopter crash in February 1997. The poem was read out at his funeral, and eventually turned into a rock song by Knisiyat HaSechel.

How does seeing the translation affect your understanding of the video?

 

Part Two – make your own!

After this introductory lesson, send the students home with a clear assignment:

Create your own interpretive video to an Israeli song. The video must include a simultaneous translation, and some form of additional imagery – stills, animation, or video – that for you expresses/enhances the meaning of the song.

Students may choose the song from the three offered in Part One, or from the three songs presented below. They can work with any computer program they wish – you might want to gather wisdom from the class, suggesting programs to work with.

The next meeting, they must present their music videos to the class.

 

Part three – the screening

 

If more than one student has made a video of the same song, we recommend screening all videos of the same song in one batch, so that the students can experience how the same song can be interpreted in multiple ways. [This multi-vocality, you may point out, is a crucial tool for meeting Israel in its full complexity.]

After each video, or set of videos, lead a short discussion on the songs and on their interpretations.


 

Some other recommended songs:

 Da (Alma Zohar)דע – עלמה זוהר –

Listen here: YouTube Preview Image

Look at you
Lying, hiding
Not trusting anyone
Prefer to be alone
No outgoing, no incoming
Not giving, and not seeking love

 

With you everything is mask upon mask
With a lie in your soul
Hurt people
Don’t know how to ask for forgiveness
How do you live?
Cold and alienated
Closed and introverted
Look in a mirror
and see a stranger

 

Know who you are
Know where you came from
And where you are going
And before Whom you will give your accounting

 

Look at you using and throwing away
Chewing up and spitting out
You have everything
And it’s not enough
You are empty
How can you distance all who are close?
How do you suppress all that’s not good?
Don’t let anyone love you

 

Know
who you are
Know where you came from
And where you are going
And before Whom you will give your accounting

 

Know that all is quid pro quo
All that you do
in this world
Will always return to you
Until you change direction
Until you seek repair
You will have no rest
It haunts you

 

תראה אותך
משקר, מסתתר
לא בוטח באף אחד
מעדיף להיות לבד
אין יוצא ואין בא
לא נותן ולא מבקש אהבה

 

הכל אצלך
מסכה ועוד מסכה
עושה שקר בנפשך
פוגע
לא יודע לבקש סליחה
איך אתה חי
קר ומנוכר
סגור ומסוגר
מסתכל במראה
רואה שם מישהו זר

 

דע מי אתה
דע מאין באת
ולאן אתה הולך
ובפני מי אתה עתיד לתת דין
דין וחשבון

 

 

תראה אותך
משתמש וזורק
לועס ויורק
יש לך הכל
וזה לא מספק
אתה ריק
איך אתה מרחיק כל מי שקרוב
איך אתה מדחיק כל מה שלא טוב
לא נותן לאהוב אותך

  

דע
מי אתה
דע מאין באת
ולאן אתה הולך
ובפני מי אתה עתיד לתת דין
דין וחשבון

 

דע הכל מידה כנגד מידה
כל דבר שאתה עושה
בעולם הזה
לעולם חוזר חזרה
עד שלא תשנה כיוון
עד שלא תבקש תיקון
לא תהיה לך מנוחה
זה רודף אותך

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guiding questions:

 


 

 

Shma – Sarit Hadad שמע ישראל – שרית חדד

Listen here: YouTube Preview Image

When the heart cries
only God hears
The pain rises out of the soul
A man falls down before he sinks
With a short prayer he breaks the silence

 

Shma (Hear) Israel my God,
you’ are the omnipotent
You gave me my life,
you gave me everything

 

In my eyes are tears,
the heart cries silently
And when the heart is quiet,
the soul screams

 

Shma (Hear) Israel my God,
now I am alone
Make me strong my God;
make it that I won’t be afraid

 

The pain is big,
and there’s no where to run away
Make it end
Because I have no strength left

 

When the heart cries,
Time stands still
All of a sudden, the man sees his entire life
He doesn’t want to go to the unknown
He cries to his God right before a big fall

 

Shma (Hear) Israel my God….
כשהלב בוכה
רק אלוהים שומע
הכאב עולה מתוך הנשמה
אדם נופל לפני שהוא שוקע
בתפילה קטנה חותך את הדממה.
שמע ישראל אלוהי
אתה הכל יכול
נתת לי את חיי
נתת לי הכל
בעיני דמעה
הלב בוכה בשקט
וכשהלב שותק
הנשמה זועקת
שמע ישראל אלוהי
עכשיו אני לבד
חזק אותי אלוהי
עשה שלא אפחד

 

הכאב גדול
ואין לאן לברוח
עשה שיגמר
כי לא נותר בי כח.

כשהלב בוכה

הזמן עומד מלכת
האדם רואה את כל חייו פתאום
אל הלא נודע הוא לא רוצה ללכת
לאלוהיו קורא על סף תהום.
 

שמע ישראל אלוהי…

 

 Guiding questions:

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