The Spirituality of Song

An online encounter with Ishay Ribo, moderated by Sivan Rahav Meir

On Sunday 12th April, Chol Hamoed Pesach, Rabbi Sacks, top Israeli musician Ishay Ribo and popular Israeli newscaster Sivan Rahav Meir held an encounter of words and music on Facebook Live. You can watch the full conversation here, together with videos of the songs and translations of the lyrics included in the performances by Ishay Ribo during the discussion.

1.     Keter Melukha / A Royal Crown

Between Terumah and Tetzaveh
A slightly different birthday party
Everything seems to be just fine
Stages full of people and love
 
Between Tetzaveh and Ki Tissa
Esther, Purim, drinks, and joy,
Who will stay and who will travel
And who will pay the consequences
 
Between Ki Tissa and Vayakhel
The world stops gathering
To be quiet, to be closed down
Yishmael, Edom, and Yisrael
 
Between Vayakhel and Pekudei
There’s no one in the city or field
There’s no one to deal with
The Tower of Bavel is once again confounded
 
(Chorus)
What do You want us to understand from this?
How do we distance ourselves and draw near in this pain?
We want to live with You
And not to be alone
 
What do you want us to learn from this?
How will we know how to unify in this separation?
Until we give You,
the Keter Melucha
 
Between Pekudei and Vayikra
We are all in the same pot
The spring has arrived, Pesach is coming
And with it, much hope
 
“To rip up the evil decree”
“Come my beloved to greet the Bride”
We don’t have strength anymore
To cope, to battle on
 
(Chorus)
What do You want us to understand from this?
How do we distance ourselves and draw near in this pain?
We want to live with You
And not to be alone
 
What do you want us to learn from this?
How will we know how to unify in this separation?
Until we give You,
The Keter Melucha
 
What do You want us to understand from this
How to disconnect and reattach this heart
We want to live with You
And not be alone
 
What do you want us to learn from this?
How will we know how to unite in this separation?
Shema Yisrael
Hashem is one and His name is one”


 
2.     Kol Dodi / The Voice of my Beloved

The voice of my beloved, behold He comes, that’s what they say
to remove all evil, and to lift up our horn,
from the depths of the dust.
And to awaken those who sleep, at the sound of the shofar.
The voice of my beloved, behold He comes
That’s the rumour that is spreading
And every captive baby received the prophecy
So come and let’s go out to meet Him, with drums and flute
Sing to Him, Sing praises. How blessed is the people whose God is the Lord.
 
(Chorus)
And then the day will break and the lie will evaporated
Then all the does of the field will go forth in the dance
and skip upon the mountains and not from the fear of foxes
And out of the clefts of the rock, living water shall flow forth
From the hidden places of the terrace, to irrigate the lily of the valleys
and to establish the tabernacle, that will remove our suffering here
 
The voice of my beloved is knocking, open to me my son
The time of your redemption has arrived and I have said enough to your troubles
and I have come to bring glad tidings, that you will no longer weep Rachel
We sense the Messiah more than fragrant powder
Shalom to you my beloved, pure and ruddy
pour out your wrath on rocks, and return to the fortress
in mercy, for in mercy there is no memory …


 
3.     Tocho Ratsuf Ahava / He is Filled with Love

He withholds His tribe, without withholding His love
He holds out His wand, to whoever reaches out their hand
He never turns a blind eye, over His followers
Even when we’re a wreck, we’re still His most precious piece
 
For He is filled with love, filled with love
His home is spaciously crowded, spaciously crowded
Granting us pardon, not just at the Closing Prayer
Praise awaits for Thee
 
His hands are many, and nothing precedes His precedence
Even songs as many as the sand, is only a few of His praise
Beyond the letter of the law, He leads His world
And before the angels, He demands for the safety of His people
 
For He is filled with love, filled with love
His home is spaciously crowded, spaciously crowded
Granting us pardon, not just at the Closing Prayer
Praise awaits for Thee
 
He shall
“Give unto them a garland for ashes
The oil of joy for mourning
The mantle of praise for the spirit of heaviness”
 
Filled with love
Granting us pardon, not just at the Closing Prayer
Praise awaits for Thee
 
For He is filled with love, filled with love
His home is spaciously crowded, spaciously crowded
Granting us pardon, not just at the Closing Prayer
Praise awaits


 
4.     Lashuv Habayita / Returning Home

The time has come to wake up
To leave everything- to overcome
To return home- Not to search for any other place.
 
The time has come to change,
Even if we’ve missed a few stops,
You can get off, there’s a train going back to the neighbourhood.
 
(Bridge)
Everything is possible but if there’s a will,
The searcher always finds,
Even if he finds himself somewhere at the far end.
 
The doors of Heaven never lock,
When a son calls, he is rescued,
Then Father in Heaven arrives,
Even…
 
(Chorus)
Even if we’ve done something wrong,
He forgives and Pardons, He forgives and Pardons,
He stretches out His hand to assist, and in His mercy gives
The strength to fix, and return to Him
 
The time has come to regret, if you’ve already fled from the wrong,
If you once took, then now take in order to give.
 
This is the time to draw close, not to fear from the pain,
And if you’re giving, then give with all your heart.
 
(Bridge)


 
5.     Halev Sheli / My Heart

My heart was torn into two
What the maids did not see on the red sea
Like the end of the ocean it storms
Like the drums of Miriam it throbs
And there is no healing on this world
 
My heart raises hands
For some time it’s not standing firm
A wreck that’s empty
And heavens are a barrier for me
How could I pass the sea on dry land
 
(Chorus)
And only you could overturn my mourning to a dance
To clear the sand
To soften everything in me
And only you understand how to approach my heart
To erase all the pain that is in me
To heal the heart
 
My heart was torn into two
Half is guilty and half is holy (for God’s sake)
Like the end of the ocean it storms
Like the drums of Miriam it throbs
And there is no healing to the heart on this world
 
(Chorus)
And only you could overturn my mourning to a dance
To clear the sand
To soften everything in me
And only you understand how to approach my heart
To erase all the pain that is in me
To heal the heart
 
And there is another trouble that distresses the flock
And there is no strongmen (Moses) to scream to God
Only me opposite the whole ocean and a broken heart
 
(Chorus)
And only you could overturn my mourning to a dance
To clear the sand
To purify everything in me
And only you understand how to approach my heart
To erase all the pain that is in me
To heal the heart