This song is originally from the Israeli poet Natan Yonatan. He lived from 1923 – 2004, and his works have been translated into many languages. Yonatan was born in Ukraine and moved to pre-state Israel in 1925. He spent a large part of his life in kibbutz Sarid and a significant part in Tel Aviv. One of his sons was sadly killed in the 1973 Yom Kippur War, and the pain of the loss is present in Yonatan’s works. Yonatan was awarded the Bialik prize for literature in 1946 and the Lamdan prize for children’s literature in 1960. Yonatan’s first poem was publish at age 16 in 1940 during World War Two, and it became a very popular poem.
Now, we get to hear this beautiful rendition from Ofir Ben Shitrit, nicknamed the “Orthodox Singing Sensation” when the public first heard her voice.
Ofir is a young Israeli singer with a beautiful story of her own. Ofir became famous a number of years ago from her appearance on the Israeli TV show, the Voice, when she was just 17 years old. Since Ofir is religious, who at the time attended a religious High School, she was then suspended by her High School, because according to some interpretations of Jewish law, woman and girls are not supposed to sing in public when they can be heard by men.
In an interview at the time, Ofir responded to the controversry with the following response:
“I feel like there is no problem to sing in public as long as I do so in a modest way, not a provocative way, as long as I’m doing it with a pure intention,” says Ofir, who came in second place in the TV competition last year, and is currently working on a couple of artistic projects, including a gig with four musicians from “The Voice.
To better understand the religious issues behind woman singing in front of men in Judaism, we highly recommend you read this article by Jew in the City, where they deal with the practical aspects of this issue as well as the philosophical aspect.
Allison Josephs, aka Jew in the City, does a wonderful job of dealing with this issue, as well as detailing some of the stringent and lenient interpretations and application of this Jewish law.
We are big fans of Allison Josephs and her mission with Jew in the City of helping people better understand Orthodox Judaism, overcoming the negative perceptions they have about Orthodox Jews and Judaism.