Monday, September 1, 2008

Yosef Karduner's Shir LaMa'alot (More on Music & Politics)

I was asked recently to help a Teruah reader track down the lyrics to the Isreali band Sheva's song Shir LaMa'alot. I did a little digging and found out the the song had been composed by musician Yosef Karduner, a member of the Israeli Breslov Chassid community. I haven't found an official publisher for the sheet music yet, but an unauthorized fan transcription can be found at I also found a video of Karduner performing the song on

It's interesting that the WeJew video comments note that "this song ("Shir HaMaalot" from Tehillim) is a virtual religious national anthem for the orange youth of Israel." The term "orange youth" refers to Israeli's who protested the 2005 Unilateral Disengagement Plan to remove all Israeli citizens from the Gaza strip and a number of surrounding settlements. The lyrics of Shir LaMa'alot are drawn from Psalm 121, A Song of Ascents, and contain the phrase..
I will lift up mine eyes unto the mountains: from whence shall my help come?
My help cometh from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved; He that keepeth thee will not slumber. (emphasis added)
Do not suffer thy foot to be moved from Gaza. Got it. A nice example of a political use of Jewish music and texts. But it's a good song regardless of your political leanings.

Yosef Karduner's Shir LaMa'alot

Shira Lamaalot - Songs of Yosef Karduner SongbookUpdate: Once again BlogInDm sets me straight. Yosef Karduner has a songbook, which includes Shir LaMa'alot, for sale at

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