Yom HaShoah 2023: The Year’s Best Musical Resources

Holocaust Remembrance Day 2023 is here, and in Israel, it’s impossible not to feel it. From the wail of the nationwide siren to the special programming on Israeli television and radio, this important day continues to be shown the respect it deserves.

But outside of Israel, we need to work a little harder to bring meaning to the day. Thankfully, Israeli culture can help us internalize the messages and memories of Yom HaShoah. And this year, we have some powerful new material to inspire us.

Here are a few of the must-see videos this Yom HaShoah:

“Paskol Shlishi” – The Third Soundtrack

A new album of 13 songs written by Israeli musicians is the latest effort to connect young people to the Holocaust. The album, titled “Paskol Shlishi” (Third Soundtrack), was created by Moshe Klughaft, a political campaign manager and songwriter. Klughaft brought together a mix of major Israeli musicians to collaborate with Holocaust survivors on original songs about the WWII genocide.

Listen to the entire album here, including special live performances presented on April 17, 2023.

The Times of Israel wrote a full review of the project, including interviews with many of the artists.

According to the article, the album is the latest in a long line of Israeli music that has explored the Holocaust. In the 1950s and 1960s, Israeli artists like Natan Alterman and Yitzhak Shamir wrote songs about the Holocaust as a way to process the trauma of the event and to create a sense of national identity. In the 1970s and 1980s, Israeli artists like Yehuda Poliker and Chava Alberstein wrote songs about the Holocaust from the perspective of the second generation, who were raised by Holocaust survivors.

“Paskol Shlishi,” is a continuation of this tradition. The songs on the album are written from the perspective of the third and fourth generations, who have no personal memories of the Holocaust. The songs are a way for these generations to connect with the Holocaust and to learn about the lessons of the event.

Yuval Dayan – Sha’ar HaRachamim

Yuval Dayan does a magical job covering the famous Meir Banai tune, “Sha’ar HaRachamim” (Gate of Mercy). She writes on Facebook:

As the years go by and I delve into the stories of horrors and unimaginable pain, the lives that were cut short and the dreams that turned into a real nightmare, I am suddenly in awe of the power of those who survived even one day in the ghettos and the wilds, and of those who are here to tell.
You, who hold one side of the chain and wait for us to catch up and move on to our children.
We must remember. We must not forget. The disaster must not fade with the years.
You, the ones who had a chance to escape and stayed to fight.
I admire the spirit that beat strongly in you. The one that should not have been given up. And we must not give up for you.
When we skip between the stages at the memorial events of the State of Israel or sit on the couch and watch the broadcasts from home with an aching heart, I take with me one sentence that was said by Rabbi Kalonimus Shapira during the Holocaust and that held the souls of many, and managed to resonate further: “The greatest thing in the world is to do someone else a favor.”
I dedicate this performance to the honor of all those murdered in the Holocaust. of all those who did not give up on the dream. And I salute from the bottom of my heart and soul those who survived to tell.

Idan Amedi – Mamshich Lit’od 2023

In 2011, Idan Amedi released a song called “Continuing to Walk”. The song was inspired by a book by Rabbi Israel Meir Lau, Chief Rabbi of Israel. Now in 2023, Idan re-released the song, providing more context on social media. Idan shares how he read Rabbi Lau’s book “Out of the Depths” shortly before his army service. It affected him deeply, guiding many of his actions ever since. One passage he particularly remembers tells of a conversation between Rabbi Lau and his eldest brother Naftali before they parted ways in Buchenwald:

“You’re a big boy, soon to be 8. I must tell you the truth: we don’t have a father, we don’t have a mother, I’m going too. You’re left on your own. I don’t believe this hell will end. But if this inferno ends and you stay alive, remember that there’s a place in the world called Israel. Repeat after me: “Israel”. Just go there. This is our home. They don’t kill Jews there. This is our home.”

Are there any videos missing from our list? Contact us and let us know. May we NEVER FORGET.

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