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A powerful and moving tune by Abie Rotenberg. Sheet music shared here with Billy Dreskin’s new English lyrics.


This music video is a tune written by Abie Rotenberg) that sets to its melody a traditional prayer called “Acheinu” (literally, “brothers” — more colloquially, “family”). Recited during the weekday Torah service, the words of “Acheinu” beseech God to rescue all who imprisoned or persecuted. It’s a very specific ask for the redemption of Jews who have been subject to antisemitic brutality and/or jail. Specific because such injustices have a long, regrettable place in our history.

The video was produced by the students and faculty at Bikurim, a performing arts school near Gaza. It’s located near Gaza because part of the school’s mission is to build bridges and friendships with their Gazan neighbors. On October 7, the school’s two founders — Tamar Kedem Siman Tov and Sagui Dekel Chen — became victims of the terrorist attack by Hamas. Sagui was kidnapped. Tamar, her husband Yonatan, their daughters Shahar and Arbel and their son Omer, were all murdered.

Abie Rotenberg composed the music back in 1990. When asked what was going in the world that inspired him to write this tune, Rotenberg answered, “As we say in Yiddish, es felt nisht kein tzaros, there are always more than enough problems.”

Why is the sheet music here at Jonah’s Trading Post? Because Ellen and Billy wanted not only to help get this music out into the progressive Jewish world, Billy added English words to the piece so that it would be even more accessible.

Literally translated (in the Art Scroll Siddur), “Acheinu” means: Our brothers, the entire family of Israel, who are delivered into distress and captivity, whether they are on sea or dry land, may the Omnipresent One have mercy on them and remove them from distress to relief, from darkness to light, from subjugation to redemption, now, speedily, and soon. And let us Amen.

The sheet music is available here with melody, harmony, chords and new English words. There is no charge to download. Our hope is that you will make a donation to The Jonah Maccabee Foundation, “turning love into action” through our Arts Fund, Jewish Life Fund, and Social Justice Fund.


A-chei-nu kol beit Yis-ra-el
A-chei-nu kol beit Yis-ra-el
Ha-n’-tu-nim b’-tza-ra
B’-tza-ra u-va-shiv-ya
Ha-om-dim bein ba-yam u-vein ba-ya-ba-sha.

Ha-Ma-kom y’ra-chem
Y’ra-chem a-lei-hem
V’yo-tzee-em mi-tza-ra lir-va-cha
U-mei-a-fei-lah l’o-rah
U-mee-shee-a-bood l’-gei-u-lah
Ha-sha-ta ba-a-ga-la u-viz-man ka-reev.

Fervently we pray for all our family
In the Holy Land and throughout the world.
Whether trapped in captivity
Or forced to weather bigotry,
Across the street or far away,
We pray with anguished heart:

Eternal God, we beg of You to act with haste
And rescue them all from their torment and affliction,
Lifting them from crushing despair into lightness
And redeeming them from chains of oppression.
Speedily and decisively please, God.


composed by Abie Rotenberg (1990)
Hebrew text from Weekday Torah Service
English words by Billy Dreskin

Additional information

Download Format

Lead Sheet in C minor (pdf), Lead Sheet in A minor (pdf)


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