Mee Yagur

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A vibrant celebration of the best that humankind can offer one another.

Description

Billy writes, “I was in Jerusalem in 1982 and wanted to write a piece of music that emerged from ancient Israel but that spoke to the Jewish values I cared most about. Ethics. Kindness. Compassion. And strength in the face of those who cultivated brutality. I looked to the Book of Psalms and discovered Psalms 15. Its words, penned in Israel while the Temple stood in Jerusalem, like most of the Psalms spoke of deepening one’s relationship with God. But this one prescribed human goodness and love as the pathway to God. That resonated deeply with me, and this tune emerged from that.”

Mee Yagur asks, “Who shall dwell on God’s holy mountain?” For some, the rules are an impossible obstacle: be good, be kind, be lawful, be quiet, be just. For the rest of us, it’s not only possible but it’s what we were raised to do. The music for such a prescription is celebratory. How else could you sing such words?

This recording comes from “The First Album,” Beged Kefet’s 1987 debut. Beged Kefet (1982-2009) was comprised of Rabbi Les Bronstein, Rabbi Billy Dreskin, Cantor Ellen Dreskin, Cantor Riki Lippitz, Cantor Benjie Ellen Schiller, Beth Sher, and Cantor Leon Sher. As you will hear, we worked hard to produce tight harmonies. And this was before you could tune things up afterward. Audio verite, you might say!

lyrics

Eilu d’varim she-eyn la-hem shi-ur,
She-adam o-cheyl pey-ro-tey-hem ba-olam ha-zeh
V’ha-keren ka-yemet lo la-olam haba, v’eylu heyn:

Kibud av va-eym; u-g’milut chasadim; v’hash-kamat beyt ha-mid-rash sha-cha-rit v’ar-vit;
V’hach-nasat or-chim; u-vikur cholim; v’hach-nasat kalah; u-l’va-yat ha-meyt; v’i-yun t’filah;

Take care of your family, neighbors and friends;
Learn how the world works and how its future depends on you;
Take care of the lonely one, the needy too;
Learn when to celebrate; and when to shed tears; and when to pray;

V’ha-va-at shalom beyn adam la-cha-vey-ro;
Tal-mud Torah k’neged kulam.

Studying Torah is equal to them all; Because its teachings lead to them all.

credits

released June 1, 1987
text from Jewish liturgy
music by Billy Dreskin
performed by Beged Kefet
sound engineering by Skipp Tullen z”l (Tullen Sound Recording, Morristown, NJ)

Additional information

Download Format

MP3 Audio (orig Beged Kefet recording), Handwritten Lead Sheet for 2 Voices (pdf)

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