Who Knows One? A Passover song from 13 different corners of the Jewish diaspora

Listen to the Passover enumerative song, Echad mi yodea’, in thirteen different versions from the global Jewish diaspora, as preserved in the National Sound Archives (est. 1964) of the National Library of Israel.

Since the Soundcloud playlist is in Hebrew, here’s the list of places of origin: 1) Morocco, Tetuan; 2) Morocco, Meknes; 3) Salonika (Thessaloniki, Greek Macedonia); 4) The Netherlands (in Hebrew); 5) The Netherlands (in Yiddish); 6) Turkey; 7) Hassidic (Chabad); 8) Corfu, Greece (Southern Italian); 9) Iran; 10) Yemen; 11) Israel; 12) Hungary; and 13) Italy.



Focus on the people, not only on the violence they are subjected to…

Vote on Everything: Best Songs About #Night

Who knew?

It’s a free country, and one can even vote on the “best songs about night” via Ranker: http://www.ranker.com/list/best-songs-about-night/reference

Also, here are 10 top-ranked rock “night songs” are listed at ultimateclassicrock.com

And yet, to me, these are the winners:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Eine kleine Nachtmusik KV 525 (Serenade No. 13 for strings in G major), whose title loosely translates into “a small nighttime music,” composed in 1787:

Also on YouTube with score visualization:

An American classic, Night and Day (1932, by Cole Porter):

And a Jewish classic, bin el barah oul youm (“Between twilight and day”), a North-African popular song set to Arabic and Hebrew lyrics about life, hope, love, and, of course, night and day. The melody is also commonly used to sing the text of the Sabbath table song (zemirah) in Hebrew, Ki eshmerah shabat (follow the link on Firefox to listen to various versions from the global Jewish diaspora), attributed to Rabbi Avraham Ibn Ezra (12th century).

Performed here by the Moroccan Israeli singer, Emil Zrihan:

On the basis of a much earlier version (in Arabic) by the Algerian-Jewish gay pop music star, Salim Halali (Algeria 1920 – France 2005) [the main song theme begins at circa 1’50” into the recording, following a heart-melting introduction; if you like SH, read on here, a delightful post by Chris Silver on the Jewish Morocco blog]:

A common thread? The nexus between #nighttime, #love, and #subversive behaviors. Regardless of musical styles, languages, or geographic origins.

In the Beginning, a Word Cloud…


As I am about to distribute a syllabus to students, I like to do a visual check of what I have been writing (and thinking). Typically, I use Wordle, perhaps because I like the ease with which I can switch among different layouts.

So, here’s the description of Jewish Nighlife in three word-cloud formats:

Jewish Nightlife Wordle (2017-1)


Jewish Nightlife Wordle (2017-3)

and finally

Jewish Nightlife Wordle (2017-2)

One of the main things I observe in these layouts is the prominence of performance. This indeed reflects my own interests—the interconnections between ritual, artistic, and classroom performance arenas—but I had not immediately realized that this is how the course is structured. I also see a word missing: subversiveness—even though this is one of my main underlying interests in studying the intersection between night, music, poetry, and ritual, I find it revealing that it is not featured at all in the course description.

An intellectual (and activist) agenda hidden in a (word) cloud…