One president, 40 musicians and 12,000 singers. Those were the ingredients for an unforgettable music video released on Monday ahead of Israel’s 70th anniversary.
President Reuven Rivlin, together with singer Shlomi Shabat, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, Social Equality Minister Gila Gamliel and the social-music initiative Koolulam, hosted an event last week at the Menorah Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv. Together, the 12,000 attendees practiced and recorded Naomi Shemer’s “Al Kol Eleh” (Over All of These) to create the moving and memorable video.
Shemer, one of the most beloved singer songwriters in Israeli history, wrote “Al Kol Eleh” in 1980. The song talks about accepting the bitter with the sweet – the sting with the honey – and asks God for protection over what the Jewish people have built in the land of Israel – “over all these things.”
Thousands of Israelis of all ages – from a few months old to nearing a century – came from around the country to Tel Aviv last Monday night, to sing alongside Shabat and the Jerusalem Street Orchestra. In his invitation for the event, Rivlin said that “song is something that brings people together.”
“Let’s sing together,” the president declared. “Religious, secular, Arabs, Jews, soldiers, women, men, children… let’s put aside everything that divides us and do together what connects us and brings us together – it’ll be fun!”