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Herman on a normal day
Herman on a normal day 
 
 

Hasid of rock 'n' roll

Menachem Herman is a thick-bearded, payot-sporting Hasidic man with guitar in hand, whose goal is to convert classic rock to Judaism. He believes in ‘giving good music a Jewish, positive significance’

Yoav Friedman
Published: 08.24.08, 13:00 / Israel Jewish Scene

Short and fast strums on the guitar, a taste of bluesy and country rock and a tune that turned into a rock anthem in the 70’s - for a second it sounded like they were playing the beloved and well-known “Sweet Home Alabama” on the radio again, but no.

 

As soon as the first verse begins, it is clear that this is not the Lynyrd Skynyrd hit, but something different, similar yet different.

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The first verse does not begin with, “big wheels keep on turning” but rather with “eagles' wings keep on flying.”

 

Moreover, the subject of the song is not “Alabama where the skies are so blue” but rather the holy city, Jerusalem.

 

 


This new version of the song was recorded by Menachem Herman who was once a member of the Hasidic rock group called Metalish.

 

The pretext for the new version is the discussion on the possible division of Jerusalem as part of an agreement with the Palestinians.

 

If you haven’t guessed, the words of the song are in protest of the intention to:

 

"Well I heard the UN talk about her

But a Jewish boy won't drink this brew

Uncle Sam please remember, that

Jerusalem won't be split in two!”


A rockin' Herman

 

Herman’s new album, which is the 10th in number, is expected to be released in mid-September. He has already been working on it for a year with his fellow band members who have performed with him since 1995.

 

Some of the songs on the new album are originals and some are covers to other familiar songs.

 

Amongst the “converted” songs on the album are Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” Elton John’s “Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word,” and the Beatles’ “With a Little Help from My Friends.”

 

Herman believes that by converting these songs to Judaism, so to speak, he is able to “give good music a Jewish and positive significance.”

 

Herman will perform on Sunday night with his fellow musicians at the Yad Binyamin settlement as part of the “Fun, Inspiration and Your Favorite Classic Rock” festival presented by the Emuna Outreach.

 

Rabbi Lazer Brody will also get on stage and insert a Torah lesson in between the first and second sets.

 

Sweet Home Jerusalem

Lyrics by Rabbi Lazer Brody and Steven Gasner

 

Eagles' wings keep on flying

Carry me home to see The King

Singing songs about my City

Jerusalem you're in my dreams

And I'm gonna sing, yes

 

Well I heard the UN talk about her

But a Jewish boy won't drink this brew

Uncle Sam please remember, that

"Jerusalem won't be split in two!"

 

Sweet Home, Sweet Jerusalem

Where the skies are so blue

Sweet Home, Sweet Jerusalem

L-rd I'm coming home to you

 

We're all waiting for Mashiach

You can bet he's coming soon

We'll all be dancing in Jerusalem

And we'll all be singing the same tune

Now that's the truth

 

Sweet Home, Sweet Jerusalem

Where the skies are so blue

Sweet Home, Sweet Jerusalem

L-rd I'm coming home to you

 

The wise men of the Holy City

They've been known to pick a song or two

They help my soul when I'm hurting

They give me joy when I'm feeling blue

Now how about you?

 

Sweet Home, Sweet Jerusalem

Where the skies are so blue

Sweet Home, Sweet Jerusalem

L-rd I'm coming home to you

 

Sweet Home, Sweet Jerusalem

Where the skies are so blue

Sweet Home, Sweet Jerusalem

L-rd I'm coming home to you

 

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