Thursday, November 11, 2010

Please Stand Up for the National Anthem of Israel

This unbelievable video comes to us courtesy of PsycheMike and an accompanying article appears on the Crossing the Yarden blog. Please read what he has to say.
I couldn't have said it better.


Danny Frankel said...

Question: do the children in Breuer's Yeshiva know the words to Hatikvah?

G6 said...

Danny -
I wonder if they know the words to The Star Spangled Banner!!!

efrex said...

Y'know, I wanted to go there, but I restrained myself ("Zionist Yekkes in Washington Heights? What is this world coming to?...")

Danny: I can tell you that at least one child in the Yeshiva knows the words, although, thanks to his father's funny-only-to-himself sense of humor, he thinks that the last two words are "play ball!"

ProfK said...

Thank you so much for posting the video. You're right, I could watch the last moments over and over. And if the Iranian got some "agita"? Why, it couldn't have happened to a better person.

zionist said...

amazing article and video. Thank you for posting. Not too shocked that the Iranian refused to shake his hand. Still upsetting and very unsportsmanship like.

ProfK said...

With G6's permission, I'm posting a comment I made to her about this via email.

Your comment that the kids in Breuers probably don't know the words to the Star Spangled Banner fits in with something that happened in school during the last two weeks, and I thought you'd appreciate the irony.

We were doing a correction exercise aimed at spelling errors that occur with homonyms and that SpellCheck won't catch, like to, too, and two. I told the students to circle any errors and we'd discuss them. One sentence had the following in it: "I have sent you thee letter...." A student pointed out to me that this was not a homonym error but a straight spelling error since there is no word thee. So I asked him if he had ever heard of thee and thou, especially as used in older biblical translations and older secular documents. He dismissed that as being British English not used for centuries. Then I asked him what about My Country Tis of Thee. I got blank stares from almost every student.

I couldn't believe that students born here and educated here had no idea about the song. It pissed me off enough that I sent them all to research the song and told them we would be having a quiz on it the next class period. And yes, I gave them a 13 question quiz on the song. They got all the bibliographical information on the lyricist and the dates and where the melody came from, but they failed miserably on one question--only 2 students in the class could answer the question "What is the second line of the song?" I shudder to think what might be the result if I asked about The Star Spangled Banner. (Although if there are any sports fans in the group they might at least recognize the tune from sports events they've seen) And these are seniors in college.

Just what is it that constitutes a well-rounded education in our yeshiva system?

Anonymous said...

WOW! Seriously, just WOW!!

Yehudah said...


Hadn't any of them watched Pollyana? That's how I know the song (or at least part of it).

As far as the Star Spangled Banner is concerned, I'm embarassed to say that I only know about half of the words. I simply was never taught it in school (and trying to figure out what the words are by listening to it being sung at sports games is next to impossible).

efrex said...

Hey, singing "My country 'tis of thee" is clearly unpatriotic, since we sing it to the tune of "God Save the Queen." Besides, we don't need to know our anthem; we already know that we're the best. Right? :)

Hey, and at least we don't sing about our work clothes, like those Germans - "German, German overalls..." :)

(Btw, the above are Flanders & Swann references, which probably be caught by nobody in Breuers OR college today, much to our general cultural sorrow)

BLD said...

"The song is kefirah and was written by a drunk."

Rabbi S. Schwab ztzl, as heard in his Friday Chumash Shiur in Breuer's Bais Medrash in the 80's

Anonymous said...

Giving Rav Schwab, ztzl, all due respect, there are lots of brilliant and/or beautiful things that were written by people who were drunk or otherwise inebriated at the time or throughout life. And most of it is perfectly "tznius".

Yehudah said...

If Rav Schwab was an anti-Zionist, it would make sense that he would have said such a statement. I've heard the very same statement from many other people.

Alas, had more frum Jews been involved in the Zionist movement, perhaps a frum person could've been the one to write a beautiful and holy national anthem.

Isaac Breuer lamented frum Jews' insistence on remaining outside of history, which clearly was pointing toward the creation of a Jewish state . Torah is supposed to infuse itself into every derech eretz. Unfortunately, Jews in Israel -- until today -- divorce themselves from society instead of trying to influence it.

Even Rav Breuer, no Zionist, said as much. Right after the state's creation, he wrote that frum Jews should try to make it a Torah society and encouraged young frum people to move there to fulfill this purpose.

(The last paragraph is based on the recently published collection of essays by Rav Breuer.)

ProfK said...

With all due respect to R' Schwab, he got it all wrong and mixed up two different people. There is Francis Scott Key who wrote the poem/lyrics for "The Star Spangled Banner" and Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald, better known as F. Scott Fitzgerald. "Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, on September 24, 1896, the namesake and second cousin three times removed of the author of the National Anthem."

It is F. Scott Fitzgerald who was the drunkard, not Francis Scott Key. Francis Scott Key was quite the opposite--a highly religious man who did not drink at all.

And thus we see how misinformation can get institutionalized and passed down through the ages.

efrex said...


I would assume that R' Schwab ZT'L was referring to Naftali Herz Imber, the composer of "Hatikvah," who indeed was a chronic alcoholic. R' Schwab would almost certainly not refer to "The Star Spangled Banner" as kefirah; vulgar, perhaps, but not kefirah. The "Lehiyot am chofshi" line, on the other hand, could well be interpreted as kefirah by those so inclined.

ProfK said...

Sorry for that, but the comment on R' Schwab followed directly after one about the Star Spangled Banner and I read it as being related, particularly since many people do mix up the two FS Keys, and one was a drunk.