In honor of the upcoming Pesach holiday, COLlive presents a video of renowned Chassidic-pop singer Yaakov Shwekey singing a moving rendition of Vehi She'amdah, accompanied by the composer Yonatan Razel.
V'hi She'amda – “And it is this [covenant] that has stood for our Forefathers and us. For not just one enemy has stood against us to wipe us out. But in every generation there have been those who have stood against us to wipe us out, and the Holy One Blessed Be He saves us from their hands.”
The Story of Pesach (Passover) that opened the doors to the Great Exodus from Egypt by the Children of Israel was all about teshuva that is repenting on the part of the Hebrew-Israelites and turning back to HaShem, their G-d, their Provider, and their Salvation. It was not that the Israelites were forced into slavery, as we have learned in the Destination Yisra’el series titled, “The Passover Exodus then and now” for they were led willing into slavery for to them it was to be their emancipation that the Shema Yisra’el warns them about when the G-d of Israel spoke;
Shema Yisra’el – “And you shall not explore after your heart, and after your eyes after which you stray.”
This is what the sages of Israel speak about when the G-d of Israel implores both the Jews of the House of Judah and the Lost Ten Tribes of the House of Israel to make teshuva; that is “repentance” and “turning back to G-d” while at the same time “starting again with a new beginning.” Let us listen to the words by the Israeli sage, Rabbi Lazer Brody, who this in his Passover 2012 blog he wrote:
Rabbi Lazer Brody – “The Gemara (tractate Sanhedrin 97b) says that the Nation of Israel (aka the Jewish People) will be redeemed as soon as they make teshuva (repentance), in other words, return to Hashem and the ways of His Torah. The Gemara then asks, what happens if the Nation of Israel doesn't make teshuva? Rebbe Yehoshua answers that if Israel doesn't make teshuva, then Hashem places them under the influence of a wicked king whose evil decrees are as severe as Haman's, and then they make teshuva.
We cannot fathom The Almighty's love for us and His infinite mercy. Despite the fact that we haven't made Teshuva from Love, which is what we need to do in order to be redeemed, and despite the fact that our own misdeeds put us under the boot of each generation's wicked kings, Hashem has made an eternal promise to deliver us from their hands. That's the V'hi She'amda prayer that we recite each year in the Haggada.
Let me share with you something additional about Hashem's love for His people: The Heavenly Altar and Throne is known as Upper Jerusalem; it is situated directly above Mount Moriah, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, which is known in the Zohar, Midrash, and Gemara as Lower Jerusalem. Hashem refuses to dwell in Upper Jerusalem until His permanent dwelling on earth - the Holy Temple - will be rebuilt in Lower Jerusalem (see Gemara tractate Taanit 5a, Midrash Tehillim 122, Vilna Gaon's elaboration of Zohar, Safra DeTzniuta, 1st Chapter). The entire world and certain evil leaders are denying our right to the area of our own Holy Temple.
Once again, we have no cause to be angry at them, for as soon as we make real teshuva (repentance), they will crumble. But, until we make teshuva, those evil leaders should be forewarned that by disenfranchising Israel from what they call East Jerusalem, they are in effect trying to disenfranchise The Almighty from His chosen land.
Cherished brothers and sisters, that won't happen, period. Hashem has no gratification by forcing us to make teshuva. When we strengthen our emuna and seek Hashem on our own accord, we sanctify His Holy Name. Let's wake up, beloved brothers and sisters. It's either nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles or emuna books and CDs; the choice is ours.
V'hi She'amda is a Passover song whose words come from the Haggada. It conveys a very timely message for the Jewish people:
“He who stood by our forefathers stands by us to deliver us from the hands of our enemies in every generation.”
One of Jewish music's favorite sons, Yonatan Razael, wrote a beautiful melody for this song, which he sings here with the king of Jewish singers, my very special friend Yaacov Shweikey. You'll get shivers up your spine and tears in your eyes listening to them. We're sure you'll enjoy this musical treat as much as we do. Meanwhile, have a wonderful Seder Night, Shabbat, and Pesach!
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וְהִיא שֶׁעָמְדָה לַאֲבוֹתֵיֽנוּ וְלָנֽוּ. שֶׁלֹא אֶחָד בִּלְבָד, עָמַד עָלֵיֽנוּ לְכַלּוֹתֵנֽוּ. אֶלָּא שֶׁבְּכָל דּוֹר וָדוֹר, עוֹמְדִים עָלֵיֽנוּ לְכַלּוֹתֵנֽוּ. וְהַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא מַצִּילֵנוּ מִיָּדָם
Vehi She’amda, La’avotainu Velanu Shelo Echad Bilvad, Amad Aleinu Lechaloteinu Ela Sheb’chol Dor VaDor Omdim Aleinu Lechaloteinu V’HaKadosh Baruch Hu Matzilenu Miyadam.
And this (Hashem’s blessings and the Torah) is what kept our fathers and what keeps us surviving. For, not only one arose and tried to destroy us, rather in every generation they try to destroy us, and Hashem saves us from their hands.
Credit to Rabbi Lazer Brody – “V'hi She'amda: The Eternal Promise” - Friday, 06 April 2012