In a Jerusalem Post article entitled Family Ties and Binds, Liat Collins reflects on different aspects of the Jewish people (Am Yisrael). This reflection occurs as the annual conference of the General Assembly of the Jewish Federations of North America – until recently known as the United Jewish Communities (UJC) gets underway in Washington DC.
Collins discussed the 2 way links between Israel and the Jewish Diaspora, and how they will move forward into the future.
“Am Yisrael Chai” is certainly one of the most stirring Jewish expressions. The Aish website provides a reminder that the expression “Am Yisrael Chai, Od Avinu Chai” (The people of Israel lives, our forefather still lives) is linked to when Joseph asks his brothers if his father lives (Braishit 45:3).
The song became particularly popular when sung by Carlebach during the 1970’s demonstrations for Soviet Jewry. Here is a great early video of Shlomo Carlebach, and a discussion from J Birnbaum on the origin of this anthem (this latter site also has excellent links to Jewish music, from Shule to modern).