Ya’aleh (MBD)

September 27, 2020

There certainly have been many songs that have inspired us over these past few weeks. From the verses of L’Dovid Hashem Ori, to the many sections and individual piyutim of the Rosh Hashanah davening, as well as from the order of selichos that we have said each day – there have been countless melodies that have touched us, each tune sacred to the listener for a different reason. However, whether it has been and oldie – Machnisei Rachamim [Banet], Kol Nidrei [Rosenblatt], The Bird of Hope [Storch], Chamol or Mareh Kohen [Calek] – or perhaps something newer – Ochila [Paley], L’maancha [Katz], Rachamana [Rotenberg or Schechter or Goldshmid], Tavoi [Schwab], Seder Ha’avoda [Ribo] – there is no denying the important role that song has taken in all our lives.

For some of us, it was a niggun that stirred our souls, enabling us to extract a sincere and heartfelt prayer. For others, it was a song that helped us cry, allowing us to feel some desperately needed, genuine emotion. And just as we have done up until now, we will continue to rely on those special tunes to help us connect to our upcoming Yom Kippur tefilos. After all, the more we feel connected to the words we are saying, the more secure we feel in the effectiveness of our tefilos, right?

But while we may have had different tunes that got us to this point, one thing remains universal: we all want nothing more than for our tefilos to reach Hashem’s Heavenly Throne. We begin our selichos on the eve of Yom Kippur with a hopeful plea that all our tefilos that we offer – from now until the end of tomorrow night’s Neilah – be received and accepted favorably. Today’s tune, Ya’aleh is from the 2017 album called Tzaakah and sung by the inimitable MBD. The melody was composed by the accomplished singer/songwriter Eli Klein and has, since its release, become an extremely popular Yomim Nora’im tune the world over. It is a song that captures both the spirit of the day and the longing that we all feel as we begin our ascent towards spiritual perfection.

We have all, in some way or another, used these poignant and deeply moving melodies as vehicles for our prayers to reach their desired destinations. Concealed within these tunes have been our yearnings to be with Hashem, our regret for our sins, and our requests for the upcoming year. And now, as we enter a day filled with petitions and praise, we will once again call upon our merits, wrap our prayers in beautiful melody, and send them heavenward. In this way, by the end of Yom Kippur, Hashem will have surely found favor in our musical offerings and will have granted us the good year that we seek. May it be His will!

Wishing each of you a year filled with song, and a gmar chasimah tova!

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