Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Ofra Haza: Kaddish (1990)



Ofra Haza [born Bat-Sheva Ofra Hazaעפרה חזה, on November 19, 1957, in Tel Aviv, Israel] sings “Kaddish” at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1990, which is the last and 13th track on the live album, Ofra Haza At Montreux Jazz Festival, released in 1998; the video of the performance was released in 2007. The song is the 11th and last track on the studio album, Desert Wind, which was released on January 16, 1989.

Her voice is remarkable for not only the range, but also for the sincerity of the heartfelt emotion expressed in the words. She sings as if she means it, that the prayer is a genuine and necessary offering. Ofra Haza died on February 23, 2000, of AIDS-related pneumonia; she was 42.

Kaddish (קדיש) is an Aramaic word for “Holy;” in Jewish liturgy it takes on the form of hymns of praise to God. The most well-known Kaddish is the “Mourner’s Kaddish,” so that even in death, at a time of profound sadness and loss, the name of God is magnified and sanctified. This defies human understanding, which makes it heavenly, transcendent, other-wordly. Perhaps, it says that we need to be lifted up on high, which I think partly explains the power of Ofra Haza’s voice. It lifts you up. It gives you a small but satisfying taste of Gan Eden (גַּן עֵדֶן).

Kaddish
by Ofra Haza and Bezalel Aloni

For salvation, Kaddish,
For redemption, Kaddish,
For forgiveness, Kaddish,
For health, Kaddish,
For all the wars victims, Kaddish,
For all the holocaust victims, Kaddish

Why do I cry at night?
Why do I feel so bad?
Something holds me tight
It’s something in the air.

I have a prayer, a prayer,
A prayer from my heart
Night after night after daylight,
Memories of home...


קדיש

בְּחַיֵּיכוֹן וּבְיוֹמֵיכוֹן - קַדִּישׁ
עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל תַּלְמִידֵיהוֹן - קַדִּישׁ
עַל נֶחָמָה עַל שֵׁיזָבָא - קַדִּישׁ
עַל רְפוּאָה וּגְאֻלָּה - קַדִּישׁ
עַל סְלִיחָה וְכַפָּרָה - קַדִּישׁ
עַל הַצָּלָה עַל הַצָּלָה - קַדִּישׁ

עַל נֶחָמָה - קַדִּישׁ
עַל רְפוּאָה - קַדִּישׁ
עַל סְלִיחָה - קַדִּישׁ
וְכַפָּרָה עַל הַצָּלָה עַל הַצָּלָה - קַדִּישׁ

אוֹ - קַדִּישׁ דְּרַבָּנָן
אוֹ - קַדִּישׁ דַּאֲמִירָן

בְּעָלְמָא דִּי בְרָא - קַדִּישׁ
הוּא יִתְגַּדַּל וְיִתְקַדַּשׁ - קַדִּישׁ
עַל נֶחָמָה עַל שֵׁיזָבָא - קַדִּישׁ
עַל רְפוּאָה וּגְאֻלָּה - קַדִּישׁ
בְּחַיֵּיכוֹן וּבְיוֹמֵיכוֹן - קַדִּישׁ
עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל תַּלְמִידֵיהוֹן - קַדִּישׁ

עַל שְׁלָמָא - קַדִּישׁ
מִן שְׁמַיָּא - קַדִּישׁ
יְהֵא לָנָא - קַדִּישׁ
וְכַפָּרָה עַל הַצָּלָה עַל הַצָּלָה - קַדִּישׁ

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