These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

’11 Pardes Chanukkah Song

Posted on January 9, 2012 by S. Rotenberg

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This song was created at the Pardes Hanukkah party in Sam Rotenberg’s music shiur. The singers on the track are (in order in which they sing on the track) Austin Clar, Roy Camarillo, Adir Berkowitz, and Sarah Gunning. Lyrics were written by the class, as well as Suzi Brozman, who put her great writing skills to the test! The song was produced by Sam Rotenberg, Diane Tracht, and Sarah Gunning. There were also two other women in the class, visitors of Pardes, whose names elude me. They also played an integral role in writing the lyrics to the B section, and if anyone remembers who these fine lyricists were, please respond to this post.

The goal of writing this song was to illuminate this question: how can one create something new, when, as we learn in Kohelet, “nothing is new under the sun?” On Chanukah, Judah Maccabee dedicated a new alter to God – and this exercise was meant to reevaluate what it means to create something new. Songwriting is an art form where one takes timeless musical truths and creates something not entirely new, and not entirely old, and at the end of the exercise the class left with a different idea of what is meant by a “new” alter, and also with a fresh song of their own.