Make your own Music Video

For download of the pdf

Intimacy with Israeli Culture and Expression (Pride)

Introduction:

We believe that one of the most beautiful expressions of להיות עם חופשי בארצנו  (To be a Free People in Our Land) is the flourishing of Jewish culture and art that has emerged as a natural progression from the Jewish people building a thriving society in their ancestral homeland.

Goals:

Reaching intimacy with Israeli popular culture.

Our identity is enriched and informed by many aspects of popular culture, yet Israeli popular culture often remains distant from us due in large part to language. Technology and our own creativity can now act as a bridging tool.

In this activity, we will look at the way videos of several popular Israeli rock songs communicate – through visuals and through translations. We will then make our own interpretive music videos, and share our finished products with one another.

In this way, through creative interpretation, we will ‘own’ Israeli songs that tell fascinating and different stories about Israel today.

Videomaker, a popular video production magazine said: “In the last 25 years, the invigorating art form of making a music video has grown to be one of the most influential and individually stylistic modes of production in the industry. From the first frame to the last, music videos serve as a blank canvas to your mind’s eye, a place to show the world what you can really do when let loose with a camera.”

Instructions:

PART ONE – WHAT DOES A VIDEO DO?

In class, explore three songs and their video representations.

In this way the class will gain a language and an appreciation of the potential of this form.

1. “Hebrewman”, by Ehud Banai. (see lyrics below)

Speak up, the language of the Hebrewman
Loud and clear! the language of the Hebrewman!.

It is the language of the prophets
of the sign up on the wall
it is old and sacred
It will open up your soul.
Speak up, the language of the Hebrewman
Loud and clear! the language of the Hebrewman.

From the deepest mess of downtown Babylon
it will take you to the next train to Mount Zion
It will get you up, it will make you fly
the language of the Hebrewman will take you high

You know Abraham spoke the language of the hebrewman
And also Jesus from Nazareth and Maria Magdalene
Einstein, Jeremiah the Dylan and the Cohen
They know something about the language of the Hebrew man…

And when the Lord said let there be Light
it was in the language of the Hebrewman
and when Moses said: let my people go
it was in the language of the Hebrewman
speak the language of the Hebrewman.

[And on that  day a great new  light will shine]
[The crack will open slowly, slowly will fall the wall]
[And when the time comes on will come in the name of the One]
[All the whole world will know one language]
Speak the language of the Hebrewman.

[And when the time comes on will come in the name of the One]
[All the whole world will know one language]
[Slowly we’ll build the Temple, line by line & letter by letter]
[Don’t say bye-bye to me, just say “Lehitra’ot”]
Speak the language of the Hebrewman.

and let us all say halleluya
Let us all say : amen
a day will come and everybody
will speak the language of the Hebrewman.

Guiding questions:

  • Which aspects of the video enhanced the song, which aspects got in the way?
  • Which images helped you understand something, and which images pulled you further from understanding?
  • Were there any moments when you felt the video was flowing with the song?
  • Were there any moments when you felt the video was trying to say something different from the song?
  • What do you think about the way the song praises Hebrew, but is mostly in English?

2. Yetziat Mitzrayim (Exodus from Egypt), by Etti Ankri

To leave in the exodus from Egypt 

To arrive in the desert

Perhaps we’ll find some water there

On the way to the mountain

May it open in two

The salt water

And we shall pass in between

All those who are weeping

And they are gaining on us

An army of cavalry

It is difficult for Moshe

The people have no faith in their hearts

The beach’s touch is calming

The sea gapes open its mouth

What if we return to Egypt?

Fear has no memory

We were builders of pyramids

Interpreters of dreams

We had nothing we could call our own

Only  salt and tears

This is Jacob’s pain

Over  little Joseph

Sown within us

Is senseless brotherly hatred

And sometimes it seems to me

When I am ready to give up

Pharaoh is my disorder

And I am sad for Egypt

And sometimes it seems to me

What we are still there

Walking towards the mountain

Begging for water

May it open up in two

The salt water

And we shall pass in between –

All those that are walking

לצאת ביציאת מצרים 

לבוא אל המדבר

אולי נמצא שם מים

בדרך אל ההר

שיפתחו לשניים

המים המלוחים

ונעבור באמצע

כל אלה שבוכים

והם עולים עלינו

צבא של פרשים

קשה מאוד למשה

אין אמונה בלב האנשים

מגע החוף מגיע

הים את פיו פוער

אולי נחזור מצרימה

הפחד לא זוכר

בנינו פירמידות

פתרנו חלומות

כלום לא היה שלנו

רק מלח ודמעות

זה הכאב של יעקב

על יוסף הקטן

זרוע בתוכנו

שנאת אחים חינם

ולפעמים נדמה לי

כשבא לי להרים ידיים

פרעה הוא הפרעה שלי

וצר לי ממצרים

ולפעמים נדמה לי

שאנחנו עדיין שם

הולכים בדרך אל ההר

מתחננים למים

שיפתחו לשניים

המים המלוחים

ונעבור באמצע

כל אלה שהולכים

Guiding questions:

  • Which images in the video enhanced the song, which images got in the way?
  • Which images helped you understand something, and which images pulled you further from understanding?
  • Were there any moments when you felt the video was flowing with the song?
  • Were there any moments when you felt the video was trying to say something different from the song?
  • Can you imagine a Bible song ever getting major mainstream airplay in the States? What do you think it tells you about Israel, that this song did?

Nothing at all – Knisiyat HaSechel

This first video has no translation

What is the video saying to you?

[Here you should allow for a free-ranging conversation. If opinions are not forthcoming, throw out some observations: the fact that all the actors are children, that at first the kids are at an army exhibition, that there are kids from all ethnic and religious backgrounds. Why/what is the child climbing? What of the oversized army uniform, stripping off the uniform? And what of the foetus-shaped gathering of bodies?]

There are no wrong answers for this conversation, personal interpretations and individual responses are welcome.

Now play the clip with the subtitles included.

  • How does seeing the translation affect your understanding of the video?

The words to this song come from a poem written by a young soldier, Erez Shtark. He died in a notorious military helicopter crash in February 1997. The poem was read out at his funeral, and eventually turned into a rock song by Knisiyat HaSechel.

  • How does this information affect your understanding of the video?

PART TWO – MAKE YOUR OWN!

After this introductory lesson, send the students home with a clear assignment:

Create your own interpretive video to an Israeli song. The video must include a simultaneous translation, and some form of additional imagery – stills, animation, or video – that for you expresses/enhances the meaning of the song.

Students may choose the song from the three offered in Part One, or from the three songs presented below. They can work with any computer program they wish – you might want to gather wisdom from the class, suggesting programs to work with.

The next meeting, they must present their music videos to the class.

PART THREE – THE SCREENING

If more than one student has made a video of the same song, we recommend screening all videos of the same song in one batch, so that the students can experience how the same song can be interpreted in multiple ways. [This multi-vocality, you may point out, is a crucial tool for meeting Israel in its full complexity.]

After each video, or set of videos, lead a short discussion on the songs and on their interpretations.

4.  Da (Alma Zohar)דע – עלמה זוהר –

Look at you 

Lying, hiding

Not trusting anyone

Prefer to be alone

No outgoing, no incoming

Not giving, and not seeking love

With you everything is mask upon mask

With a lie in your soul

Hurt people

Don’t know how to ask for forgiveness

How do you live?

Cold and alienated

Closed and introverted

Look in a mirror

and see a stranger

Know who you are

Know where you came from

And where you are going

And before Whom you will give your accounting

Look at you using and throwing away

Chewing up and spitting out

You have everything

And it’s not enough

You are empty

How can you distance all who are close?

How do you suppress all that’s not good?

Don’t let anyone love you

Know

who you are

Know where you came from

And where you are going

And before Whom you will give your accounting

Know that all is quid pro quo

All that you do

in this world

Will always return to you

Until you change direction

Until you seek repair

You will have no rest

It haunts you

תראה אותך 

משקר, מסתתר

לא בוטח באף אחד

מעדיף להיות לבד

אין יוצא ואין בא

לא נותן ולא מבקש אהבה

הכל אצלך

מסכה ועוד מסכה

עושה שקר בנפשך

פוגע

לא יודע לבקש סליחה

איך אתה חי

קר ומנוכר

סגור ומסוגר

מסתכל במראה

רואה שם מישהו זר

דע מי אתה

דע מאין באת

ולאן אתה הולך

ובפני מי אתה עתיד לתת דין

דין וחשבון

תראה אותך

משתמש וזורק

לועס ויורק

יש לך הכל

וזה לא מספק

אתה ריק

איך אתה מרחיק כל מי שקרוב

איך אתה מדחיק כל מה שלא טוב

לא נותן לאהוב אותך

דע

מי אתה

דע מאין באת

ולאן אתה הולך

ובפני מי אתה עתיד לתת דין

דין וחשבון

דע הכל מידה כנגד מידה

כל דבר שאתה עושה

בעולם הזה

לעולם חוזר חזרה

עד שלא תשנה כיוון

עד שלא תבקש תיקון

לא תהיה לך מנוחה

זה רודף אותך


* The words of this song are taken from Pirkei Avot- Ethics of the Fathers.

5. Shma – Sarit Hadad שמע ישראל – שרית חדד –

When the heart cries 

only God hears

The pain rises out of the soul

A man falls down before he sinks

With a short prayer he breaks the silence

Shma (Hear) Israel my God,

you’ are the omnipotent

You gave me my life,

you gave me everything

In my eyes are tears,

the heart cries silently

And when the heart is quiet,

the soul screams

Shma (Hear) Israel my God,

now I am alone

Make me strong my God;

make it that I won’t be afraid

The pain is big,

and there’s no where to run away

Make it end

Because I have no strength left

When the heart cries,

Time stands still

All of a sudden, the man sees his entire life

He doesn’t want to go to the unknown

He cries to his God right before a big fall

Shma (Hear) Israel my God….

כשהלב בוכה 

רק אלוהים שומע
הכאב עולה מתוך הנשמה
אדם נופל לפני שהוא שוקע
בתפילה קטנה חותך את הדממה.

שמע ישראל אלוהי

אתה הכל יכול
נתת לי את חיי

נתת לי הכל

בעיני דמעה

הלב בוכה בשקט

וכשהלב שותק

הנשמה זועקת

שמע ישראל אלוהי

עכשיו אני לבד
חזק אותי אלוהי

עשה שלא אפחד

הכאב גדול

ואין לאן לברוח
עשה שיגמר

כי לא נותר בי כח.

כשהלב בוכה

הזמן עומד מלכת
האדם רואה את כל חייו פתאום
אל הלא נודע הוא לא רוצה ללכת
לאלוהיו קורא על סף תהום.

שמע ישראל אלוהי…

Some points:

  • This song is most commonly played on national days of mourning in Israel

5. Lo Nafsik Lachlom (We Won’t Stop Dreaming) – Mook E

For every reason to stay 

I have ten reasons to leave

Far from my eyes and my heart

We only remember the good

And yet I choose each day

To stay close

And I won’t stop dreaming

I won’t stop loving

What have we done to ourselves that it hurts this bad?

And how is it so dark here if we’re all stars

How can we still not see that the skies are clear

Hiding from the very things we chase

Staying constantly at arm’s length

So very empty of content, only our bellies are full

Maybe we need to destroy it all and start over

And this whole song is a prayer

That we don’t stop dreaming…

And how strange it is

When we’re strangers to ourselves

We reach out to touch what is impossible

Today we want to taste

From what will only come tomorrow

Is this freedom

Or is man buried within himself?

They won’t turn me into a viewing statistic

Or to a purchasing power

Of a potential sale

Rumors of war will not extinguish me

Obstacles will not stop me

Fences will not trip me

You much leave – in order to return

To distance yourself – in order to long for something

Reality is screaming in my ear

I can no longer hear

I hold my head up high

If I don’t  I’ll drown

And despite everything I know

We won’t stop dreaming…

על כל סיבה להשאר –
יש לי עשר לעזוב
רחוק מעין ומלב,
זוכרים רק את הטוב.
אבל אני בוחר מחדש כל יום
להשאר קרוב
ואני לא אפסיק לחלום.
לא אפסיק לאהוב. 

מה עשינו לנו שאנחנו ככה כואבים?
ואיך זה שחשוך כאן אם כולנו כוכבים?
איך עדיין לא רואים שהשמיים שקופים?
מתחבאים בדיוק ממה שאחריו רודפים.
נשארים תמיד במרחק של נגיעה
כל כך ריקים מתוכן רק הבטן מלאה
אולי צריך להרוס את הכל ולהתחיל מהתחלה.
וכל השיר הזה תפילה –

שלא נפסיק לחלום…

וכמה זה מוזר,
כשעצמנו לנו זר
שולחים לגעת במה שאי אפשר.
רוצים לטעום כבר היום
ממה שיבוא רק מחר
האם זו החירות,
או שאדם בתוך עצמו נקבר?

לא יהפכו אותי לאחוזי צפייה
לכוח קנייה
לפוטנציאל למכירה
לא יכבו אותי שמועות על מלחמה
לא יעצור אותי מכשול
לא תפיל אותי חומה
צריך לצאת – כדי לחזור
להתרחק – כדי להתגעגע
המציאות צועקת לי באוזן,
אני כבר לא שומע
מחזיק את הראש גבוה,
כי אם לא אני טובע.
ולמרות כל מה שאני יודע –

לא נפסיק לחלום…

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