It’s the most wonderful time of the year

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Seems like ages since I last blogged. Got my head down on a few data security and compliance projects and the raw material is piling up.

Today is Israel Memorial Day and the JP Big Band appeared last night in the Modiin Cultural Center with an evening of 23 Israeli classics arranged for large jazz ensemble and small groups by the band’s musical director Eli Benacot. The group appeared with a local opera singer Lilach Rafaelovich and veteran Israeli pop vocalist Sassi Keshet.  The evening was emceed by Yona Elian.

It’s some of the most beautiful Israeli music ever written, which is in a way, tragic that we have to wait for the hardest time of the year to the hear the most wonderful music of the year.

Today is a time when we remember the men and women who fell in battle and made the ultimate sacrifice so that we can all be free. The war against terror and those who wish to destroy us doesn’t finish with the elimination of Bin Laden and reminds us that security theater is not a replacement for security.

It’s also a time of contrast as we visit the graves of comrades in arms, friends and relatives who fell and prepare for Israeli Independence Day tomorrow.

Apropos music and the contribution that Jews have made to the world, did you know that Jewish songwriters  wrote or co-wrote such holiday standards as:

  • “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)”  — Mel Torme and Bob Wells, both Jewish;
  • “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” — co-written by J. Fred Coots, Jewish;
  • “Silver Bells” — Ray Evans and Jay Livingston, both Jewish;
  • It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” — co-written by George Wyle, Jewish;
  • “Sleigh Ride” — co-written by Mitchell Parish, Jewish;
  • “Let It Snow” — Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne, both Jewish; and
  • “White Christmas” — Irving Berlin, Jewish.

Of course, none of these songs is as important as the original Jewish contribution to Christmas,


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