A Piyyutim Album for the High Holidays Based on the Spanish and Ladino Jewry Heritage
Winner of the Israel Prize for Hebrew Song, Yehoram Gaon and Prof. Moshe Ben-Bassat, are currently launching a piyyutim album called 'Et Shaarei Ratzon' with the liturgical hymns of the Spanish and Ladino Jewry. The new album includes 14 familiar and classic piyyutim, in special arrangements, some of which incorporate Ladino passages. This is a unique collection - in a special edition - that is coming out for the High Holidays.
The new album is the work of two good friends: Yehoram Gaon - Israel Prize winner, singer, actor and well-known figure in every home in Israel, and Moshe Ben Bassat a professor of mathematics, who grew up in the Hatikva neighborhood and broke the glass ceiling through his ventures in start ups and technology.
The two met together to pursue the love of their souls, bringing to life the Ladino poems that they grew up on in their ancestral homes that have been sung for decades. Their goal in the album is to preserve the heritage of the piyyutim of Spanish Jewry and pass it on to future generations with the grandeur and splendor they deserve. With the help of producer Eyal Mazig, the authentic vocal singing from centuries ago has been given a new, rich and beautiful musical presentation that makes this ancient beauty accessible to a modern audience, on a contemporary musical level.
The piyyutim are presented in a new album, some as a duet and some as solos by Gaon and Ben Bassat, who performed these piyyutim together for over 35 years during the Tishrei holidays. These are piyyutim that are sung in the Spanish tradition by worshippers of the special synagogue whose establishment in 1971 was led by the late Benny Gaon, brother of Yehoram Gaon, together with families of friends and neighbors, in the Neve Rasko neighborhood of Ramat Hasharon. Among the piyyutim: Lech Elay, Lecha Dodi, Yigdal, Et Shaarei Ratzon, En Ke'Elohaynu, Mizmor LeDavid, Bircat Cohanim, Adon Slichot and more.
The album was also produced with the aim of raising funds to support non-profit organizations for lone soldiers, both those who come from abroad and Israelis without a family background. The aim is to provide every lone soldier with an enveloping community framework, and help him/her achieve their personal aspirations and lead a good life in Israel. A special edition of the album is being sold on a dedicated website set up for this noble purpose and where the monetary proceeds are transferred as a donation to charities for individual soldiers.
Yehoram Gaon - winner of the Israel Prize (2004) for Hebrew song. He is one of the most prominent Israeli singers. He also presents television, is a radio broadcaster, a comedian and an actor participating in Israeli film, television and theater. He was raised in Jerusalem by a family of Spanish deportees. He released an album called "Ladino Romances", as well as an album called "Shabbat Songs" with piyyutim in the style of Spain and Ladino. His film "From Toledo to Jerusalem" presents the experiences of the Jews of Spain in all their travels after the deportation.
Prof. Moshe Ben-Bassat - a world-renowned mathematician and scientist in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), who is considered the "father" of this field in Israel. Already in the 80's, he initiated and carried out fascinating pioneering projects on artificial intelligence for the defense system in Israel and the United States. He founded leading technology companies Click-Software and Plataine and continues to start-up companies. He grew up in the Hatikva neighborhood of Tel Aviv on the heritage of Spain and Ladino, and already in his teens; early 1960s, stood out for his talent and voice and served as a leading paytan in synagogues in his neighborhood.
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