OD AVINU CHAI!
EDITOR’S NOTE: I’m posting this because I love this song. I used to have it as a ring tone on my phone before I lost my phone last January somewhere in the Minneapolis airport. Since I don’t have a smart phone, I wasn’t able to recover the ring tone, and I have not found it since.
April 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of what has become, after “Hatikvah,” the second Jewish national anthem — Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach’s “Am Yisrael Chai.”
Reb Shlomo wrote the tune in response to a request by the Student Struggle for Soviet Jewry’s founder Jacob Birnbaum for a marching song for the mass April 1965 “Jericho March” from the Soviet Mission to the United Nations.
In a short time, “Am Yisrael Chai” made its way into the USSR, where young Jews defiantly sang it in front of the few remaining synagogues and in underground groups. The song became the anthem of the entire Soviet Jewry movement, and today is omnipresent within the world Jewish community.
Readers can see and hear Reb Shlomo sing “Am Yisrael Chai” online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmWUyOBmwdU