COVID-19: Israeli musical gala sends message of 'love and healing' to India

·3-min read

Tel Aviv/Mumbai, Jul 7 (PTI) Hundreds of Israelis expressed solidarity with India, as it works its way out of the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic, sending out messages of 'love and healing' during a musical gathering.

Musicians from India participated virtually at the event which was held at the HaBima Square in the heart of Tel Aviv on Tuesday evening.

A pre-recorded devotional song, 'Keshav Madhav Hari Hari Bol', sung by Atteev Bhansali with Ashish Ragwani from the Vorfreude Community, was also screened at the event.

'The people of Israel miss India and the Indian people and its culture very much as it has not been possible to visit India during the last year due to Covid-19. The relationship between the people of Israel and the people of India has always been good and strong and we hope that we can visit India again soon,' Raz Hellwing, one of the organisers of the programme, told PTI.

Raz, who owns a travel agency, is himself a musician. He has a strong connection with India having travelled across the country over the years with groups from Israel.

The musical programme was organised by the Unite in Babylon 'singing circle', a unique initiative in which all the participating musicians play and sing together in a circle formation, and everybody else participating joins, whether they are in or out of the circle.

'The singing unites to the centre of the circle and creates a magical atmosphere,” Raz explained.

'The common singing has a lot of power. When you sing together, everyone inhales and exhales according to the rhythm of the song, which makes the heart beat in a rhythm that creates a connection between everyone. An experience so special that it is hard to explain in words. The circle is for everyone and is done voluntarily,” according to the information on the website of Unite in Babylon.

It has been organising such 'singing circles' since 2012.

Tuesday's programme was led by Unite in Babylon's Amichai Haber and his team.

Dozens of musicians from all over Israel sang in Hebrew, English and Hindi, playing a variety of instruments, as hundreds of Israelis - including children, youth and elderly - cheered, sang and danced during the entire event.

'There is nothing which connects people as much as music does. It is a universal language which needs no translation. The Embassy of Israel in New Delhi is pleased to support this unique event by the people of Israel together with the people of India, in musical cooperation which we hope will reach hearts throughout both countries,' Charge d'affaires at the Embassy of Israel in India Rony Yedidia Clein said.

'We are looking forward to more cooperation next year, which will be the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries,” she added.

A devotional song, 'Sitaram, Jai Sitaram', sung by Ori Yavor drew a lot of enthusiasm from the crowd which looked quite familiar with India with some of them even dressed in Indian attire.

Amrata Joshi, the founder of Vorfreude Community, joined the event online from Mumbai while the song was being sung by the Israeli singer.

'Hope this music reaches out to the hearts of the Israelis and this art of music builds even stronger relations between the two friends - India and Israel,” said Joshi, who is also a writer, poet and musician.

A similar event held at the same venue two months ago where Israelis were seen singing 'Om Namah Shivaya' in solidarity with India during the raging second wave of COVID-19 had attracted worldwide attention.

A video posted on social media platforms received more than 12 million hits. PTI HM SNE MRJ

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