On a typical day, it takes me a few moments to determine if the song playing on my local Jewish radio station is actually Jewish music or not. Not so for Yaakov Shwekey’s “We Are a Miracle,” which comes as a breath of fresh air and a reminder of what refined, batampt’e Jewish music is all about. While I enjoyed the entire album, I highlighted a few of my absolute favorites:
Track One, Ma’amin BeNisim – From the introductory music to the inspiring lyrics, I am often inclined to press the repeat button on this song. It took me a few rounds of listening to get the words straight, and this song has definitely served as great refresher for my Hebrew skills. I love turning this CD on as I drive to work each morning; the beat is energetic and the lyrics are great as a daily dose of inspiration to guide me through my day. Oh, and did I mention the musical arrangement? I love the intro…
Track Three, We Are a Miracle – If the first track was inspiring, I would describe this one as “powerful.” Throughout the ages, we’ve cried so many tears, yet we’ve always had a connection to Hashem that has helped us stay strong and has enabled our survival. “But the few who carried on live for millions who are gone” – this line gives a sense of purpose for every living Jew to carry on with strength throughout challenging times, knowing that we are the continuation of the chain that our ancestors have fought for throughout the generations. Despite our still being in Galus, our connection with Hashem continues to flourish and guides us through whatever difficulties face us today – yes, We Are a Miracle.
Track Four, Smachot – My first thought in listening to this song was, “Wow, another Shwekey song that goes ‘Day, Day, Day!’” My next thought – “This song is amazing!” I will admit, I do dance when this track comes on, even when I’m alone in my car. I hope to hear this song at weddings and other “S’machot” – love it!
Track Eight, Inshallah – I will be very honest – I’m a bit creative with the words of this song, but it’s so catchy and fun that I don’t think anyone even notices or cares. This one is definitely a favorite for my kids as well.
Track Ten, Chaval Al HaZman – Love this one! Once again, great practice for my Hebrew skills (still not sure I have it all down pat, but I’m getting there!). This song is fun and funky, but Shwekey’s magic touch keeps it refined and inspiring, too.
For those of you who are looking for a pre-Sefirah album, I would highly recommend this one. The other songs are beautiful, too, but I’ve been looking for a CD that’s fun yet tasteful, and I think I’ve found that in Shwekey’s “We Are a Miracle.”