Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Jewish-Muslim Iranian Rabbi Blends Two Cultures with Music

 
Eyal Mani grew up as Eyal Said, a Muslim in Iran. One day, when he flew to accompany his mother for medical treatment in Israel, she told him that he was half Jewish, and following the discovery, he decided to settle in Israel, become religious and become a rabbi.  

"I was born in Persia in 1961 and grew up as a Muslim in everything," he says. "My father was a Sufi Muslim, and I knew Judaism only through the 'Jewish' parts of the Koran, from the creation to the revelation at Mount Sinai, I believed the Muslim version that the Jews were originally the chosen people but later betrayed God, so he left them and chose the Muslims.

"My mother raised me as a Muslim too, but over the years she was careful to tell me the stories of Judaism and various midrashim through the Koran. I never asked myself why my father was a musician who was considered an admirer of traditional Persian music, and I drew on his love and understanding of music. He taught me a lot. People would come to our house to play with him and learn from him."


Rabbi Mani established the Mekhilta ensembleone of the most moving secular and orthodox Jewish musical collaborations.
 
in 2015 he was awarded an Ofir award (the Israeli 'Oscar' award) for writing the score of the film Baba Joon.

Enjoy! 

A SPECIAL NOTE FOR NEW EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS:  THE VIDEO MAY NOT BE VIEWABLE DIRECTLY FROM THE EMAIL THAT YOU GET EACH DAY ON SOME COMPUTERS AND TABLETS.  YOU MUST CLICK ON THE TITLE AT THE TOP OF THE EMAIL TO REACH THE JEWISH HUMOR CENTRAL WEBSITE, FROM WHICH YOU CLICK ON THE PLAY BUTTON IN THE VIDEO IMAGE TO START THE VIDEO.