There's nothing more appropriate to sing during these days before the 17th of Tammuz (or any time), than songs of Jerusalem.
The upcoming 17th of Tammuz recalls the breach of the walls of Jerusalem by the Romans. The day is the beginning of three weeks of sorrows for the Jewish people, culminating in 9 Av, when the Temple was destroyed.
Today as I walked along the streets of the Zayit Hill in Efrat, I heard joyous songs of Jerusalem. The eternity of Jerusalem. The beauty of Jerusalem. The unity of Jerusalem.
The Orot Etzion Banot girls elementary school was in full gear for its second annual girls' sing-a-thon. It's call Pizmone Etzion Banot, and it follows in the footsteps of the highly successful boys' version that wows Efrat/Gush Etzion every year. Its director is Moriah Rottenberg. I found her behind the microphone, calmly, yet enthusiastically, guiding class after class in their rehearsals under the morning sun.
Efrat is often proclaimed for its excellence in Education, its creative Chinuch and its dedicated teachers, who go above and beyond in their efforts for their students. This was surely evident today, as Pizmone Etzion Banot showcased the creativity and talents of each of the girls, as well as the encouragement of their teachers.
The girls will be performing tonight (Sunday) at 7 PM for third through fifth graders, and 8:30 PM for sixth through eighth graders. The event will be held right in the school's beautiful outdoor stadium.
I watched several of the grades perform. They were terrific - singing, dancing, gymnastics. You name all. All within the theme of Jerusalem. While the melodies were familiar, the words to each of the songs were written by the girls themselves. Some of them are very powerful!
Ladies and girls, don't miss this terrific opportunity to see the entire student body perform. It will be quite memorable.