Ahavat ‘olamim (Everlasting Love) is an original production based on a performance held in the framework of the Israel Festival in 2010. This is the third disc in the Contemporary Jewish Music series produced by the Jewish Music Research Centre. It is the product of the initiative and imagination of composer and double bass player Omer Avital, and of musician and educator Yair Harel, Ahavat ‘olamim represents a modern journey into the depths of the Andalusian Jewish musical tradition of Morocco and Algeria. This tradition, shared by Jews and Muslims, is rooted in the experience of Jewish life in the cities of Morocco: in prayer, in life-cycle rituals, and in non-liturgical religious songs for the early morning vigils, called Shirat ha-bakkashot.
The realization of this goal would not have been possible without R. Haim Louk, who offered the inspiration, guided the musicians, and performed this elaborate long piece, which required an intense vocal effort and adaptations to musical languages he had never before experienced. The ﬁnal product serves then as a tribute to R. Haim Louk’s contribution to contemporary Israeli culture.
Performers: Rabbi Haim Louk, the New Jerusalem Orchestra, Piyyut Ensemble of the Ben Zvi Institute
Omar la-Adonay maḥsi, written by a poet named Mas’ud (this may be R. Mas’ud ben Mordechai Asab‘uni of Marrakesh, late 19th-early 20th c.). is is a stirring and energetic piyyut, mostly sung as part of the bakkashot and at the brit milah (circumcision ceremony), with the ﬁgure of Elijah the Prophet appearing in the refrain.