Elul 20: Light Seeker by Idan Raichel


To understand the light, we must understand the dark.  For me, the dark is what people experience when they have lost their way on the long road of life. It happens to all of us. We lose our center and feel we have nothing to lean on.  We do not see the way to the future and our very presence feels fragile as we lose our connection to our roots.

But it is important to note that at these times, we find ourselves in darkness, not blackness. In the darkness, we can still see shadows.  We need determination, perseverance, and a willingness to get bumped and bruised, but the darkness allows us to pursue a path forward.

I am especially fortunate.  If I find myself stumbling into the darkness, I know what to do. I access my “light seeker” – music. Not just any music.  I am best able to seek the light through folk music.  Folk music has the unique ability to connect people to their roots, to their history, to their culture.  It connects me to what it is to be an Israeli, to be Jewish.  I am connected to my ancestors in Europe’s shtetls and to ancient ancestors on the shore of the Red Sea.

Music gives me other connections as well. I travel the world, and music brings extraordinary people into my life, from Mali to Colombia to Russia to China.  Their energy fuels my spirit and keeps me moving forward on my life’s path.

All of these connections give me strength; they bring fire to my soul.

And where there is fire there is light.

Idan Raichel is one of Israel’s most popular singer songwriters known for his distinctive fusion of electronics, Middle Eastern and Ethiopian music. www.idanraichelproject.com

  • Aura

    “In the depth of my soul there is
    A wordless song – a song that lives
    In the seed of my heart.
    It refuses to melt with ink on
    Parchment; it engulfs my affection
    In a transparent cloak and flows,
    But not upon my lips.

    How can I sigh it? I fear it may
    Mingle with earthly ether;
    To whom shall I sing it? It dwells
    In the house of my soul, in fear of
    Harsh ears.

    When I look into my inner eyes
    I see the shadow of its shadow;
    When I touch my fingertips
    I feel its vibrations.

    The deeds of my hands heed its
    Presence as a lake must reflect
    The glittering stars; my tears
    Reveal it, as bright drops of dew
    Reveal the secret of a withering rose.

    It is a song composed by contemplation,
    And published by silence,
    And shunned by clamor,
    And folded by truth,
    And repeated by dreams,
    And understood by love,
    And hidden by awakening,
    And sung by the soul.

    It is the song of love;
    What Cain or Esau could sing it?

    It is more fragrant than jasmine;
    What voice could enslave it?

    It is heartbound, as a virgin’s secret;
    What string could quiver it?

    Who dares unite the roar of the sea
    And the singing of the nightingale?
    Who dares compare the shrieking tempest
    To the sigh of an infant?
    Who dares speak aloud the words
    Intended for the heart to speak?
    What human dares sing in voice
    The song of God?”


    (Kahlil Gibran- Song of the soul XXII)