Sir Moshe Montefiore: A Wind Band’s Rendition of the Famous Hebrew Song

This video presents a lovely version of Sir Moshe Montefiore, a famous Israeli song dedicated to the life and contributions of the British Jewish philanthropist who advocated for Jews around the world and built the first Jerusalem neighborhoods beyond the walls of the Old City. Performed by the Petah Tikva Conservatory Youth Wind Band, the original song was composed by Dubi Zeltzer and performed by Yehoram Gaon. The lyrics, written by Haim Hefer, convey Montefiore’s tireless commitment to the Jewish people until his death at the age of 101. To see the Hebrew and English lyrics, along with explanatory footnotes, click here

SIR MOSHE MONTEFIORE

When the Sir turned eighty
the white angels came to him
and standing before his bed, they said:
“The Lord wants you by his side”

And that’s how Sir Montefiore replied
“Excuse me gentlemen, but I’m really busy
too much trouble have our brothers in the world
There is a pogrom in Russia, how won’t I go there?
Who could help them but me?”

Chorus:
And he got on his carriage, and “Heya!” said to his horses
a little gift here, modest tribute there
a pinch on a cheek or a gentle caress
And all the Jews are joyful and proud
Well done, dear Sir, well done…

When the Sir turned ninety
He was said: “Come up here, HE is waiting for you”
And the Sir rebutted: “Tell me how could I?
Who would take care of the Damascus affair?

As someone needs to go to the nasty Pasha
and say: “Shame on you! How could you allow this to happen?”
And if it takes to give him a baksheesh
a gift, that no one would notice
who if not I could appease this Turk?”

Chorus: And he got on his carriage…

When the Sir turned hundred
he said: “Enough, my soul is outworn!
Millions of pounds, franks and bishlik were spent
but to save the Jews it’s never enough”

And he was said: “Your honor, just look
we need to build another chamber to Rachel’s tomb,
and heighten the Western Wall.
New residents needed to be brought to Neve Sha’ananim
And who if not you would do that O’ wise one, O’ kind one…”

Chorus: And he got on his carriage…

When the Sir turned hundred and another year
The angels granted him with the very last kiss
And he slowly closed his eyes, asking
only a Jerusalem’s stone to be put under his head

And so, wrapped in a silken tallit he rests
He has finished his last journey
But still to this day, when the night falls
there are those who ready to swear
that they saw the Sir wandering next to his carriage

Chorus: And he got on his carriage…

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