Sunday, April 14, 2019

In Vilden Vald - Aaron Tessler feat Zemiros Choir

The devastation of the Holocaust brought about not only the decimation of the Jewish people in body, but also immeasurable losses to Jewish culture. Countless and precious pieces of memory, history, and tradition disappeared with the people who guarded them. But one simple song from the alter heim (the “old country”) has been given new life in a new generation.

The Yiddish song, "In Vilden Vald” ("In the Wild Woods”), performed by newcomer Aaron Tessler, is a tribute to his own family’s legacy and the eternal continuity of the Jewish spirit.

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Music and Lyrics: Unknown Source
Produced by: Yoily Polatseck
Arranged by: Shloimy Salzman
Vocals guided by: Yoily Polatseck at ZemiroStudio, Monsey, NY
Choir: Zemiros, Arranged by Yoily Polatseck
Mixed & Mastered by: Gershy Schwarcz

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“My grandmother, Rachel Tessler OB’'M, was one of few family members to survive the horrors of Auschwitz and the Nazi Death Marches, to return to Viseu de Sus (Visheve), Romania, to marry and start a family,” says Tessler. “Yet, she endured more persecution under the Romanian Communist regime, eventually leading her family to Israel, where she would live until her passing in March 2017.”

In her later years, Rachel Tessler would speak of her childhood in the small Romanian village of Romuli, and among the many stories retold was a song, a timeless piece of Jewish folk culture dating back to a world that is now lost.

“In Vilden Vald” tells the story of a lost little lamb in the harsh wilderness, searching for its mother and its home. The song’s verses equate the lamb with the Jewish people and their enduring quest for tranquility in the Land of Israel, illustrating the constant hope and faith that have been characteristic of so many generations of Jews, in Europe and around the globe.

After extensive research, Aaron was unable to find this song documented anywhere else in the world; a simple recording from his grandmother was all that remained. The song danced with death at Auschwitz, and has survived, and is now reinvigorated by the ultimate sign of Jewish perseverance: the grandchild of a Holocaust survivor.

Now this piece of Jewish heritage is revived and renewed, for reverence and appreciation by future generations. While most of the song’s original listener’s perished thinking that they were experiencing the end of Jewish history, the remastering of “In Vilden Vald” is a testament to the everlasting faith, strength, and resolve that have carried the Jewish people through time.
Lyrics English Translation

In the wild woods, where it is rainy and cold,
a little lamb is lost all alone.
Bitten up by animals and torn by thorns,
he wails and cries bitterly.

“Mamma, Mamma, where are you now?
Mamma, Mamma, have you forgotten me?
Mamma, Mamma, have you forgotten me?
I am Yisrulik'l, your dear only child!”

The mother hears well and answers right away,
“I am not far from you my Yisrulik’l.
Just wait, I am coming soon.
Because the time is coming soon.”

The “Mother” means the Shekhinah, the pure.
The “little lamb” means the Jewish people.
The forest and the animals are the endless adversaries
The “home” means The Land of Israel.

For 2000 years we were driven
from our holy land.
They tormented us and wore us out.
Everywhere we were mocked.

For every nation, its own destiny.
For every man, life can be sweet.
Only us Jews have not even a tiny piece of land
on which we can plant our feet.

In every generation, a new Haman arises:
New suppression to no end
They wish to erase the Jewish name.
They wish to annihilate the Jewish people.

The “Mother” means the Shekhinah, the pure.
The “little lamb” means the Jewish people.
The forest and the animals are the endless adversaries
The “home” means the Land of Israel.

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