Shalom Life | April 16, 2014

Passover Rhapsody - A Jewish Rock Opera

The story of Passover and the exodus from Egypt is retold using puppets and Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody in brilliant style.

By: Liron Nagler-Cohen

Published: March 31st, 2012 in Culture » Society » News

Passover Rhapsody - A Jewish Rock Opera

One of Queen's greatest hits is getting a Passover twist: The iconic rock band's Bohemian Rhapsody has been transformed into an Egyptian Rhapsody of the exodus from Egypt and a retelling of the Passover Haggadah.

The Aish HaTorah yeshiva which has its main center in Jerusalem but which has branches throughout the globe, is doing it again with a video clip they believe has the potential of going viral. One has to wonder what Freddie Mercury would have thought of the remake.

"It all started when one of the visitors to our website suggested the idea of bringing together the Bohemian Rhapsody and the storyline of the exodus from Egypt," revealed Rabbi Nechemia Coopersmith, a teacher at Aish and editor in chief of the website. Rabbi Coopersmith saw the potential and together with the Aish team, rushed to create lyrics to the rhapsody melody.

The stars of the clip are puppets created by Yitzhak Pecker of Jerusalem's Train Theater. Pecker has over 100 puppets in his possession so all the team needed to do was select their "leads" and they were on their way.

The result: a well made parody that manages to tell the tale of the exodus from Egypt – from start to finish, with commentary – in less than four minutes.

"These clips are a lot of fun," admits Rabbi Coopersmith, who became a producer by default. After going all out online with successful clips for Rosh Hashanah, Passover, Purim and Chanukah – last year and this year – it is a little hard to surpass the previous productions and remain creative, noted Coopersmith.

The ideas is to always find a tool you can use in order to reach the Jewish masses," he said. "In the case of Queen, it's a great way to revamp the song and give it an almost holy feeling. And that's what we do: Use the internet, which is impure for a higher purpose so that anyone can enjoy it."

This article is reprinted with permission from Ynet.

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