With All Your Heart
About Itai Gal
Itai Gal is a singer-songwriter, prayerleader, and Jewish educator. They play the piano, guitar, accordion, and percussion, and write songs inspired by Jewish prayer and holy teachings. Itai has released one album, “Arise,” with their band Itai and the Ophanim, and are currently recording their second album. You can experience praying with them Monday mornings at Mishkan Chicago online. Itai is an alum of Adamah and Teva. Their work as a Jewish educator is rooted in Earth-based Judaism and seeks to encourage students’ spiritual development. Itai currently lives on unceded Abenaki land, now called Vermont.
About With All Your Heart
This song quotes the second paragraph of the Shma as well as the Shmita text. The second paragraph of the Shma is often translated in a punitive way, but the way that I read it, which is inspired by R’ Arthur Waskow, is that if we do what is in alignment with Earth, then we are doing what is in alignment with Spirit. A year of rest is part of what the Earth needs. When we live in a cooperative relationship with the Earth rather than one of taking, the Earth provides for us. The second verse of this song, the Shmita text itself, is being chanted in the actual trope, in Ashkenazi tradition. Credits: Itai Gal: composition, English lyrics, production, voice, piano, guitar, percussion.
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