More and more bands are emerging in Israel who mix rock music with Judaism. This Wednesday Rockiah and Yood will perform at the C'naan club in Jerusalem. Both bands feature Jewish-Americans who took rock music from America and incorporated Torah lyrics and Jewish musical themes.
Yehuda David, currently of Beit Shemesh and lead singer and guitarist of Rockiah said his initial impetus was a childhood argument with his brother over the merits of hasidic music. "If you're so sick of it, then you do better." David recalls his brother telling him. It eventually led him to release the album Bonei Yerushalayim last year, a collection of upbeat power rock songs with fast guitar solos and Hebrew lyrics from Psalms and other traditional sources.
The band Yood has a more blues rock sound in line with Jimi Hendrix. The trio includes two former Americans and one Russian-Jewish immigrant -- all members of Chabad. Their repertoire includes traditional Chabad melodies such as Tzamech Lecha Nafshi but with blazing guitar solos. Yood also has English songs, one of which is about moving to Israel and is featured on the new Aliyah Revolution compilation CD.
Even the concert's venue, C'naan, is indicative of a new religious mix in the Israeli music world. The concert club features both secular Israeli pop music and DJ nights as well as hosting religious Jewish oriented acts. Both the beer and the food are kosher and on any given night it is common to find as many young men with kippahs in the crowd as without.
Rockiah and Yood will perfom Wednesday November 25th at C'naan, 15 Shammai Street, downtown Jerusalem. Tickets are 40 shekels, 30 for IDF soldiers or students.