Shalva Band
Shalva BandRonen Ackerman

The Shalva Band on Saturday night advanced to the finals of the television contest “Rising Star”, in which Israel’s representative for this year’s Eurovision Song Contest is chosen.

The band sang “Pizmon Layakinton”, a famous lullaby written by Israeli poet Lea Goldberg. They received 87 points from the judges and the audience.

The Shalva Band is composed of eight adults with disabilities including Down syndrome, Autism, and various physical handicaps.

In recent days, the band has been considering withdrawing from the show, fearing that if it wins the competition and is chosen to represent Israel at the Eurovision, it will be forced to violate Shabbat due to the intensive rehearsals for the contest that require work on Shabbat..

Israel-based organizers of Eurovision have asked the Tzomet Institute to provide them with a Shabbat-friendly microphone that would help the Shalva Band avoid Shabbat desecration.

The Tzomet Institute innovates technological solutions to questions in halakha (Jewish law). Their request was rebuffed by Tzomet rabbis, who said that rehearsals held on Shabbat itself would involve massive Shabbat desecration.