Eliad Eliyahu, a singer and a former lead vocalist of Lahakat Pikud Tzafon (IDF Northern Command Band), released a new song called 'Kumi Ulechi Lach', which was written on the basis of Rachel Bluwstein's poem 'Banechar'- "In a Foreign Country"'.

Eliad composed the song, which is more relevant now than ever, using the lyrics of Rabbi Shlomo Halevi Elkabetz, the composer of 'Lecha Dodi', and gave his own song a deeper meaning that goes beyond time and space.

"In my workplace at the Jewish Agency for Israel, I can relate to any topic pertaining to Israel and the Diaspora", said Eliahu, who serves as the representative of the Jewish Federations of Atlanta and St Louis in Israel. "But as far as I am concerned, this song relates to me in terms of making a life change".

'Basically – the journey between 'a foreign country' and 'a homeland' symbolizes people's life journeys. And here I can relate to a song in several directions… This may include repentance, decision-making and being on a "Shlichut" or any other familial and personal processes people go through. 'Just walking away' requires a lot of energy, and this song gives you strength".

"By the way", he said, "Rachel's original poem 'Banechar' was written in Tel Aviv, Israel, and I believe that Rachel Bluwstein's concepts of nechar (foreign country) and moledet (homeland) go beyond the simple and literal meaning too".

"I have always had a liking for Hebrew poetry", said Eliyahu. "I took an extended theatre and literature class in a high school in Acre, and as a singer in the IDF Band I had the opportunity to sing the "songs of the good old land of Israel" a lot. I was always happy and excited to sing these songs during concerts in military bases and posts, and they were always well received".

"Later, while becoming newly religious, I realized how deep and meaningful Hebrew poetry was. I took it upon myself to read a poem and find my Jewish connection, content, and biblical depth in it".

"My previously released song is 'Shabat Hamalka' (The Sabbath Queen) by Bialik", he says. "I know Chaim Nachman Bialik's poems attract criticism from Jewish religious publics, but this is irrelevant to me.

'Tocho achal, klipato zarak…' (="ate its contents while throwing away its peel). I take the content I am attached to and make Hebrew poetry accessible. The beauty of the Sabbath in Bialik's poems and the Jewish connection to Israel in Rachel's poems are important things I believe in and cannot compromise and hide".

Nowadays Eliyahu works as a representative of the Jewish Federations of Atlanta and St Louis and as a Partnership director for the Jewish Agency for Israel. Earlier, he was a senior community emissary in central United States. "Today, when I release a song, I immediately think how to translate it for all my friends and people in Jewish communities who mean a lot to me and with whom I keep in touch, because this is the first request I get when uploading the song to social media".

"It excites me to take a poem that was written over a hundred years ago and to compose it for different communities abroad, and just as importantly, for various communities in Israel".

Translation of the song:
Get up and go, what do you have in this foreign country?!
I shall get up: for the thousandth time
I shall walk helplessly
Wandering around in the roads, in the heat and in the trickle
This is how I love it: without any solutions

Chorus: Get up and go…

I will be sitting, bent and shaking
The sun behind the foreign clouds is cold
A silent command shall hear the yearning for the homeland
Get up and go, what do you have in this foreign country?!

Chorus: Get up and go…

Leave the upheaval behind
The water will go up, and the blessing will come
The sun in the sky will shine your day
And the songs shall come again to your borders

Chorus: Get up and go…