Here, for once, the dead forms who haunt the living aren’t malicious, confused, or angry.They’re much too busy singing and dancing to take a personal interest in the world they’ve departed.The song, a Biblically-inspired celebration of pre-state Zionists finding water, has eventually become a sort of shibboleth for nerds on the Internet joking about video games.If that isn’t a Jewish success story, then what is?The song’s composer is Emanuel Amiran-Pougatchov, who would go on to be the country’s Minister of Music Education, and in 1937 choreographer Else I. But other than your summer camp or Israel, the places you’re most likely to hear this song are Japan or Taiwan.
The melody became so well known that it was even used in commercials in Japan.They enlisted the aid of Rickey Holden, a prominent square and folk dance-caller, scholar, and educator.Holden does not appear to be Jewish, but he did visit Israel to study folk dance.Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at [email protected] proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.