Irony of Jerusalem

Social media is a weird thing. It holds no prisoners as to what and who should be trending. It is safe to say, that no one would have predicted a choir of Orthodox Jewish teenage boys wearing black yarmulkes and outdated silky shirts would gain the attention of Western popular culture which is rapidly changing and increasingly antisemitic;  and all during the Jewish Ten Days of Awe. 

Just as astonishing is that the song “Yerushalayim,” sung by the Miami Boys Choir is sung in heavily accented Ashkenazi Hebrew – which is hard for even some Israelis to understand (let alone non-Jews) — and was recorded fifteen years ago. For the most, the millions of people who shared the clip don’t understand Hebrew, and have had little relationship or familiarity with Jewish culture. 

Founded way back in 1977, the Miami Boys Choir has always attracted the attention of the Orthodox Jewish world. Members come and go as they get older, leaving a trail of singles, albums and concerts performed before the Jewish community, mostly throughout the United States. When Chananya Begun, one of the choir’s former members, suggested he open a Miami Boys Choir Tik Tok account because “who knows what can happen” even he had no idea how viral it would go. Not only have there been over 10 million views on Tik Tok alone, Yerushalayim has wrapped up millions of more views on other social media platforms, as well of hundreds of non-Jews – performing their own versions of the song which is nothing but a quote from Tehilim (Psalms 125:2). 

The unexpected belated success of these now-near middle-age Jewish guys, has not just been a talking point on social media but throughout Israel as well. Mysteriously, not one cultural or social commentator in Israel has managed to put their finger on the “why” behind the success. But somehow, that makes it even more attractive.

With a rampant rise of antisemitism throughout the world, and especially in America, there is something delicious for the Jewish people about all this. The people who use their own social media to hate on the Jews and bash Israel are now the very same people who are enthusiastically but ignorantly singing of the ratification of HaShem’s promises to His people Israel.