Saturday, September 01, 2012
Lipa Schmeltzer is an American Hasidic singer and composer. He is a headliner within Hasidic and Haredi communities worldwide and has been called "the Jewish Elvis" and the "Lady Gaga of Hasidic music." Schmeltzer has released ten solo albums. In 2008 he was named to the Forward 50 of most influential Jews.
Now Schmeltzer is using his celebrity status as a springboard for the greater good, with the release of a music video that uses a hit song to promote solidarity among Jews worldwide, no matter what their background or religious leanings.
The video features the dance sensation Mizrach, one of the most popular tracks from Lipa's recent Leap of Faith album and shows the bespectacled icon singing and dancing with a group of Israeli soldiers, members of the noted Netzah Yehuda Battalion of the Nahal Haredi. Part of the Kfir Brigade of the Israeli Defense forces, Netzah Yehuda was created to give religious Israeli soldiers the opportunity to serve in the army while maintaining a strict adherence to their religious convictions.
With the expiration of the Tal Law one month ago, the Israeli army has been the subject of much media scrutiny as yeshiva students who were previously exempted from military service are now facing the possibility of joining their fellow countrymen in the army. Thousands of Israeli yeshiva students are expecting to receive draft notices in the upcoming future, further widening the division between Israel's secular and ultra-Orthodox communities.
With the release of the new video which clocks in at just under five minutes long, Lipa hopes to help bridge the gap between the two groups, with the clear message of unity amongst all Jews expressed in the lyrics of the song.
"There are chareidim serving in the army and we should value their service" explained Lipa, who has strong ties to the Nahal Haredi. The singer is a close friend of David Hager, a staunch supporter of the religious battalion, who just recently donated an Aron Kodesh to Lipa's Airmont Shul.
Directed by producer Danny Finkelman, the video was shot in various locations around Israel and features the outspoken singer, who is known for his unabashed love of Jews of all affiliations and support of countless Jewish causes, dressed in army fatigues as he dances in a Jerusalem square with Israeli soldiers and with six Israeli teenagers in several other spots across the country.
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