During quarantine, most of us have spent a lot more time with family or those closest to us. As the world turned to its essential workers, as a collective we bunkered in and turned to our essential companions and relationships. In mid-September, Broadway phenom and three-fourths EGOT winner, Ben Platt released the song “Ahavat Olam” performed with his two brothers under a new alias of “The Platt Brothers”. Although Ben possesses a world class voice, amazingly, in this song his voice does not stand out. Two singers back up Ben Platt, as three equals in harmony and chorus, as three brothers. Together they sing an inspiring message of companionship, inspiration, belief in the peace that can be found somewhere in any moment, and the hope for that peace, however small, to one day expand universally.
"Ahavat Olam" is a traditional Jewish prayer of peace, self worth and gratitude. Within its lyrics, it thematically sanctifies G-ds choice to give the Torah to the Jewish people. It is a song of innate individual worth and that G-d will always be there in support of oneself. Literally translated; the prayer means Eternal Love. When I happened upon and listened to this song during quarantine, it brightened my mood and made me feel proud and full.
The song’s place in our time represents taking tragedy and finding solace in the things which remain; which are implicit within us. In the order of Jewish service, this prayer is situated between “Lkeyl Baruch”, which praises the supernal glory of G-d and the “Sh’ma”, the most precise and essential declaration of faith in the entire Jewish religion. Ahavat Olam serves to bridge the gap between the supernal and the intimate, it serves to give the devotioner a sense of meaning; and of realization that they have been personally chosen to live in this life, that itself being an incomprehensible achievement and gift. And by singing and recording this song with his family during quarantine, Ben Platt and his brothers were able to project this into the world. Ahavat Olam’s message for our coronavirus world is that there are things far more essential and unbelievably valuable than anything that can really be taken away from us. Jewish peoplehood and existence has long been a parallax of this maxim.
"Ahavat Olam Beit Yisrael Amcha Ahavta"
About the Curator - Sean Arison
Sean is a musician, writer, and artist currently studying psychology near Los Angeles, California. He really enjoys nice smelling fauna and homely ambient lighting. After exclusively listening to the Beatles, Beethoven, and Pink Floyd until the age of fourteen, he now possesses a wide music taste and loves discovering and sharing the beautiful art that he comes across. Sean loves how music is able to indefinably connect to the individual on such a unique and personal level. Sean is currently working on releasing his first full-length album in the near future. To know more, connect with Sean on Instagram!