It may be hard to believe, but Rosh Hashanah is coming sooner than you think (even though it is particularly late this year). If you’ve been to Rosh Hashanah services (and Yom Kippur services, for that matter) you probably recognize the Unetanah Tokef prayer as one of the pinnacles of High Holiday liturgy–a dramatic, vivid description of the Day of Judgment meant to strike fear in us (yikes!).
Well, if not fear, this new version of the Unetanah Tokef set to the tune of Sia’s “Bird Set Free” definitely left me awestruck. Composed and performed by Nili Isenberg, who earlier this year wowed us with her version of the Mourner’s Kaddish set to Adele’s “Hello,” my favorite part about this version, besides her beautiful, haunting voice, is the fact that she includes both the Hebrew and English translation of the prayer, making it all the more meaningful for those of us not up on our Hebrew.
I’ll be adding this one to my High Holiday playlist (which right now just consists of Leonard Cohen’s “Who By Fire.”) Give it a listen for yourself: