by Oren Ashkenazi
Katonti by Oren Ashkenazi
Lyrics to Katonti
Dance details

Oren writes:   The background to the song and dance Katonti

Several months ago I inadvertently encountered the song “Katonti” on Youtube and was overwhelmed by the inner fortitude of the song performer- Yonatan Razel.

The vigour of his singing arose as if from an internal cry. It connected me to a tragic event which occurred to Yonatan’s family, in the year 2010 during Israel’s Independence Day celebrations which featured fireworks.

Yonatan’s four year old daughter, Rivki, wanted to view the fireworks and fell from their verandah, badly injured and was in intensive care connected to a ventilator in an induced coma for a lengthy period. She was a patient for two years with a traumatic brain injury.

Yonatan and his family were constantly by her hospital bedside praying to the Lord to save her.

According to an interview I read, in his daily prayers he recited chapter 35 of the book of Genesis in which Yaacov prays to the Lord to help him at the time that his brother Esav is in hot pursuit while he was advancing from the Jordan area.

In his prayers to the Lord he says he is humbled in comparison to the Lord’s kindness and powers:
I am humbled by all the act of charity
And from the truth
Which you have bestowed on your servant

And asks for help:
Save me please
Save me please
Save me please
As your benevolence is overwhelming
And you have saved my soul from netherworld

And the Lord does indeed help Yaacov and saves him as well as… saving Yonatan’s daughter – Rivka’s condition improved and she recovered!

Yonatan and Rivka’s personal story and Yaacov’s Torah narrative were bound to create an amazing and ever so powerful song, and this strength I attempted to express in the dance and in the melody, which include raising the hands upwards as if crying out for a divine savour.

Save me please
Save me please
Save me please


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