“Veshomru Bnei Israel”

1908. Sung by Gershon Sirota

This recording of “Veshomru Bnei Israel” is sung by Gershon Sirota (1874-1943), one of the great cantors of Eastern Europe. He is sometimes referred to as “The Jewish Caruso.” Sirota was one of the first cantors to ever make a commercial sound recording. He lived in Warsaw but made frequent performance tours to other cities. He died in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising during the Holocaust when the bunker he was hiding in with his family was torched by the Germans. “Veshomru” is part of the Sabbath liturgy: “And the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout​ their generation​s, for an everlasting​ covenant.​ It is a sign between me and the children of Israel forever, that in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth and on the seventh day he rested and ceased from his work.” (Translation by Simeon Singer)