Many folk singers have sung the song "Dos Kelbl", from Yiddish sopranos to klezmer bands and Aviva Semadar, who sing this version and Joan Baez sang it in English. Judaism has a great tradition of interpretation and many find that the universal message of folk songs is about the pursuit of freedom, spiritual liberation and a desire for political freedom. About a minority for a majority. Judaism's cultural heritage is about identity, life, light and expressions of joy. Something that also takes shape in the guide's design.
Scroll up to the beat of the music and dance the dance steps to get information about the Jewish folk song.
The Calf in the song represents the body, the seat of desire. The body and the animal soul that enlivens it desire pleasure, wealth, and honor. But like an animal, the body is a slave to these desires. The calf bound on the way to market to be slaughtered is a metaphor for the body's journey towards death.
The Swallow winging swiftly through the sky represents the soul. The divine soul is a part of G-d's being and is not bound by the material limitations of the physical world. It is free to soar in the spiritual realms high above the earthly one. The soul does not fear death for it is more at home in heaven than on earth.
The Farmer represents the tzadik, the holy, righteous man who scolds us saying, "Who told you a calf to be?" Why do you identify yourself with your body? If you do, you are no better off than a calf on the way to be slaughtered for you will be bound by your desires and destined to die. "Why don't you have wings to fly with?" Connect to your soul and transcend your physical limitations. Fly in the spiritual realm and feel your soul's power.
The chorus to the song speaks of the winds laughing. Why are the winds laughing the whole day and only half the summer's night? According to the Torah, the night is divided into two parts.
The first part of the night, from sunset until midnight is considered a time of din, of strict judgment. This is not the time for laughter; rather it is a time of taking account of the day's actions and reflecting on them.
The second part of the night, from midnight until dawn is a time of chesed, of kindness and this kindness continues throughout the day. The summer's day is when the daylight is at its maximum and the night is relatively short.
The final stanza is the teaching for all men. If you remain unconscious of the soul, you will be easily bound and slaughtered. You will live enslaved to your desires and your body will die without understanding the purpose of your life. But if you treasure freedom, the freedom of the soul, then you will learn to transcend the limitations of the body and small mind and you will understand your life from a higher perspective. You will be free.