Last week, observant Jews across the world marked the Hillula, or anniversary, of the death of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, one of the greatest teachers of Jewish law and ethnics. Bar Yochai lived in Palestine at a time of religious persecution by the Romans. Pilgrims flock to his grave at Mount Meron in the Galilee.
The former Chief Sephardi Rabbi of Israel, R. Shlomo Amar, composed the lyrics to a piyyut in honour of Bar Yohai, which is performed in the video above by the great contemporary Moroccan-Israeli payytan, R. Maymon (Meni) Cohen. Below, a contrasting version by Itsik Eshel.