Holy Land Heartstrings

Stand for Israel  |  August 31, 2022

Itzhak Perlman

Born on this day in 1945 in Tel Aviv, Israeli violinist Itzhak Perlman has made a career of reaching people across the world through music. Perlman’s parents made aliyah (immigrated to the Holy Land) in the 1930s, before the Holocaust. At the age of 4, young Itzhak contracted polio, which has left him dependent on crutches and leg braces ever since.

But the boy didn’t let this slow him down… at the age of four, he began playing the violin. Although an Israeli conservatory didn’t admit him because of his small size, Perlman continued to play. In the below video, he charmed American television audiences on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1959,

Itzhak Perlman has not only charmed, but has inspired, generations of young children with his playing on Sesame Street or for Mr. Rogers, showing them that with hard work, passion, and a love for life, one can accomplish most anything.

And Itzhak Perlman has also inspired people of faith. By giving voice to the Jewish people’s pain in his melodies for Schindler’s List, Perlman connected with all people with his God-given talents.

Finally, listen to Perlman play “Sholom Aleichem,” Hebrew for “Peace Be Upon You.” This hymn, surely known to our Jewish friends, is sung upon returning from synagogue on Friday evening as a welcoming of the Sabbath. May it bring you God’s holy shalom, peace, whether you are Christian or Jew.