Today is the 9th anniversary of the massacre by Hamas terrorists at the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem, in which 15 civilians were killed and 130 wounded. Among those murdered in that brutal attack was a 15-year-old girl named Malka Chana Roth.
The life of Malka Chana Roth is the inspiration for the foundation established by Malka’s parents. Keren Malki (the Malki Foundation) was founded in 2001 as a non-political, non-sectarian, not-for-profit to honor the tragically short life of a girl who was described by all who knew her as caring, sweet-natured, talented, vivacious, musical and deeply devoted to doing everything in her power to help children with disabilities – among them her own severely disabled sister. Malki, as she was known to everyone, brought happiness into many lives.
Keren Malki supports families of children with disabilities. Most families with disabled children have a difficult time finding equipment and services outside of an institution. The foundation’s assistance allows families to keep their child at home with other siblings and the parents. All services and equipment are provided at no cost to the families. People of all religions and backgrounds are eligible for assistance.
In the last year of her life, Malki – a gifted musician – wrote the words and music of a song. She hoped to enter it in a school musical competition. However, she didn’t manage to submit it in time. Like most girls of fifteen, she thought she had all the time in the world.
However, she completed the song and taught it to her friends.
Her family became aware of the song’s existence for the first time when visitors mentioned it in their home during the week of “shiva”, mourning Malki’s death. In a spontaneous expression of sympathy and sadness, Malki’s friends had fanned out across Israel during that mourning week in the summer holidays of August 2001. During that week, they taught Malki’s song to hundreds of children and teenagers attending the Ezra youth group summer camp and in other summer youth camps throughout Israel.
Since then, the words and music of this lovely creation have continued to be passed along via an informal network of friends in Israel and beyond. Awareness of Shir Lismoach (in English “A Song of Joy” – or simply “Malki’s Song”) has spread far. It’s upbeat, optimistic and happy – just as Malki always was.
This version of “Malki’s Song”, created by the girls of the Shaalvim Girls Ulpana school in Israel, was recorded in 2002.
Listen by clicking the link below, and If you enjoy the music, please consider making a donation to the work of Keren Malki: