They Shall Not Hurt, a short Jewish hymn with a flowing melody, expresses clear-eyed but heart-felt devotion. Sung in Hebrew and English and relatively easy to perform, it is an ideal work for Friday night Sabbath service or concert setting.
Arthur Lazarus (1925-1993) was music director for Temple Beth Sholom in New City, New York, from about 1968 to 1976. His voluntary activities included directing the choir, teaching music at Sunday school, directing and arranging for the Temple Youth Orchestra, and composing a nearly complete set of songs for Sabbath service, recognizable now as a major contribution to Jewish liturgical music. They Shall Not Hurt, with its flowing melody and clear-eyed but heart-felt devotion, is typical of the music from this cycle. Though Lazarus never had formal musical training, in his youth he performed professionally on bass, trumpet, and piano and toured with swing bands including “Bubbles” Becker and The Twintones. Lazarus was employed as an engineer for AT&T Research and Development from 1958 until his retirement in the mid-1980s. They Shall Not Hurt – re-arranged by Lazarus’ son, composer Bruce Lazarus – is Arthur Lazarus’ first published composition.