Pat Boone Gives 'Exodus' Song to Holocaust Memorial

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- In 1960, the movie "Exodus" told millions around the world about the birth of the modern Jewish state.

The film's Academy Award-winning score had no words because no one's lyrics could satisfy the composer, director, and producer -- that is until Christmas 1961.

"I put the needle on the record and I hear 'buum, buum' and the words 'this land is mine' came into my mind, and I said that's the story, the whole story of Exodus," Pat Boone told CBN News during a recent trip to Israel.

Boone said he picked up the nearest thing he could find, a Christmas card, and began to write.

"The first words were, 'This land is mine' and by the time I got those words written, the next words came, 'God gave this land to me,'" he explained.

The words of "Exodus" spread throughout Israel and gave hope to young boys like Shaya Ben-Yehuda, the son of Holocaust survivors.

"We grew up very much in the feeling that during the Holocaust our people were abandoned," Ben-Yehuda told CBN News. "But listening to this song and understanding we were not alone any more, that was something that was very special for me. And since I first heard it I kept listening to it all the years."

Years later, he became international director of Yad Vashem, Israel's renowned Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem. Ben-Yehuda asked Boone for a copy of the words to "Exodus."

Boone went a step further, giving Yad Vashem the original.

"Connecting those words with the story of the survivors who came and built this country despite what happened to them and [to] have these words in Yad Vashem, I think it's something that will give a message to future generations," he said.

For Boone, the moment was profound.

"To me, this is one of those moments, one of those two or three moments in my life I consider the reason that I'm alive, and I think God's purpose for me to be here on the earth," Boone said.

The Christmas card will become part of Yad Vashem's permanent collection.

During the ceremony, organizers played a version of "Exodus," sung by Boone years ago at Masada, the ancient desert fortress that overlooks the Dead Sea.

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Chris Mitchell

Chris Mitchell

CBN News Middle East Bureau Chief

In a time where the world's attention is riveted on events in the Middle East, CBN viewers have come to appreciate Chris Mitchell's timely reports from this explosive region of the world. Mitchell brings a Biblical and prophetic perspective to these daily news events that shape our world.