Why 'When You Believe' Should Be The Passover Song Of This Generation

by Howard Rudnick

I am a child of the 90s. I grew up with the great Disney classics, Nickelodeon legends and one of the greatest voices of the decade -- the diva herself, Ms. Mariah Carey.

Mariah Carey has had a long and illustrious career, but she was burning hot in the mid- to late-90s before she went all crazy on "TRL" in 2001.

Some of her classics include "Hero," "One Sweet Day," "Always Be My Baby" and a slew of butchered karaoke hits.

In my mind, the one song that stands out to me is her 1998 duet with Whitney Houston, "When You Believe."

The song was part of the soundtrack for the 1998 Dreamworks film, "The Prince of Egypt," which served as an animated telling of the story of Moses and the ancient Hebrews.

As a 7-year-old who loved cartoons, "The Prince of Egypt" was a great way of reinforcing the history lesson my Rabbi and Hebrew school instructors told with such a lack of passion and character.

Mariah Carey was already well known for her massive hit, "All I Want for Christmas Is You," which is basically a worldwide Christmas anthem.

We all know the words to it, and those who pretend they don't are secretly at home during holidays singing it to themselves.

As a Jewish kid growing up, we didn't have any music really associated with our holidays (until Adam Sandler came along with "8 Crazy Nights for Chanukah").

"When You Believe" was not about Passover, specifically, but it emphasized the message of the movie, which is that we must never give up hope when faced with adversity and conflict.

In the movie, the cast sing their film version of "When You Believe," which is equally as powerful.

It is on par with any classic and iconic Disney song that has been produced in the past century.

I always make sure that when "Prince of Egypt" airs on television during Passover, I can tune in, at least for the end credits to hear "When You Believe" just to get those feelings all over again.

The inclusion of Hebrew prayer in the song makes me so much more prouder of who I am because it's an ode to my people.

The story of Passover is a tale of triumphing over those who hold you back; those who tell you no; those who want to see you suffer.

The passion that both Whitney and Mariah exhibit while they sing about losing faith in prayer while believing in miracles is completely chilling.

They have voices like no other, and to hear them sing gives us all hope.

It's an interesting concept to think about when you look at the lyrics to the song and apply them into the real lives of both Mariah and Whitney.

Tragically, we lost Whitney way too soon as she was on her way back from rebounding, but she never lost faith. She never stopped believing in herself.

Mariah made a massive comeback in 2005 that propelled her to even greater heights, and I think there is something to be said for overcoming life's obstacles and personal demons.

It's 2015, and 17 years later, it still never gets old. Whenever it comes on shuffle, I'll play it on repeat for a while. I always associate this song with my childhood, with my upbringing and my heritage.

The struggle and strife of the Jewish people still exists today, but we keep overcoming. Every year at Passover, we say, "Next Year in Jerusalem" to signify that we make our triumphant return back to the Holy Land.

When you believe, it may just happen.