I now understand why Shlomo Artzi - back in my army days - was my favorite singer.
Shlomo, a so-called "secular", happened to meet my good friend Chassidic composer and arranger Muna Rosenbloom in a studio where both of them were recording. Muna was arranging a song with words by Rabbi Nachman of Breslev - "as long as the flame flickers within us (allegory for the soul), we can rectify" - As long as my soul is within me, I give thanks to You, Hashem - modeh ani lifanecha, Hashem!
Shlomo said, "Hey, I know that song from my grandfather," who was a Yiddish-speaking religious Jew. He then grabbed the microphone and sang the melody in such a moving way that no one had dry eyes. All Jews - like Shlomo Artzi - have that spark within them; witha bit of emuna and fanning, the spark becomes a flame that reaches the heavens. Enjoy, and have a great Shabbat!
After you see this moving clip, you'll understand why I always say that there's no such thing as a secular Jew. One can't fake the fervor that Shlomo Artzi sings with - it comes from a pure neshama (soul) that many so-called "religious" people can be jealous of.
By the way, Shlomo Artzi is the son of Holocaust survivors. His is also the great-nephew of Maharam Lublin, Rebbe Meir Shapiro of Lublin, of blessed and saintly memory.
If you have a dry eye after seeing and hearing this clip, please have your pulse and blood pressure checked...