Two years ago when I was in Toronto, I spent an hour at the bedside of a courageous young man who was fighting for his life against the nasty "big C" disease. He had all the "Garden" books by his bedside and knew them well. Avi Silver was an emuna-inspiration to all of us. I just found out today that he left the physical world a week ago, on Sunday the 18th of Shvat (Jan. 19, 2014). Breslev Israel, the Beams, and I personally mourn his passing, and convey our heartfelt condolences to our cherished friends the Silver family.
Abie Rotenberg wrote a song in Avi's honor; Avi chose the words, "Hashem, shma bekoli", Hashem listen unto my voice, may Your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. In Avi's loving memory, we'd like to share this with you.
Please say Tehillim and/or recite mishnayot in memory of Chaim Avraham Zalman ben Yitzchok Zev, ob"m.
May the Silvers be comforted among the other mourners of Zion and Yerushalayim, amen.
You've finally circumvented the Yetzer (evil inclination), and now you're all set for a beautiful hour of Hisbodedus (personal prayer - speaking to Hashem in your own words - alone - with no one else around). You take a walk in the park, out in the field, or down by the river, you open your mouth - wanting to pour your heart out to Hashem - and nothing comes out! How frustrating! What a letdown.
Don't fret; here's what to do when the words don't come - sing a niggun! A niggun (melody) uplifts the soul, puts wings on your heart, and breaks the grip of the vise that the Yetzer has clamped on your mouth (the last thing he wants you to do is to talk to Hashem!). After singing a niggun for a few warm-up minutes, the words of personal prayer and love for Hashem will flow forth like a fountain.
When I have this problem, I take a flute and start playing whatever comes to me wherever I am in our beautiful homeland. Then, the right words flow forth. That's how Calming Waters, Judean Dream and Whispering Soul came into being. King David used to do the same thing. Have a wonderful day, and may you always have a song of the Land of Israel on your heart!
Rebbe Nachman of Breslev says that hearing the music of an upright musician is beneficial to one's soul and spirituality; that's why it's so good to hear the music of my very dear friend and "brother", Guy Tzvi Mintz, may Hashem bless him always. Even if you don't understand the Hebrew, you'll find the music lifting you higher. G-d willing, the Jewish music world will be hearing a lot more from Guy Tzvi - he's as pure and as invigorating as the late afternoon breeze in the Judean Hills. Like fine wine, he keeps getting better and better.
This song is entitled "Lev Tahor" - a pure heart, and based on Psalm 51 and Rebbe Nachman's teaching in Likutei Moharan I:156 - "Give me your heart, and I'll take you down a path that no person has ever walked down. This is from an evening of song and inspiration we did several years ago during Chanuka. Enjoy it!
With gratitude to Hashem that no words can express, Breslev Israel and I are delighted to introduce my third and newest CD collection of my original instrumental melodies, "Whispering Soul", played on my native Israeli flutes with arrangements and accompaniment by one Jewish music's foremost talents, Jeff Horvitch. For your convenience, the CD is now available online here at the Breslev Israel store. Here's a taste:
To do any job in life, we need the right tools. When we face a brick wall and don't accomplish what we want to in life, we should make sure we're using the proper tool. Here all about it in 90 seconds, and have a wonderful Shabbat!