Here's something special for your Shabbat table: in the clip below, Cantor Ushi Blumenberg and I are on the banks of the Bugg River in Breslev, Ukraine, where Rebbe Natan composed his famous Oz VeHadar niggun. Here's the story behind it and here's the niggun. Shabbat Shalom and a wonderful New Year!
34 posts categorized "Lazer's friends"
With all the difficult news from around the world, and all the hardships of our people - particularly in France - it's time for good news. The secular media is now reporting - and it's official - that Israel's tremendously popular singer Kobi Peretz has decided to become a Torah-observant Jew.
Kobi met my esteemed and beloved teacher Rav Shalom Arush, may Hashem bless him, and was so enraptured with him, that his whole life changed. Rav Shalom saved Kobi from divorce. Rav Shalom taught Kobi how to speak to Hashem in personal prayer, and Kobi even accompanied Rav Shalom on an "Emuna Outreach" mission of giving out books and CDs to IDF soldiers. Israel's Channel 2 released a documentary of Kobi's teshuva and his encounter with Rav Shalom Arush, which we're delighted to present here. Even though it's in Hebrew, you'll undoubtedly understand what's happening - this film speaks to the heart, as does Kobi's singing. This is all a small part of what Rav Shalom and Emuna Outreach are doing in Israel alone:
You can partner with Rav Shalom in spreading emuna around the world; click on the "Donate" button on the upper left-hand toolbar of this site. May Hashem grant you every blessing!
Here's a clip you can't miss. My dear friends of the Diaspora Yeshiva Band, iconic pioneers of contemporary Jewish music, reunitde in a high-energy concert in New York City last January. Here's a priceless clip that shows you just how young you can be after 50 or 60:
With a heavy heart, we mourn the untimely passing of one of Chassidut Breslev's greatest scholars of this generation, Rabbi Avraham Nachman Simcha Veitzhandler of saintly and blessed memory (image, left), who died of a sudden heart attack in Jerusalem yesterday. He was 57, the father of twelve, and the head of the "Meshech Hanachal" organization, who did wonders in spreading the teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslev. As a youth and promising young scholar, he was the favorite of many Breslever tzaddikim including Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Binder, Rabbi Zeev Cheshin and Rabbi Shmuel Shapira, all of blessed and holy memory.
Rabbi Avraham was a close personal friend and my learning partner for several years when we were neighbors in Ramot Gimel, Jerusalem. He is the one who introduced me to Breslev teachings and thought, some 24 years ago. He had a brilliant Talmudic mind and was a prolific author. His 8-volume "Siach Sarfei Kodesh" is a classic work that all of Breslev holds by.
The loss of Rabbi Avraham Veitzhandler leaves an irreplaceable gap in Breslev as well as in the world of Torah. Words cannot express how we shall all miss him. Breslev Israel, the Beams and I personally send our heartfelt condolences to the Veitzhandler family, and pray that they will be comforted among the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem, amen!
When anyone thinks about the type of "upright melodists" that Rebbe Nachman speaks about in Likutei Moharan I:3, one of the first names that comes to mind is Yisrael Dagan, who represents everything beautiful of Breslev - the joy, the dedication, the fervor, the humility and the simplicity. Here is a shot in the spiritual arm: Yisrael is singing Im ata ma'amin, Rebbe Nachman's famous phrase, "If you believe that something can be ruined, then believe that it can be rectified." Don't ever forget that, and you'll always be happy and optimistic.
Rebbe Nachman of Breslev told his students and followers that before Moshiach comes, the tests of faith would be very difficult. He therefore instructed them to stick together in unity. Finally, he said, "The world will be amazed at the love that there will be among you." Guy Tzvi Mintz put these beautiful words to song, which he sang during Melava Malka at my home this past Motzaei Shabbat (Saturday night). Enjoy!
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!