216 posts categorized "Music"

"Ein Kelokenu", Mariachi Style

This Shabbat is Shabbat Shira, the Sabbath of Song, commemorating when the Moses and the Israelites sang praise to Hashem upon miraculously crossing the Red Sea.

Pretty soon, the whole world will be singing Hashem's praise. Let's start with Mexico...

Here's a vid, something of like I've never seen before, sent to me by my esteemed cousin Shaindel Merikansky from Mexico. Have you ever seen a cantor accompanied by a Mariachi band? Now you will. Here's Chazan (cantor) Moshe Mendelson from Mexico singing "Ein Kelokenu" - there is no one like our G-d!

Enjoy it, and have a joyous, lovely Shabbat!

Secular Jew? No Such Thing...

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...

When the Words Don't Come

Sometimes, you go out to the field - yearning to speak to Hashem - but the words don't come. On one such occasion, when I was all choked up, I took my little shepherd's flute and began to play. Hashem in His infinite mercy gave me the gift of the following melody, which unclogged the heart, released the tears, and enabled the words to flow forth. I call this melody, "Whispering Soul" - with all the noise in the world, we need daily time to be alone with Hashem and to listen to the faint but sublime message of our soul, which yearns to be heard. 

Overseas, it's holiday season and the roads are jammed; whatever you do, drive carefully. Don't forget to say The Traveler's Prayer (Tefilat_haderech) when you begin your journey, whether by car, bus, train, boat or plane. Don't ever think that you're alone, because Hashem is right there with you. He cares so very much about you, and so do we.

Vezakeni: Prayer for our Offspring

Zaidie Lazer and Yanky

Zaidie Lazer learning Torah with grandson Yaacov Yosef Brody from Jerusalem (photo from 2008)

One of my biggest joys in life is grandchildren at my Shabbat table...

Whenever Zaidie (grandfather) Lazer Brody gets together with his grandchildren, we sing a moving song that 51uh9RTsdfL._SY450_ comes from a woman's prayer after lighting Sabbath candles. Many young couples also say this prayer on their wedding day:

Vezakeni legadel banim uvnei banim, chachomim u'nevovim ohavei Hashem, yirei Elokim anshei emes zera kadosh b'Hashem deveikim. Um'irim es haolam batorah umaasim tovim uvechol maleches avodas HaBoreh.

"May I merit to raise children and grandchildren who are wise and discerning, who love Hashem and fear G-d, men of truth, holy seed, clinging to Hashem, and who illuminate the world with Torah and good deeds and all the work of serving the Creator."

It's our family custom to sing this lovely melody at the Bar Mitzvas of my grandsons, three generations with three-part harmony.

Baruch Levine composed this melody, and performs it ever so beautifully. Enjoy! May you have nothing but happy occasions in your family, and joy from your offspring, a wonderful Shabbat, amen!