231 posts categorized "Music"

Beams Weekend Magazine: News, Entertainment and Torah

Beams Weekend Vayichi 5777
Welcome to the special issue of Beams Weekend Magazine, a new idea that we'd like to do more of in the future. This week, we have three departments: news and outlook, entertainment and Torah. We hope you enjoy it and would love to hear your feedback.

News and Outlook: Throw the Terrorists in the Trash

According to the "Chafetz Chaim" - the laws governing the wholesomeness of the spoken and the written word, any person who spreads hate and hearsay, purveying gossip and social venom in the world, has no place in the world to come. Therefore, be extra careful about what you say, read and write. Stay away from the gossips, for spiritually, they're like terrorists.

The holy Tanna Rebbe Shimon ben Shatach was the Av Beit Din, the Chief Justice of all of Israel. He saw a person with a drawn sword chasing another person. He ran after the two until he reached an alley-way. The victim was already on the ground, fluttering and about to die. Blood dripped from the assailant's sword. Rebbe Shimon told the assailant, "You evil person, who killed this man, you or me? What can I do, for I cannot bring you to trial, for the Torah demands two witnesses" (Talmud, Sanhedrin 37b). Rebbe Shimon ben Shatach could not try the murderer, but that doesn't mean he went free. When a court down here can't try a person, the Heavenly Court tries the person and justice is much more severe. It wasn't long before the killer suffered an excruciating death after being bitten by a poisonous snake.
 
If Rebbe Shimon ben Shatach couldn't convict a person despite the overwhelming evidence, then why do we allow ourselves to repeat hearsay, gossip and things that haven't been proven in a court of law or a Bet Din? That's dangerous.

Virtually nothing in the newspapers today has been proven in a halachically-legitimate court of law with two halachically- Newspaper cannedacceptable witnesses. There's no way that the Chafetz Chaim would allow reading any of today's newspapers, whether printed or electronic.
 
Newspapers and journalists judge people and print hearsay all the time. They too are required to observe the Chafetz Chaim. Any person who spreads hate and hearsay, purveying gossip and social venom in the world, has no place in the world to come. Therefore, be extra careful about what you say and write. Stay away from the gossips, for spiritually, they're like terrorists. It's easy to dispose of the printed-paper terrorists - just throw them in the trashcan where they belong. Better yet, don't read them in the first place. Why?

Don't you cherish your time? Why squander it on lies and half-truths? What's more, with the politicians' manipulation of the media, every rag has its agenda and you can't believe a thing. 

This weekend, why not try reading something meaningful. Talk about the lessons of this week's Torah portion rather than what Bibi and Noni (why don't they refer to themselves as Benjamin and Arnon?) are saying about each other or what the CNN (Certified Nonsense News) is writing. 

Like other terrorists, newspapers are dangerous to your body too! Unpleasant stories trigger cascades of a steroid hormone by the name of cortisol, aka the "stress hormone". This deregulates your immune system and inhibits the release of growth hormones. In other words, your body finds itself in a state of chronic stress. High cortisol levels  impair digestion as well as cell, hair and bone health. They also cause nervousness, susceptibility to infections and render weight-loss virtually impossible!

Only the evil inclination would tell you to indulge in something so harmful to both body and soul. Don't listen to it; dispose of it in the nearest waste bin together with the newspapers. 

Entertainment: Dudi Knopfler Sings "The Priestly Blessing"

Our very dear friend Dudi Knopfler, one of the rising stars of Jewish music today, has come out with a lovely rendition of the Birkat Cohanim, the Priestly Blessing, which is customarily said to greet the bride and groom as they arrive under the chuppa in Sephardic weddings. We're delighted to feature it, and may these beautiful words and exquisite melody invoke Divine blessings on you and yours. 

Torah: The Left-handed Blessing

Have you ever heard of a "left-handed" compliment? There's a left-handed blessing, too. In this week's Torah portion, Vayichi, our forefather Jacob teaches us exactly what it is, how to use it and the extent of its power. Enjoy, and have a lovely Shabbat!


The Way to the Light

"If you're sad, and you feel no joy...And don't know why...if you're lost, floundering around in the fog and darkness, and you don't know the way to the light...

Then come back, my sweet soul, yell with all your might to Hashem; He'll send you an angel to show you the way, and He'll lead you to the light."

Translation of course loses so much, but the above words are the essence of Yisrael Dagan's beautiful song, B'Derech El Ha'or.

My three very special friends, the Kisufim Trio - Mordechai Yitzhar, Moshe, and Aviel - are from the beautiful settlement Tekoah in the southeastern hills of the Judean desert. Tekoah is outside the area that would remain "Israel" (according to the Torah, it will be forever Israel, and that's all that matters) in the opinion of the UN and the current US government.

Worried? No way. We know that Hashem and Moshiach will establish the borders. Meanwhile, rather than worrying and fretting, we keep on singing.

Wait and see who's standing (and singing) when the final bell rings...

Meanwhile, have a wonderful Succoth and G-d bless always.


Rebbe, Rebbe

Gmar Tov! We hope you had a meaningful Yom Kippur and an easy fast.

Baruch Hashem, we're now preparing for Succoth, which starts this coming Sunday night, October 16, 2016. Rebbe Nachman's yahrtzeit comes out on the 18th of Tishrei during Chol Hamoed. With this in mind, here is one of my favorite melodies from this past year, which I was humming the whole time I was by Rebbe Nachman's holy gravesite in Uman this past Rosh Hashana. It's called, "Rebbe, Rebbe".

A Breslever custom is to say a hitkashrut prayer before every mitvza, where we bind ourselves to all the true tzaddikim and particularly our own rebbe, Rebbe Nachman of Breslev, osb"m.

Yehudah Green turned the hitkashrut prayer into a beautifully stirring melody named "Rebbe, Rebbe." Here, our dear friend Chassidic singer Duddy Knopfler with the Meshorerim Choir sing a moving rendition, which I'm sure you'll enjoy as much as I do. Below are the lyrics in Yiddish transliteration, in Yiddish and in English translation. Enjoy and have a wonderful New Year!

Rebbe, rebbe, mir villen zich mikasher zein Tzu dir

Hinneni mikkasher nafshi, ruchi venishmasi lenishmas adoni mori urabi

Im shaar hatzadikim veha'avos hakdoshim ve'im shaar hatzidkanios vehaimahos hakedoshos

רבי, רבי, רבי, מיר ווילען זיך מקשר זיין צו דיר

הנני מקשר נפשי, רוחי, ונשמתי, לנשמת אדוני מורי ורבי

עם שאר הצדיקים והאבות הקדושים ועם שאר הצדקניות והאמהות הקדושות

Rebbe , rebbe, I want to bind myself to you

I hereby connect the three elements of my soul to the soul of my master, teacher and rebbe,

Together with the other tzaddikim the holy patriarchs and the holy matriarchs. 


Kol Nidre: Yitzchak Meir Helgot and Yitzchak Perlman

This coming Tuesday night and Wednesday is Yom Kippur.

A person can't make teshuva with a clogged heart. To help us all unclog our hearts, here are two of my favorite "Yitzchaks", Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot and violinist Yitzchak Perlman with their rendition of Kol Nidre. Close your eyes and listen to the melody, and you'll feel the innermost spark of your neshama yearning to return to Hashem. Enjoy it!


Yosef Zev Braver: Ki Lo Yidach

Here's a big treat for all of our dear friends here at the Beams:

Our dear friend Yosef Zev Braver, who is not only an exceptional musician and composer but a certified life coach, has teamed up with arranger Yanki Cohen to produce this breathtaking clip that was filmed in the Judean Desert, entitled "Ki Lo Yidach" - Hashem will leave no one behind. This is an especially important message before Yom Kippur, to tell us all that here's no despair in the world for Hashem is our ever-most loving and forgiving Father in Heaven.

The lyrics are:

Ki lo yidach mimeno nidach - (Hebrew for "Hashem will leave no one behind").

Veil ven a Yid falt aveck, falt ehr arup Tzum Abishter's hant (Yiddish for "When a Jew falls away, he falls right into Hashem's hand").

Mimcha - fun Dir (Hebrew and Yiddish for "from You")

Ailecha - Tzu Dir  (Hebrew and Yiddish for "to You")

Evrach (Hebrew for "I shall flee" - in other words, whenever I'm in trouble or whenever I fall, I shall flee to You, Hashem, for You promised that no one will be left behind).

The video was sponsored by our dear friend Yoeli Gottehrer of www.betterhealthstudios.com. I'm sure you'll enjoy it as much as I do.