Showing posts from June, 2018

Spotlight on Women: Annie Orenstein interviews Acoustic Breezes - Rahel

Interview begins at around 8:21

   I've met Annie now a few times and have come to know her as another superwoman in today's world. She is kind, compassionate, passionate and fearless. She has, and is, a powerful voice in the community. 
   Annie is showcasing the woman of today's Israel. It is heartwarming to meet someone who seems to be following in our, the women of Tofa'ah, footsteps. Back in 1981 Yona Yacobovitch saw a similar need. Women had very little opportunity for expression (artistic and other). To fill the need she started an all-woman band. The band had a huge impact on the women in Israel to the point where schools for women in the arts were finally established. At the same time Yona and I created a non-profit organization showcasing women's talents. Tof Miriam is still alive and kicking today! 
   When I think about the treatment and attitudes towards women over the centuries it is nice to see that there has been progress. Many efforts to free us f…

Busking in Jerusalem

There is a place to sing beautiful music on Ben Yehuda Street in Jerusalem's city center. This video clip was filmed by tourists visiting Israel from Turkey. We are now friends and maybe one day I'll be playing the streets of Turkey! It was a good day that day.

  The song I am singing in the video clip above is called "There is a Place". I enjoy performing this song because it is still not final. I improvise as I play it. It is a love song and I love Love songs! I also feel a deep connection with this song to the people I sing to who are living their last days in hospice. (I also am a Certified Clinical Musician - 
THERE IS A PLACE c 1996 by Rahel (aka Ann R. Silverman-LImor) 
There is a place There is a place in my heart There is a place There is a place I find me I find You It's the place where our Love dwells We can know no other It's the place where our Love dwells We have each other We have each other

   Way back in…

Bat Mitzvah on Masada

   It's always a proud moment when the student achieves becoming a Bat/Bar Mitzvah. The preparation is a long process. To the student is seems overwhelming and almost hopeless. There's so much to learn.It begins with learning the Hebrew alef-bet (alphabet) and progresses to reading words, phrases, sentences, blessings, prayers and finally the Torah portion, the part of the Torah that the student will read on the big day. The Torah portion this week was Korach

   Another aspect is the Dvar Torah. The student is required to study the portion in depth to acquire a comprehensive understanding of it to then teach it to the congregants. This includes connecting the dots between the ancient and modern - what connections does the student make between his/her life, what is important in his/her eyes, what lessons can be learned... what is the relevance of the Torah portion to the students life today? 
   I like to compare the student's…

Holy Tunnels!

Perhaps you are aware of the "Terror Tunnels" from Gaza to Israel. If not, please take a moment to learn how your tax dollars are being spent by Hamas and the terrorist regimeswho are funding their efforts. I won't delve any further into this subject. I think it speaks for itself.

  On the civilized side (!) of the border,  in Israel, we also find tunnels. Over the decades Israel has invested in improving the roadways by way of ingenius design and planning that includes tunnels, bridges and more! The tunnels I am referring to, however, are more than thousands of years old. These tunnelsare being revealed by archaeological research teams who are uncovering the remarkable lives of humanity's ancient ancestors.

   In the midst of our incredible Funk 'n Folklore Israel Tour, we took the time for an organized tour of the tunnels that exist underneath the Holy Western Wall (aka the Kotel, Wailing Wall) and the Old City of Jerusalemitself.

I think I've created en…

Kabbalat Shabbat with Kehillat Shirat HaYam

Kabbalat Shabbat - we welcome the Sabbath in song and dance. This afternoon I attended a musical service hosted by Kehillat Shirat HaYam, a conservative congregation in Ma'aleh Adumim here in Israel. The event ad read:

Welcome in a rocking Shabbat with Kehilat Shirat Hayam and the Moreshet Avraham house band - Eitan Cooper, Alan Abbey and David Brinn - and support pluralism and Masorti Judaism in Israel. Great songs and fun. bring your percussion instruments.

The event took place locally at Park Shamir. This park always reminds me of the Boston Public Gardens because it even has Swan boats! It also amazes me that Israel can create lakes in the middle of the desert! 


It's a Miracle but Not Everyone Sees It

"It's a miracle but not everyone sees it." 

   This is the headline of an article written about my good friend, Yona Yacobovitz. She is the founder of Tofa'ah, Israel's first all-woman rock band that was established in 1981. I am one of the founding members. Clearly our friendship goes pretty far back. 

   Yona's unique vision gave birth to alternative avenues of artistic quest and expression when there were none for observant Jewish women in Israel. The impact of the band's mere existence was huge and changed the lives of many. 

   As an extension of the band we also formed a non-profit organization that focused on and still gives support to women artists in Israel. Tof Miriam

   Tof Miriam is dedicated to the encouragement and support of Jewish women artists. We seek to gain respect and recognition for Jewish women in the arts and to develop new forums for the celebration of women's voices and women's experience. We serve to provide cultural excha…

The Healing Light Project - Before Mountains at Yishuv Rakefet

Please enjoy this wonderful video clip from the fabulous tour we had in Israel. This is one of The Healing Light Project's collaborative efforts to fuse our different styles of music into a whole. This is the goal of the project. If we can do this with music then we can also believe that we can connect whole communities together in a positive manner to build world friendships. These are the first steps toward peacemaking!

This is a verse from Psalm 90 put to music by Rahel and arranged for performance by Rahel & Amavevane Acapella under the artistic direction of Mr. Future Moyo. 
The verse jumped out at me in 1995 as I was going through a challenging time in my life. With guitar in hand the melody and chords were gifted me. In 2004 I revisited the song and then recorded it. However, all the years I've had an arrangement floating through my mind. It wasn't until I went to Africa, when I sat down for a first rehearsal with the members of Amavevane Acapella that that arrang…

The Healing Light Project - Israel - Amavevane Acapella at Yishuv Rakefet

I thought you might enjoy this choice video clip of the absolute joy that Amavevane Acapella brings to our performances and to the audience. Stick it out to the end. There's so much fun happening here~ This performance, part of THE HEALING LIGHT PROJECT - ISRAEL TOUR, took place at a house concert in Northern Israel at the Rakefet community. We thank Rebecca for loaning her beautiful home and garden. We thank Larry for organizing it!

The Healing Light Project - Israel - Hinay Ma Tov / The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Please enjoy this wonderful video clip from the fabulous tour we had in Israel. This is one of our collaborative efforts to fuse our different styles of music into a whole. This is the goal of the project. If we can do this with music then we can also believe that we can connect whole communities together in a positive manner to build world friendships. These are the first steps toward peacemaking!

The first part of this song is my version of a popular Jewish song sung in Hebrew known as Hinay Ma Tov. The lyric is from Psalm 133
.הִנֵּה מַה טוֹב וּמַה נָּעִים שֶׁבֶת אָחִים גַּם יַחַד
Transliteration:  Hine(y) ma tov u’ma-nayim Shevet ach-im gam ya-chad
Translation:   Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

.הִנֵּה מַה טוֹב = Hine mah tov Behold how good
וּמַה נָּעִים = uMah-Nayim and how pleasing
שֶׁבֶת אָחִים גַּם יַחַד = shevet achim gam yachad (if,that) brothers (people) could sit together in unity

In Hebrew, the masculine also includes the feminin…