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New York - Singing, Dancing and Inspiration Abound as Jews Gather for Selichos (videos)

Published on: September 9, 2012 05:01 PM
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An image grab from video: Popular singer Yehuda Green served as the baal tefila for last night’s Selichos held at the Carlebach Shul on West 76th Street on Sept. 9 2012New York - Eighteen years after his death, the music of renowned composer Shlomo Carlebach continues to live on as Jews on both sides of the Atlantic gathered late into the night to be inspired by a Carlebach styled Selichos service.

Popular singer Yehuda Green, described by many as the Carlebach of today’s generation, served as the baal tefila for last night’s Selichos held at the Carlebach Shul on West 76th Street, accompanied by several guitarists and violinists.  Generally a standing room only event, the Carlebach Shul’s Facebook page advised congregants to come early in order to get a seat and men, women and children from all across the religious spectrum filled the Shul to daven, sing, dance and be inspired by the late night service which began at 12:30 AM and ended in the wee hours of the morning.

“There’s nothing like standing with chassidish, yeshivish, modern and non-frum Jews and feeling connected to them all, despite the obvious differences, through the davening and music,” commented Hillel Kapnick, who traveled from Monsey to Manhattan to attend Selichos at the Carlebach Shul.  “The perfect fusion of davening, singing and music makes you feel that Moshiach must be right around the corner.”

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In Jerusalem, singer Yitzchak Meir led a roomful of impassioned congregants in an emotional Carlebach style Selichos service in the Machteres Synagogue accompanied by guitars, violin and tambourine.  Another Carlebach Selichos, held at Subaba Grill in Monsey by Congregation Ohr Shlomo of Pomona, was designed to attract people who might not otherwise attend Selichos.

Below, 1 Hour video Israeli singer Yitzchak Meir leads a Carlebach style Selichos.

“We want them to see it isn’t a chore to daven to Hashem ,” said Abe Raice, one of the founders of Ohr Shlomo, also known as the Shlomo Minyan.  “We want people to see something exciting, spiritual and heartfelt, something that would attract the younger generation to have a spiritual connection with Hashem.”

All across New York, people flocked to experience davening with some of today’s most famed cantors as Chazan Bentzion Miller led a three hour Selichos service at Temple Beth El in Borough Park, accompanied by a full choir, and Chazan Yitzchok Meir Helfgot davened for the amud at the Park East Synagogue.

“Chazan Helfgot and the choir were flawless,” said Cedarhurst resident Sholom Jacobs, who is himself a Chazan.  “Even more uplifting and inspiring than the beautiful chazanut was the diverse crowd made up of all Jews of all backgrounds.”

Four hundred people came to hear Cantor Netanel Hershtik’s Selichos at The Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton, with congregants arriving by the busload from the Five Towns, Brooklyn and Queens.

“People sang and joined in and you could feel the electricity in the air,” Hershtik told VIN News, offering a chazan’s perspective on Selichos.  “Channeling people’s kavana is why we baalei tefila and chazanim are sent to the amud as the ‘kahal’ representatives.  If people tell me after the services that I helped them daven and inspire them, I feel fulfilled.”

“People connect more to songs and I try to get the oylam as involved as possible,” added singer Srully Williger, who led Selichos at the Young Israel of Woodmere last night.  “Every mitzvah and tefila has to be done with simcha and everyone agrees that songs bring people to a state of happiness.”

The first night of Selichos brings with it a special opportunity, with people having the ability to travel to hear a particular chazan instead of going to their regular place of davening.

“People want to get the feeling that Rosh Hashana is almost here,” explained Chazan Abraham Kiss who has been saying Selichos at the Young Israel of Avenue K for forty two years.  “I don’t do songs, I stick to the traditional nusach that is hundreds of years old.  I am a cantor/baal tefila and I think Selichos should be inspiring and not something that turns into a performance.”

Below video, Popular singer Yehuda Green leads as the baal tefila for last night’s Selichos held at the Carlebach Shul on West 76th Street. credit: Video by Motty Engel and Yossi Tepper.

Below video, Chazan Bentzion Miller led a three hour Selichos service at Temple Beth El in Borough Park.



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Read Comments (36)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Sep 09, 2012 at 05:57 PM Sociologist Says:

Beautiful! This is truly a kiddush hashem. May this help finish bringing the geulah.

2

 Sep 09, 2012 at 06:05 PM Anonymous Says:

Yes folks, this, and only THIS type of ACHDUS is what hashem wants, selichos sung with guitars and other musical instruments by yehuda green, for chasidish, litvish, modern, women, without a mechitza, as seen on the picture, that's the right way to get ourselves ready for a git gibensht yur, or am I old fashioned?

3

 Sep 09, 2012 at 06:35 PM VickiPolin Says:

Considering Carlebach's music was banned by Rav Moshe Feinstein 53 years ago, why is it that these folks are still playing it? I guess a ruling from Feinstein is meaning less.

4

 Sep 09, 2012 at 06:52 PM SherryTheNoahide Says:

Wow! How beautiful! :-D

What a religion! What a faith! I see this, and I am once again reminded that our family made the right decision to leave the nonsense of Christianity to be able to appreciate the way things "ought to be"!

Amazing energy & transformation take place when such a group of souls gather together!

5

 Sep 09, 2012 at 08:25 PM anon1 Says:

Reply to #3  
VickiPolin Says:

Considering Carlebach's music was banned by Rav Moshe Feinstein 53 years ago, why is it that these folks are still playing it? I guess a ruling from Feinstein is meaning less.

????Chasvishalom to say that frum Jews consider less of Reb Moshe! Do you follow everything the Rema says or the Rambam Says?

6

 Sep 09, 2012 at 08:45 PM cello Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

Yes folks, this, and only THIS type of ACHDUS is what hashem wants, selichos sung with guitars and other musical instruments by yehuda green, for chasidish, litvish, modern, women, without a mechitza, as seen on the picture, that's the right way to get ourselves ready for a git gibensht yur, or am I old fashioned?

Did you ever actually read reb moshes tshuva? Or are you just repeating what you heard in the BMG coffee room? Your comment
is factually incorrect look up the tshuva and correct your statement.

Thanks

7

 Sep 09, 2012 at 08:47 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
SherryTheNoahide Says:

Wow! How beautiful! :-D

What a religion! What a faith! I see this, and I am once again reminded that our family made the right decision to leave the nonsense of Christianity to be able to appreciate the way things "ought to be"!

Amazing energy & transformation take place when such a group of souls gather together!

I agree with you but don't be surprised if you get some responses that the clear joy and excitement felt why the worshipers in this video is not much different from where you left and fails to meet some narrow and extremist views of how Jews are supposed to worship and show their love for Hashem.

8

 Sep 09, 2012 at 08:48 PM NEPTUNE NATHAN Says:

The Leon Berger Choir did a beautiful Selichos in The Jewish Center of Brighton Beach.

9

 Sep 09, 2012 at 08:57 PM ObscureLawyer Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

Yes folks, this, and only THIS type of ACHDUS is what hashem wants, selichos sung with guitars and other musical instruments by yehuda green, for chasidish, litvish, modern, women, without a mechitza, as seen on the picture, that's the right way to get ourselves ready for a git gibensht yur, or am I old fashioned?

You are certainly NOT old fashioned #2, but you might be accused by some of being narrow-minded - not by me, I hasten to add.

10

 Sep 09, 2012 at 09:01 PM MyComment Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

Yes folks, this, and only THIS type of ACHDUS is what hashem wants, selichos sung with guitars and other musical instruments by yehuda green, for chasidish, litvish, modern, women, without a mechitza, as seen on the picture, that's the right way to get ourselves ready for a git gibensht yur, or am I old fashioned?

Yes, they have the exact same mechitza as by Matan Torah.

11

 Sep 09, 2012 at 09:23 PM Lakewood Ir HaKodesh Says:

Why not show a real slichos with bnei Torah with a river of tears running down their cheeks while pouring their hearts out to HKB"H asking slicha u'mchila the way yidden did for many generations?! These modern versions of asking slicha umchila with music and dance mocks the entire meaning of slichos!

12

 Sep 09, 2012 at 10:03 PM Professor Says:

I was at Yehuda Greens slichos last night.
1. There was a michitza according to halacha. (Maybe not chasidish)
2. I was standing next topeople who havent davened in months/years, and guess what? They cried they davened.
3.I saw real Ichud klal yisroel. Every type of jew. It was pure amazing.
I feel if you have aaprox 500 men, with over 80% coming from out of the neighborhood. Than i deduct that the shuls in their areas are just not giving these people what they need.
I overheard someone saying "why dont they have this in boro park"?

13

 Sep 09, 2012 at 10:18 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
VickiPolin Says:

Considering Carlebach's music was banned by Rav Moshe Feinstein 53 years ago, why is it that these folks are still playing it? I guess a ruling from Feinstein is meaning less.

Please cite the exact תשובה in which "Carlebach's music was banned by Rav Moshe Feinstein". The only תשובה of which I am aware in which Rav Moshe discusses appropriate ניגונים for the תפלות does not mention a name.

14

 Sep 09, 2012 at 10:25 PM Midwesterner Says:

Reply to #3  
VickiPolin Says:

Considering Carlebach's music was banned by Rav Moshe Feinstein 53 years ago, why is it that these folks are still playing it? I guess a ruling from Feinstein is meaning less.

Unless of course it is the hetter for chalov akum. Then Reb Moshe is the undisputed gadol hador, and how dare you argue.

15

 Sep 09, 2012 at 10:32 PM chiefchacham Says:

Rav Moshe Feinstein banned his music? really? where did you get that from? I didn't know the whole banning this was in style in those days? 53 years ago! wow. wonder what happened then that Rav Moshe banned him.

16

 Sep 10, 2012 at 06:54 AM mark m Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

Yes folks, this, and only THIS type of ACHDUS is what hashem wants, selichos sung with guitars and other musical instruments by yehuda green, for chasidish, litvish, modern, women, without a mechitza, as seen on the picture, that's the right way to get ourselves ready for a git gibensht yur, or am I old fashioned?

just as a note as a former vice president of wsis the shul where the concert was held the mechitza is 100% kosher and approved by reb moshe feinstein zatzal

17

 Sep 10, 2012 at 07:20 AM proudjewboy Says:

Reply to #3  
VickiPolin Says:

Considering Carlebach's music was banned by Rav Moshe Feinstein 53 years ago, why is it that these folks are still playing it? I guess a ruling from Feinstein is meaning less.

Banned? Never heard of this?

18

 Sep 10, 2012 at 06:53 AM derecheretz Says:

The video of the Carlebach shul looks absolutely joyous, and I could feel the energy and kavanah towards Hashem in the first 30 seconds.....in any davening we're fortunate to have ONE transcendent moment when our feet and spirits lift us beyond ourselves and connect to HKBH....this sure looks real to me.....let's restrain our insults and judgmental comments which may project our own disappointments and inabilities to achieve what these people are.....how can anyone knock this joyous display? Really now......Shana Tova to all.

19

 Sep 10, 2012 at 09:48 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #2  
Anonymous Says:

Yes folks, this, and only THIS type of ACHDUS is what hashem wants, selichos sung with guitars and other musical instruments by yehuda green, for chasidish, litvish, modern, women, without a mechitza, as seen on the picture, that's the right way to get ourselves ready for a git gibensht yur, or am I old fashioned?

You are not old fashioned just misguided and uninformed about Jewish practice.

20

 Sep 10, 2012 at 10:41 AM BigMasmid Says:

Reply to #1  
Sociologist Says:

Beautiful! This is truly a kiddush hashem. May this help finish bringing the geulah.

NO I don't think so, I have never seen any Gedolim celebrating the prayer of Selichos combined with music, not in the Chasidic nor in the Litvish nor in the Sfardik world, sorry but his is not by the rules of the Shulcan Aruch.

If you want to finish bringing the Geulah we have to do "real" Teshuva.

21

 Sep 10, 2012 at 10:45 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #12  
Professor Says:

I was at Yehuda Greens slichos last night.
1. There was a michitza according to halacha. (Maybe not chasidish)
2. I was standing next topeople who havent davened in months/years, and guess what? They cried they davened.
3.I saw real Ichud klal yisroel. Every type of jew. It was pure amazing.
I feel if you have aaprox 500 men, with over 80% coming from out of the neighborhood. Than i deduct that the shuls in their areas are just not giving these people what they need.
I overheard someone saying "why dont they have this in boro park"?

"why dont they have this in boro park"? ”

Because Boro Park have true leaders that feed the Yiddishkit in a pure old fashion way, (the right way) no need to change, the Torah is the same since it was given on Mount Sinai, nothing has changed.

22

 Sep 10, 2012 at 11:54 AM inNY Says:

Reply to #21  
Anonymous Says:

"why dont they have this in boro park"? ”

Because Boro Park have true leaders that feed the Yiddishkit in a pure old fashion way, (the right way) no need to change, the Torah is the same since it was given on Mount Sinai, nothing has changed.

You really think that Dovid HaMelech when he wrote Tehilim he blabbed away??? NO he sang it nicely with his guitar.. Music and Tefilah is beautiful and should defiantly be implemented more...

23

 Sep 10, 2012 at 11:07 AM sane Says:

Does not look like those Carlebach folks were in a Selichos frame of mind. Looked more like Purim or a campfire kumzits. I guess this was you can say you did Selichos without really doing it.

24

 Sep 10, 2012 at 12:51 PM Professor Says:

Reply to #21  
Anonymous Says:

"why dont they have this in boro park"? ”

Because Boro Park have true leaders that feed the Yiddishkit in a pure old fashion way, (the right way) no need to change, the Torah is the same since it was given on Mount Sinai, nothing has changed.

So you are implying that when the torah was givin in sinai. Everybody wore shtreimlich?
Kidding aside, you are partially right.
there are, however, enough people in Boro Park that the old fashioned (200 year old) way does not work. And there is absolutelt a great need for a different approach in Boro Park

25

 Sep 10, 2012 at 01:02 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #11  
Lakewood Ir HaKodesh Says:

Why not show a real slichos with bnei Torah with a river of tears running down their cheeks while pouring their hearts out to HKB"H asking slicha u'mchila the way yidden did for many generations?! These modern versions of asking slicha umchila with music and dance mocks the entire meaning of slichos!

When I arrived in my shul on Sunday at 4am I found my Rav a Chasidic Rabbi that learns daily in his kolel, from 3 am till 6 pm (still wearing some of his shabos levish, since he did not go to sleep at all from shabos he did not have a chance to change his socks from white to black) saying tehilim bitzbur with tears streaming down his face.

When he started the first kadish he reaptdly had to stop to compose himself there was not a dry eye in the entire synagogue that’s the way erlich yidden begged for forgivensses the first day of slichos for thousand of years

Making a concert out of slichos and dancing like it was Purim or a wedding and justifying by saying be happy the daven at all is like saying at least they soak and salt the meat that did go through kosher shcitah

26

 Sep 10, 2012 at 01:06 PM Peter Nichols Says:

Why is there no room at all (or so it appears) for pluralism in Jewish prayer?

Discuss.

27

 Sep 10, 2012 at 01:16 PM MyComment Says:

Reply to #11  
Lakewood Ir HaKodesh Says:

Why not show a real slichos with bnei Torah with a river of tears running down their cheeks while pouring their hearts out to HKB"H asking slicha u'mchila the way yidden did for many generations?! These modern versions of asking slicha umchila with music and dance mocks the entire meaning of slichos!

It all depends on the relationship one has with HKB"H. One is not better or worsr than the other. Some relationships need to cry while other relationships get to the same place via joy.

28

 Sep 10, 2012 at 01:21 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #21  
Anonymous Says:

"why dont they have this in boro park"? ”

Because Boro Park have true leaders that feed the Yiddishkit in a pure old fashion way, (the right way) no need to change, the Torah is the same since it was given on Mount Sinai, nothing has changed.

Keep on dreaming. I know many in BP that skiped slichos altogether because it is meanless for them. So if you feel comfortable keeping you head in the sand -- life is good.

29

 Sep 10, 2012 at 01:23 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #22  
inNY Says:

You really think that Dovid HaMelech when he wrote Tehilim he blabbed away??? NO he sang it nicely with his guitar.. Music and Tefilah is beautiful and should defiantly be implemented more...

maybe he played his guitar but I'm sure he wore his shtreimel, bechesher and white socks. :)

30

 Sep 10, 2012 at 01:51 PM qazxc Says:

Reply to #21  
Anonymous Says:

"why dont they have this in boro park"? ”

Because Boro Park have true leaders that feed the Yiddishkit in a pure old fashion way, (the right way) no need to change, the Torah is the same since it was given on Mount Sinai, nothing has changed.

Are you sure it was given at Mount Sinai? Which one? KJ or Willy B? 45th or 47th? In New Square or BP? Perhaps it was at one of the Vishnitz Mount Sinais.

31

 Sep 10, 2012 at 02:00 PM shmaltz222 Says:

Reply to #23  
sane Says:

Does not look like those Carlebach folks were in a Selichos frame of mind. Looked more like Purim or a campfire kumzits. I guess this was you can say you did Selichos without really doing it.

thats not being "sane" ... thats being silly....the video is clearly sweet and sincere

32

 Sep 10, 2012 at 02:05 PM proudjewboy Says:

Reply to #22  
inNY Says:

You really think that Dovid HaMelech when he wrote Tehilim he blabbed away??? NO he sang it nicely with his guitar.. Music and Tefilah is beautiful and should defiantly be implemented more...

I am a carelbach fan. but I just want to correct u that guitar is a fairly new instrument.

33

 Sep 10, 2012 at 03:41 PM Cherry Bim Says:

I know slichos, and this was not slichos. Call It what you want; I call it amaratzos. That's what you get when you don't have a talmud chochem to lead.

34

 Sep 10, 2012 at 04:07 PM sane Says:

Reply to #31  
shmaltz222 Says:

thats not being "sane" ... thats being silly....the video is clearly sweet and sincere

You can be sweet and sincere at a Kumzits. At Selichos you're supposed to be solemn and serious. Jumping up and down and laughing is not Selichos. There is a time for everything. If one is not capable of spending barely an hour of serious contemplation without a guitar strumming pop tunes, then he needs some help.

35

 Sep 10, 2012 at 09:25 PM Professor Says:

Reply to #34  
sane Says:

You can be sweet and sincere at a Kumzits. At Selichos you're supposed to be solemn and serious. Jumping up and down and laughing is not Selichos. There is a time for everything. If one is not capable of spending barely an hour of serious contemplation without a guitar strumming pop tunes, then he needs some help.

it was solemn it was serious and nobody was laughing. People were dancing and crying. Ok maybe not solem.

36

 Sep 11, 2012 at 01:13 PM Emes Says:

Just hours before saying Slichos we read in the middle of the Tochacha (Devarim 28:47) "Tachas asher lo avadita es hashem bsimcha u vtuv levav merov kol". While I do not object to people crying during selichos if they feel that they need to, it would seem that at this time with Torah and mitzvos growing and blossoming here in ch"l and especially in Eretz Yisroel, it would be preferable, a hiddur mitzvah to be ovaid besimcha.

37

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