Monday, June 29, 2009

Taran: The Witty, Thoughtful Child

Taran's comment on my melting laptop:

Wow. That's so weird. You have a strange computer. Well, that's the bad side. On the good side, you'll be able to make sunny side up eggs on your computer without even turning on your stove. And it's gas as well as electric free! Wooohoooooooooooooo!!! LOL

An essay on Shlomo Carlebach that Taran wrote in 7th Grade:

'The Rabbi that Inspired'

The theater is filled with the strumming of a guitar, the reverberation of the drums, and the clapping of the very excited audience. All are waiting impatiently for the next song to begin. At last, the music starts and the audience remains hushed. With enthusiasm and kavanah, the Rabbi closes his eyes and begins to sing the songs that could wipe away anybody’s worries. He begins to tell great tales about people caring for people. To be in the presence of a person so full of happiness and contentment, would be the most meaningful experience of my life. Strumming the guitar, singing from the depths of his neshama is Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. He is known for his wonderful singing, his thrilling anecdotes about chesed, and for the people who are at peace with themselves in his presence.

Nobody could sing Jewish songs like Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. In the second half of the 20th century, many people thought that he was the foremost Jewish composer and singer. One would know that Rabbi Shlomo was a great singer because in a period of thirty years, Rabbi Carlebach finished and published 25 music albums. He started singing on street corners and in a short while, he collected enough money to fly to Israel and presented his music there. He quickly became a big hit with anyone who heard his music. After spending some time in Israel, Rabbi Shlomo decided he would also play in America as well. He soon became known as “The Singing Rabbi.”

In addition to his singing, Rabbi Shlomo told great tales that are and were very interesting and thoughtful. One story was about when Rabbi Shlomo met an airplane attendant named Kathy. Kathy told Shlomo that she wanted to marry a Jewish man whose father would not allow the marriage. The reason was because her fiancé’s father had no intention of having his son married to a convert. Rabbi Shlomo listened to her story and said that he would try solving it. First, Rabbi Shlomo called the father of Kathy’s fiancé, who confirmed Kathy’s story. Then Rabbi Shlomo called Kathy’s father who told him that he was a Holocaust survivor and was still Jewish and that he wasn’t 100% converted to Christianity. Learning this, Rabbi Shlomo made a few calls to both parents to try persuading them to meet. Upon meeting, both parents hugged and kissed. Both said that they were best friends and that they promised that their children would marry. In addition, both were grateful that their children had fulfilled their pledge. Even without these stories, most people would agree that whatever Rabbi Shlomo wrote would be an excellent story. The other Rabbis would be very impressed with Shlomo’s wisdom and knowledge of the Torah which were always at the heart of his stories.

In addition to his singing and anecdotes, Rabbi Shlomo had a great talent for inspiring people to feel at peace with themselves. People would say, “This is a one of a kind Rabbi,” meaning that they loved his music and his stories. His popularity grew and grew as he started helping many people out of difficult situations. He had the ability to influence many Jewish people due to his singing and stories. For example, once Rabbi Shlomo needed to pray, so he asked some people to come and join in. Expecting about 10 people, Rabbi Shlomo was surprised that over two thousand people rushed to pray with him.

If I could meet Rabbi Shlomo, I would be so inspired and overjoyed by Rabbi Shlomo’s kavanah in singing, his wonderful stories, and his ability to make people at peace with themselves. To learn how to inspire someone and give chesed so generously are unbelievable qualities that I would want to strive and have for myself. It is wonderful to gain knowledge about Rabbi Shlomo’s stories, and at the same time, experience the love of Hashem through his songs!


Beth said...

Mature writing for a 7th grader.

Brizingr said...

Woa. i didn't know u were going to post that. but thanks anyway! :P

Shira Salamone said...

Believe it or not, I first heard Shlomo Carlebach in a performance in my parents' shul when I was a tad younger than Taran, er, Brizingr. I had no idea who he was, and my impression was that no one else knew who he was, either--I don't think that he was well known at the time. (This was nearly 40 years ago. Yes, I'm ancient. :) ). The only thing I knew about him was that he was an Orthodox rabbi, and I was surprised that was willing to give a performance in a Conservative synagogue. Other, than that major detail, he was just a guy with an acoustic guitar whose singing and guitar playing I enjoyed. Who knew?