Now Connecting

♪ ♫ Note-able: Moshav

I wouldn’t be the first to discuss music’s power to lift and transport, but Judaism goes further, saying that music actually has the ability to transcend and elevate the ordinary to holy. That’s a mighty big claim, but I intuitively sense its truth.


The Moshav Band exemplifies this concept for me. I love them. I have for years. Some bands you get bored with, not these guys. They sing from their souls, their melodies blend modern with ancient and inspire without preaching.  They’re just authenticity and love, they are.

From the first day I started this blog, I knew I would spotlight Moshav at some point. I have no affiliation with them—I’m just so appreciative of their work, how could I keep my mouth shut? Religious or secular, Hebrew speaking or not, great music is great music.

So, when I saw they’d launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for their next two albums, I figured the time had come.

Let me introduce you to these guys with my 5 favorite Moshav tunes:

    1. Higher and Higher
    2. Return Again
    3. Chicki Boom Boom
    4. Abba Shimon
    5. Eliyahu Hanavi

Narrowing it down wasn’t easy.

If you feel elevated after listening, elevate them. Being the generous one feels good. Special music like theirs isn’t everywhere.

Personally speaking, their music can change my mood. Guaranteed. If I’m in a bad mood, I feel better. If I feel disconnected, I get reconnected. And if I already feel great, my gratitude is given voice as I sing along with them. That’s mind over matter, that’s transcendence, that’s the power of music, that’s what Judaism was talking about.

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Now Connecting: Tevye-Style

Sunrise, Sunset in two of my favorite places.
(Left, at my home. Right, in Tel Aviv, Israel.)

Every morning, I have a pow-wow with Hashem. We talk about anything, it’s all fair game. We’re close. I’m pretty sure my picture is on His fridge.

The idea of talking to Hashem in your own words, a Jewish practice known as hitbodedut (HEET-boh-deh-doot) first came across my path via the musical Fiddler on the Roof. Growing up, my parents took my brother and I to New York just about every year for a Broadway theater binge: 5 shows in 4 days. We saw Fiddler starring Topol as Tevye during one of these trips. I was 10 years old and the idea made sense to me.

Throughout the show, the character Tevye candidly converses with Hashem. He pours his heart out, questioning, praying, debating and wishing aloud, in his own words. A two-way street, He asks Hashem questions and listens for answers.

Tevye’s hitbodedut plays a central role in the show because it’s so quintessentially Jewish. One of the few religions in which man engages directly with Gd without an intermediary, Jews have nourished deep, personal, one-on-one relationships with Hashem for thousands of years.

You can see where this is going. I too chat with Hashem regularly, Tevye style, both during my morning connection and throughout the day, formally and informally, about matters big and small.

My hitbodedut shows up in different ways. Some days, I talk aloud (though, usually in a whisper). Other times, I speak silently in my head, the practice taking on a meditative quality. When my thoughts insist on wandering, I write in my journal, often posing questions, and asking Him to answer me through my pen.

Creating time and space for Hashem invites the infinite into the limited. It grants access to what was, what is and what will be. I’m regularly amazed at the insights and answers I receive. The line is always open.

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