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A Few Seconds in the Spotlight

Riki Goldstein

Performing together with Mordechai Ben David

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

A few months back, our Chanukah EndNote question asking readers to submit their most meaningful MBD songs drew an avalanche of responses. For some, though, it wasn’t songs that left a lasting impression, but times in which they actually performed together with Mordechai Ben David, experiencing their own 15 minutes of fame.
A selection of those special memories

M

any of MBD’s songs have touched our hearts, but “Daddy Dear” is special to us. Many years ago, Mordechai came to perform in Chicago. The organizer of the event asked the school to have some boys join him on stage, and a few children were asked to sing with him, including our son, who sang the “Daddy Dear” duet with MBD on stage — although they did practice a little right before so it wasn’t totally spontaneous. It was a very exciting experience for him, and we still talk about it — and sing the song!

—C. Weiss, Chicago, IL

 

We sang together in 1980, he as a budding star and me as a seven-year-old along with my choir mates. It was a show produced by Yigal Calek and Sheya Mendlowitz at Felt Forum of Madison Square Garden in New York. The songs that stand out in my mind, aside from the Yigal Calek selections, are “Shevach” and “Memories,” both from MBD’s Memories album. The show’s finale was Yigal’s famous “Kol Berama Nishma,” and the choir was accompanied by Yigal’s legendary choreography and harmonies. MBD contributed by harmonizing with the choir, something we didn’t practice, and closed the song with an impromptu, classic finish that still resonates with me.

The show ended with another unrehearsed routine, as MBD asked me, over the mic, where I was from. I answered, “New York.” “Where in New York?” he asked, and I answered “Brooklyn.” Getting more personal, he asked “Where in Brooklyn?” but at my age and in front of 5,000 people, I got flustered and couldn’t pin it down. We went round and round a few times until he helped me blurt out “Flatbush!” Every time I saw Mordechai subsequent to that show, he smiled and recalled the encounter that some thought was a staged finale between the seven-year-old wannabe and the legendary MBD.

—Yehoshua Michaeli, Lakewood, NJ

 

I grew up in Seagate right next to the Werdygers, and many songs come to mind when trying to pick my favorite MBD song. However, “Ko Amar Hashem,” composed by Reb Chaim Banet, is the song that holds a very special place in my heart. When Mordechai asked me to sing on his album Yerushalayim Our Home, I couldn’t have been more excited. As a ten-year-old boy, it was a unique opportunity. I sang “Haben Yakir Li,” which is the intro to “Ko Amar Hashem,” with Mordechai’s harmony in the background. The strong message of Hashem’s love for his children has stayed with me till this very day, over 30 years later.

—Dovid Lederman, Brooklyn, NY

(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 756)

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