Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Reb Yosef’s Songs of Ascent

Eytan Kobre

First he was headed for professional soccer, then he was a rising secular music star. But Hashem had other plans for Yosef Karduner, today’s sweet singer of Breslov. From his enchanting “Shir Lamaalot” to scores of other heart-tugging and dance-inducing melodies on 11 albums over these past two decades, Reb Yosef’s music is an expression of his journey to get in touch with his own neshamah and stir those of his fellow Jews.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

To get in touch with the singer and songwriter Yosef Karduner, don’t bother contacting him through websites or agents or record labels — he doesn’t have any. It’s much more efficient to go looking for him in the beis medrash, which is where we found him during his recent visit to New York — sitting in shul, engrossed in his Gemara Bava Metzia. Using terms like “Jewish music star” and “singing sensation” for Reb Yosef isn’t just inaccurate, it’s downright laughable. Even the Wikipedia entry for Yosef Karduner notes his surprising “aversion to public relations and advertising… he rarely gives interviews.” One could perhaps imagine another music personality of his stature creating an entire persona as the inaccessible, reclusive “un-star.” But not Reb Yosef. With him, it’s just authentic temimus, pashtus, emes. In the music industry, for someone with his talent — he has produced 11 albums in 17 years and his enchanting “Shir Lamaalot” is a veritable national anthem in Israel — to exhibit such a complete absence of airs and artificiality is a refreshing rarity.  Having tasted the success and acclaim of secular stardom, he saw through the deception of that world and fled in disgust. He searched instead for a place that’s real, pure, true. And having found it, he’s not turning back. He spends an hour daily on his musical pursuits, and the rest of his day is devoted to his growing family, to Torah and tefillah, and to nurturing a relationship with his Creator following the unique path of Breslov. 

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

Drink to Eternity
Rabbi Moshe Grylak Redemption doesn’t simply mean being let out of jail
Klal Yisrael Is Always Free
Yonoson Rosenblum "In that merit will Klal Yisrael continue to exist”
Home Free
Eytan Kobre My baseline for comparison is admittedly weak
Believe in Your Own Seder
Rabbi Judah Mischel Hashem is satisfied when we do our best
Picture Perfect
Yisroel Besser Take a picture — and this time, send it to yourself
Flying Solo
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman As Pesach loomed closer, his resentment was growing
Hanging on by a Hair
Jacob L. Freedman MD “Do you still think that I’m not completely crazy?”
A Song for Every Season
Riki Goldstein Influencers map out their personal musical soundtracks
Subliminal Speech
Faigy Peritzman The deeper the recognition, the deeper the effect
The Big Change
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Spelling things out clears clouds of resentment
The Count-Up
Mrs. Shani Mendlowitz Tap the middos of Sefirah to recreate yourself
The Baker: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP with Zivia Reischer "She can't get married if she can't build a relationship...
Know This: Infertility
As Told to Bracha Stein There was no place for me. I didn’t belong
Dear Shadchan
The Girl Here's the thing: I need time