Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Endnote: The Shy Son; Uri Davidi Back Where It All Started; Entertainers' Go-To Songs

Riki Goldstein

“In 1967, my father was musical director at Camp Kol Rinah and was recording an album for the camp. He insisted I sing a solo on that album”

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

 Mishpacha image



ic Drop

The Shy Son

Of the four sons of chazzan David Werdyger z”l — Yisroel-Aryeh, Chaim, Mendy, and Mordechai, Mordechai (aka MBD) says he was the only one who was so shy he never wanted to sing or perform in public. “My brothers used to sing occasionally at different functions, but I stubbornly refused. In 1967, my father was musical director at Camp Kol Rinah and was recording an album for the camp. He insisted I sing a solo on that album, but the album’s director, Yaakov Goldstein, didn’t like the idea and threatened to quit if I sang solo. Ultimately though, it was my father’s decision and in the end he prevailed. That was my first studio experience.”


It’s Still a Glorious Day to Send Up a Kite

Sheya Mendlowitz was at a family simchah when he heard a young man named Avrumy Kalter sing.

“Avrumy’s voice had a unique quality about it, and he’s a musician as well, so I asked him to come over to my house so we could talk music,” Sheya says of the musical shidduch everyone’s talking about. “We spoke about his musical taste, and Avrumy said he admires Abie Rotenberg’s songs.” Sheya introduced Avrumy to his close friend Abie, and that meeting resulted in a collaboration — the remake and release of an Abie Rotenberg favorite, “Little Kite,” originally recorded on Journeys II in 1993. New arrangements by Yisroel Lamm and vocals by both Abie and Avrumy Kalter combine under Sheya’s sure hand for a new-old Journeys-style experience — soothing and stirring at the same time, with a bit of nostalgia for old-time Journeys fans sprinkled into the mix.


Uri Davidi goes back to the stage where it all started

The title track from Uri Davidi’s album, Halevai, has so far been requested by over 50 schools in America and Israel as a theme song tune. “Halevai,” written by Yitzy Waldner with lyrics by Miriam Israeli, is an energized, upbeat prayer of longing for Geulah and a return to the holy city of Jerusalem. Davidi, who now lives and learns in Lakewood, says that as his calendar fills up with weddings and concerts, one meaningful occasion was the opportunity to go back to his hometown of Los Angeles, to sing at a dinner for Toras Emes.

“I was standing on the stage where I had first sung in choir as a kid. I sung in that choir from fourth grade to eighth grade and that night, I felt like I was back where it all began.”

This year, he’ll be taking part again. His alma mater is one more school borrowing “Halevai,” and he’ll be adding fresh lyrics on a special music video together with the Toras Emes school choir.

The Song I Sing

You spend your days and nights in the studio or on the stage, playing your songs, perfecting the next album, tweaking the niggun you hope will be the season’s big hit. But when you’re finally on your way home, which song do you find yourself humming?


Singer Beri Weber:
I do a lot of hisbodedus, and I always begin it with Yosef Karduner’s niggun “Ta’isi K’seh Oved Bakesh Avdecha” (“I have wandered like a lost sheep, seek Your servant”). When I’m happy, I find myself humming the Baal Shem Tov’s “Niggun Mashiach.”

Singer /bandleader Shloime Dachs:
“Vezakeini” by Baruch Levine. I’m still constantly singing it at weddings. Songs with that kind of longevity don’t happen often in this generation, but “Vezakeini” has a lot of power and emotional appeal.

Producer Naftali Schnitzler:
It’s really funny, but I always find myself humming and singing “Hakol Yoducha,” composed by Yanky Daskal. It came out when I was a child, and I remember how I loved it. It was probably at the time when I really got into music, and this song sank in and always plays in my head.


Singer/composer Ari Goldwag: 

Usually something current. Mordechai Shapiro’s song “Machar” is in my head at the moment. At other times I suddenly find myself humming something and I realize there’s a message to me in that particular pasuk. 


Arranger/composer Yisroel Lamm:

My favorite piece of music — Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.

Arranger Yitzy Berry:

“Someday We Will All Be Together.” We’re all over the place and we’re each caught up in our own problems, but deep inside we are always yearning for that day when we’ll be together again, united and strong.

(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 697)

Related Stories

Endnote: Rav Dovid Cohen’s Instant Hoshana Niggun

Riki Goldstein

“I know some people for whom Simchas Beis Hashoeivah is the highlight of the year — it literally ke...

Endnote: Someday We’ll Change the Words Again

Riki Goldstein

What is it about the song that makes it so great and we never get tired of it? There are so many son...

Endnote: A Mother’s Prayer Turns Around a Jewish Daughter

Riki Goldstein

I’d never seen such an emotional kallah in my life. Later, she thanked me, and she told me that this...

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.

Weekly Struggle
Shoshana Friedman Cover text: promise big and deliver what we promise
Only Through You
Rabbi Moshe Grylak A response to last week’s letter, “Waiting in Passaic”
Are You Making a Kiddush Hashem?
Yonoson Rosenblum In communal affairs, “one bad apple…” often applies
Chance of a Lifetime
Eytan Kobre I identify with the urge to shout, “No, don’t do it!”
Work / Life Solutions with Bunim Laskin
Moe Mernick "You only get every day once"
Seeking a Truly Meaningful Blessing
Dovid Zaidman We want to get married. Help us want to date
Shivah Meditations
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Equivalence between two such polar opposites is puzzling
Magnet Moment
Jacob L. Freedman Everyone’s fighting a battle we know nothing about
Secrets and Surprises
Riki Goldstein Top-secret suits Eli Gerstner just fine
Blasts of Warmth
Riki Goldstein Keeping the chuppah music upbeat in low temperatures
Behind the Scenes
Faigy Peritzman The intrinsic value of each mitzvah
Good Vision
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Good or bad, nice or not? What you see is what you get
Day of Peace
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz On Shabbos we celebrate peace within and without