Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Absolute Joy

I had an incredible experience last week.

A very close friend of mine was getting married out of town, and I knew that it would be important to him that I be there. My wife (who is a true tzaddeikes in every sense of the word) agreed to load the kids into the car and make the trek to my hometown, where another friend of mine and I would meet and continue on to the wedding while my family spent time with my parents. After the wedding, the two of us would return to spend Shabbos with our respective families.

This friend of mine getting married is a wonderful guy who has had his fair share of struggles in the past; he didn't necessarily fit into the rigid structure of the standard yeshiva, and the loss of his mother years ago gave him a perspective on life that many of his contemporaries couldn't share. He came to my beloved yeshiva years ago, and even after he moved on to other places, we maintained contact.

While he reiterated numerous times that he didn't expect me to make the trip and would have no complaints if I didn't attend, I still felt that if I could work it out, I should. Nobody told him about out plans, so when I showed up at the wedding hall, he was flabbergasted to see me. I wish I had a picture of his reaction...

In any event, the wedding was a truly beautiful occasion, and during the dancing, something wonderful happened.

I wanted to write about this sooner, but the words that would accurately describe the atmosphere, the buzzing energy that filled the hall during this amazing simcha, seemed to be beyond me. Even now, I am struggling to find appropriate terms for what I believe everyone who was there felt. The pure joy that permeated the hall was tangible; the air positively crackled as family and friends held hands and danced their hearts out, stamping their feet, whipping around in circles of increasing speed, whirling like dervishes in the middle for the newlywed couple. Middle aged men staggered out of the circle, red-faced, sweaty, and smiling, inspired by the mood enough to act out of character. I felt myself transported back a few years, to my own wedding - which was really the last place that I had completely thrown myself into the dancing - and there was something powerful moving me.

For me, seeing my friend in such a state of happiness brought things into a certain clarity: all of his paths and trials - all of the questions and issues - led to this moment; a resounding crescendo of ecstasy that points a finger to the heavens and acknowledges that every choice we make brings us to certain points in our life in which Gods providence is clear and undeniable. Standing for a moment amidst the revelry, surrounding by spinning bodies with the bass from the DJ's speakers traveling up my feet and into my heart, I knew that I had to savor this moment, this rush of true joy.

I sat down at the first available seat and just tried to ride on the feeling that I was having, rocking back and forth. I wanted to grasp and cling to the awesome hergeish, to bask in it, but more importantly to internalize it and carry it with me, as if one could bottle a beautiful summer day and sell it. After all, this is a large part of what we're striving for: tapping into those deep emotions and feelings, and then holding onto them tightly.

I didn't know what else to do, so taking a page from Rebbe Nachman, I turned my feelings into a prayer. I asked God to look around at the joy that was so clear and whole, that filled up the space of the hall and left no room for anything else, certainly not negativity. I begged Him to take this same feeling and expand it, to bestow it on the entire world, to let everyone know this kind of simcha and to completely remove any lingering sign of sadness, bitterness, sickness, or strife. That this coming year, 5771, should be a year of only simcha, the year of the final, redemptive simcha in which all the righteous ones will dance around HaShem "sitting" in the center, and will point towards Him, crowning Him in the way that it was always meant to be...

What a beautiful time I had...

Monday, August 30, 2010

A New Song

I'm working on a few pieces for both blogs that are taking more time than expected. In the meantime, check out this song from Shtar, a band based out of Aish HaTorah. My wife and I really dug this tune on our trip back to Jersey from Cleveland, and it's not their regular style. Enjoy!

    Get this widget |     Track details  | eSnips Social DNA    

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Heightened Awareness

I waited a little bit before cross-posting this one. In the meantime, Reb Ally has a great piece about judging others...

B'nei Machshava Tova: Increasing The Plentiful: "In a previous post, both Reb Ally and Reb Micha weighed in on different kavanot (intentions) to have while making a bracha (blessing). Conti..."

Reminder: Dixie Yid's Uman Itinerary...

In light of Rosh HaShana's rapid approach, I'd like to remind those of you who are going to Uman about Dixie Yid's hopes of visiting kivrei Tzaddikim (again, emphases mine):

If you are going to Uman (like me!) and would like to travel to daven at the kevarim of several Tzadikim on the way to Uman for Rosh Hashana, I have an opportunity for you.
My friend Chaim is coordinating transportation to several kevarim on the way to Uman. A number of us are already coming and we're going to MezbitzBerdichiv,VilednickAnnapoli, and Breslov on the way to Uman.
If there is enough interest, we will be renting a tour bus. Details:
  • Departing Monday Sept. 6th from Kiev airport @ 3 PM
  • Cost: $200 (unless enough people sign up, then it will be less)
  • Traveling to the kevarim in Mezbitz, Berdichiv, Vilednick, Annapoli, and Breslov
  • Traveling for about 24 hours
  • Arriving in Uman about 2 or 3 PM on Tuesday Sept. 7th, erev erev Rosh Hashana
  • This will allow us plenty of time to rest and go to Rebbe Nachman's tziyon in preperation for Slichos at about 3 AM erev R"H.

Please contact Chaim at 516-851-8855 or by e-mail if you're interested in joining.

I won't be going, unfortunately, but if anyone is going and doesn't mind taking a kvittel for my family and I, please let me know! 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Perpetuating Negative Stereotypes

While I don't claim to be the biggest authority on marriage (or an authority at all), I do believe that I put in a great amount of effort into strengthening my relationship with my wife, spiritually, emotionally, physically, etc. Because of this, it pains me greatly when I attend a simcha that involves marriage (be it an engagement party, an aufruf, a wedding itself, or a sheva berachot), and some fellow takes it upon himself to tell the new couple (or one of them) how things "really" work, and imparts some "sage advice".

What comes out of their mouths are words of cynicism and poor attempts at humor, as they advise the new husband how to act in ways that ensure that he'll never be expected to help in the kitchen, how to respond to his wife with vague and insincere phrases and generally maintain an image of an ineffectual (in domestic terms) husband whose primary concern is satisfying himself.

The new wife gets schooled in tactics that manipulate the husband into doing what she wants, buying her what she wants, and emasculating techniques that show others "who really wears the pants."

What ultimately results is two people acting selfishly and independent of each other, vying for their own personal agendas and what they want out of their marriage instead of the sweet harmonious relationship that the Torah prescribes.

These words of wisdom shared at simchot will not be found in any halachic source or shalom bayit manual; we learn these ideas from the outside world where marriage is viewed with a skewed perspective. Just because the society around us portrays the institution of marriage as something unnatural and self defeating doesn't mean that we should buy into that image.

Our generation cannot afford to view marriage this way; marriage is ideally a life long commitment, and we must always keep in mind that such a commitment warrants constant and consistent effort.

It's time to do away with the cynical overtures, and to make it known that those stereotypes are the exception, not the rule.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

It's Good To Be A Yid: Summer Action On The Lake

I enjoyed this post...

It's Good To Be A Yid: Summer Action On The Lake: "For lessons in avodas-Hashem from waterskiing,please visit an earlier entry:Follow the Boat Driver &Hold Onto the Rope"

New Album From Shemspeed...

Sounds interesting. I'm going to wait until it's available on iTunes...
August 19, 2010
Darkcho is an album of mystical Hasidic music, that sounds more like an indie folk rock album with tradition than what you would expect of a religious album. The music is very real, very meditative and very very human. A physical copy of this record is hard to find. As we look at the art we see how mysterious it all is. Hand written lyrics and notes cover the panels, but there is no label, there is no website, there is no way of finding out any more information and to top it all off, when you flip the cover over you read these fascinating words:
These songs collected here belong to the Jewish people. They originate from holiness. They speak of self nullification and redemption, the need for healing and discovering the depths of the Holy One Blessed Be He in this world and the next.
We take no recognition for any part of the material, lest the actual performing of the music itself.
The recognition was meant for the Holy One Blessed Be He and to the nation that lives by His word.
Shemspeed has taken on this beautiful record in order to ensure that the world hears it, aged in the barrels of Eastern European folklore and steeped in centuries of Jewish musical tradition. The album plays like a Tarantino soundtrack to the deepest, most spiritual moments of life; full of depth and style, antiquity and freshness.

  • iTunes/Amazon Download link will be available on September 7th
For more information or to interview the artist, please contact:Erez Safar
Shemspeed PR

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Say It Loud, Say It Proud...

One of the main things we are supposed to focus on during the month of Elul is the infinite love that HaShem has for His creations, and for the Jewish nation in particular.

For the longest time, I have had to tolerate the (in my opinion) extremely selfish Christian bumper stickers proclaiming "Jesus loves me!" I find such phrases to be very exclusive. That's why I came up with these:

Anyone interested in one, shoot me an e-mail at jewmaican20@yahoo.com!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Home Security

 Once more, I check my supplies. There can't be any room for error this time.

He's already gotten through my defenses before. I've seen his filthy footprints as he's roamed around my home freely. The prints weren't on the floor along the walls as if he was slinking around afraid to be caught. No, they were proud, wide strides down the middle of the hallways, as if he owned the place. He was arrogant, and for good reason; he knew my habits, and the layout of the place. After all, I had been the one to let him in in the first place.

The coil of barbed wire that I had strung across the perimeter had only proven a nuisance to him - the last time he broke in, he circumvented that problem with astonishing ease.

Outside help was worthless as well. With his cunning and ruthlessness, he dispatched the sentries and slipped past their defenses. The police are inefficient and corrupted by the enemy as well.

But not tonight. Tonight, there are no fancy gimmicks, no high-end security companies. Just me and my carefully selected weaponry, waiting in the dark, with a vigilant eye toward the direction from which he'll approach. Tonight I have to take a stand, and show him that he is not welcome here.

I settle in on the front porch and get comfortable. The thermos of coffee sits near me untouched. With the roar of adrenaline in my ears, I doubt I'll need anything to keep me awake.



It's going to be a long night...

The Evil Inclination must be viewed as an invader who is constantly trying to infiltrate into your home. He has the most sophisticated methods and numerous guises that he can adopt to gain entry. Only the utmost vigilance and clear message that he is not welcome can repel his advances...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Rav Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook (1865 - 1935)

Today (the third of Elul) is the yahrtzeit (anniversary of death) of Rav Kook, one of the most influential figures in the modern Jewish world.

Rav Kook was a visionary far ahead of the curve, and his focus on ahavat Yisrael, ahavat haTorah, and ahavat Eretz Yisrael was legendary. Indeed, a large part of his life was devoted towards drawing others toward the Torah's illumination, reconciling the seeming dichotomy between the paths of the Gaon of Vilna and the Baal Shem Tov (as a scion of both worlds), and reuniting the "separated twins" (the Written Law and Oral Law; this is a major theme of Rav Kook's Orot HaTorah and is beyond the scope of this essay and my own understanding), which can only be truly achieved in the Holy Land.

Rav Kook was a master of all the different aspects of the Torah; the revealed and the esoteric, halacha and aggada, Rav Kook wove brilliant treatises on any and every subject pertinent to Judaism. He had a deeply sensitive soul that is reflected in his poetry and his expositions on the world around us.

Unfortunately, Rav Kook's philosophy and writings have been the subject of many interpretations and many people have misappropriated his ideas and attempted to fit them to justify their own agendas. Additionally, his relationships and decisions have been distorted by numerous revisionists, casting a pall on his reputation to the extent that there are many who feel the need to "legitimize" Rav Kook.

I have been learning the Ein AYah with Reb Ally, and have been making feeble attempts to learn the Orot HaTorah, assisted by Rav Moshe Weinberger's wonderful ongoing series on the sefer. While I am slowly being opened up to the world of Rav Kook, I realize that I am barely scratching the surface of the rich depth and inspiring beauty that his Torah reveals. I believe that anybody who learns his sefarim with an open heart and a desire to grow spiritually will see that Rav Kook doesn't need anyone to legitimize him.

One story that I read long ago about Rav Kook made a lasting impression on me:

One day [Avraham Yitzchak] said to me "I've decided that we must set aside two night s a week as 'mishmar' nights, when we will learn all night."
I recall one "mishmar" night which was characteristic of this budding genius. We were studying Tractate Chullin together, arguing some point in the text. I insisted that my view was right, and we debated the matter back and forth, until, at last we agreed.
The hour was late, and we were studying together at the bimah. Everything around us was silent and still. In the next room, the other yeshiva students had been asleep for some time. Above the holy ark, the conventional ner tamid burned on. We rested a bit from our strenuous argument and sat a few moments to chat. 
He then said to me in a voice suffused with secrecy, "Do you realize, it is possible that right now the two of us are sustaining the entire world! Maybe, at this moment, the Holy One Blessed be He is judging the world, weighing the sins of the entire human race on his scales of justice. Perhaps the sins piled up on one pan of the scales outweigh all the merits gathered in the other pan. Then, the angel Michael - whom our tradition identifies as "one defending angel out of a thousand" (Iyov 33:23) takes our words of Torah and places them on the pan of merits and good deeds...and they tip the scales! Then we will have been privileged to save the entire world - yes, the two of us, as young as we are; I just started wearing tefillin and you are not even Bar Mitzvah yet..."
He continued talking, and I was elevated into the sublime heavenly spheres. I could almost palpably see the heavenly entourage - angels and cherubs - weighing the actions and good deeds of the entire human race on fiery scales. Then, the angels took the page of Tractate Chullin that we were learning - with the commentaries of Rashi, Tosafot, and the MaHaRSha - and put it on one of the pans and it tipped the scales in favor of the entire world.
...[t]hese were Rav Kook's youthful dreams; these were his aspirations and yearnings in his first year after his Bar Mitzva.
- Avraham Sho'er

So many things about this story resonate in my heart - the wide eyed wonder of young Rav Kook as he contemplates the impact that every individual - great or small - has on the universe when he learns God's Torah. The whirling inspiration that our narrator feels so many years later as he remembers his brush with greatness...

I have heard people refer to Rav Kook's "naivete" and "childlike innocence". Even in my limited impression of Rav Kook, this characterization is a difficult one to accept; such an attribution takes away from his greatness, because it connotes that this giant of a personality lived in some sort of dreamworld, unable (or unwilling) to relate to the reality of the world around him. I cannot accept that. Rav Kook was well aware of the foibles of Man and the existence of evil; he battled it often, sometimes fiercely with a heavy pen that demolished his foes with poetic words of strength and wisdom. It seems to me more that Rav Kook was one of those few individuals who never let go of the hope and joy that we only briefly enjoy as children before it is torn from our grasp as we try to "grow up". That hope and belief allowed him to confront the world and envision an ideal that was  - is - attainable, if we would only let go of those things that hold us back.

My friend Rabbi Cary Friedman and I once discussed learning Rav Kook's Torah. Rabbi Friedman told me that there are two types of people who learn Rav Kook's seforim: those who engage in a transcendent event, wherein they are carried to soaring heights on the wings of Rav Kook's lofty ideas and ethereal concepts - and those who read a few lines and say "what was that?" in confusion.

I hope I am part of the former...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Toxic Relationships

Sometimes, I just don't know what to do.

Have you ever had a relationship that soured, to the point that your interactions were filled with animosity and barely contained rage?

I feel that I am experiencing that myself, right now. There is a person who I have tried to help on numerous occasions, for whom I have risked my reputation and good standing with important figures in my personal life. I tried to help him because I care for him and am concerned for his wellbeing - spiritual, emotional, and physical - and it has backfired in my face.

Not only have our carefully orchestrated plans crumbled, but this person now has complaints against me! I don't need the credit for trying to help him; as far as I'm concerned, it was my duty and although I wasn't sure that the outcome of the idea suggested by others (which involved my input at critical points) would result in a success, I was willing to put in the effort. But now, he places the blame squarely at my feet, as if I am the one responsible for his mistakes.

I can't bear to look at him. Aside from the personal aspect, there is the fact that I let him into a large part of my life, a place that I hold very dear to me. Witnessing him take advantage of that environment in an abusive way caused me such anguish; hearing him denigrate that which I love stirs up such volatile emotions within me that I am afraid to speak to him.

It's gotten worse after the fact. Hearing his take on how things happened, and his attitude towards the people who he came into contact through our attempts to help him take on fantastic proportions. His inflated ego allows him to float through a delusion wherein he is the victim. I have never felt so betrayed.

My outlook has come around 180 degrees: I don't want to have anything to do with him at this point, let alone spend time with him or speak to him (ironically, I have no choice: with God's help, we will be a part of each other's lives until the ripe old age of 120). Where I used to be concerned with his wellbeing and success, I now feel an acute sense of schadenfreude - I want so badly to be vindicated in my predictions that he will squander every opportunity given to him. I want him to realize the extent of his self destructive tendencies - no matter the cost.

But the worst thing about this whole episode is the way I feel, the vitriolic expressions written above.

I am so ashamed at my subjectivity; I have lost the ability to determine where my indignation stems from. Is it pure righteous frustration or egotistical offense at a wrong perceived to be a personal spite? Just vocalizing some of these thoughts and feelings concerning this whole debacle makes me feel shallow and cruel.

I am so ashamed at my inability to look past the hurt that I feel (legitimate or not), and to redouble my effort to help this person.

Is this how a Jew acts? Is this how we are taught to respond to frustrations and setbacks at the hands of those closest to us?

On the one hand, I ask "how can I forgive him?" but on the other hand, I want to know "how can I forgive him?"

Perfect timing for Elul...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Back to Nature

I am upstate now with my family, and it feels wonderful to be surrounded by the beauty that God has given us in our natural surroundings.

Up here, it is serene and lush; the house that we rented sits back from the road on a large piece of land that has greenery, trees and a nice hammock. I've got a few sefarim (books), my iPod is loaded with shiurim (lectures), and I am looking forward to a relaxing few days before yeshiva starts again.

We arrived last night under a canopy bursting with a million shining stars and no other source of light to guide us. A humbling sight that reminds us how tiny and seemingly insignificant we are, when viewed in a cosmic sense...

The natural environment lends itself perfectly toward hisbodedus and connecting with HaShem in an organic, authentic way; this morning I watched the mist burn away from the grass as the sun crept up the eastern skyline, and I tried to connect with Him in a way that I haven't been able to for a while, with all the hectic running around of the past few months...

In the meantime, Reb Ally has an important post about beginning Elul properly - an essential thing no matter what  your station in life is...

All you need is a good cry...

B'nei Machshava Tova: Tapping Into The Rich Emotional Reservoirs We All ...: "In the previous post, Reb Ally writes about the inherent emotional capacity in everyone, and how it is only a matter of accessing those emot..."

Friday, August 6, 2010

See The Wonder...

B'nei Machshava Tova: See The Wonder...: "Want to strengthen your Emunah (belief in God)? Rabbeinu Bachya Ibn Paquda prescribes a systematic way to increase one's recognition of the ..."

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

B.M.T. Welcomes New Contributors Rabbi Micha Berger and Neil Harris!

Rabbi Berger is the author of the Aspaqlaria blog over on the AishDas website; Neil is the author of the Modern Uberdox blog.

Thankfully, these two wonderful writers accepted my invitation to the group. I'm sure we will see thought provoking insights and suggestions from them both!

Two new posts on BMT from Reb Ally and Rabbi Berger, respectively, as well as a cross-posted item from myself, posted below.

Please continue checking BMT out, because I won't always put up notice when the other contributor submit new pieces...

B'nei Machshava Tova: Give Chizuk!: "Rabbi Shlomo Freifeld OBM constantly reminded his students to always give each other an encouraging word. There needn't be anything specific..."

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I just heard something in a shiur (lecture) from Rav Moshe Weinberger that got me thinking.

He told over a story that his father had told him as a child. His father remembers that in his town in Europe (I assume this was before the war), there was one wealthy man who was able to afford a trip to the Holy Land. When he returned, the entire Jewish male population of the town squeezed into the shul to hear the details of his trip, crowding around him, soaking up every last detail.

"What was it like?"
"What did you see?"
"Did you go to Yerushalayim?"
"Is it true that the air is different there?"
"Can you maybe tell us a little more, please?"

The fellow who had made the trek to the Holy Land opened up a little sack and pulled out a few fruits that he had brought back from the Holy Land. The fruits of Eretz Yisrael are very special - we know that Eliezer the servant of Avraham brought gifts when he was looking for a wife for Yitzchak; according to many commentators, these gifts were fruits from the Holy Land.

The rav of the town cried tears of joy as he tried to cut those few fruits into small enough pieces to give out to all. Everyone should be able to have a taste of the Holy Land.

This story brought tears to my eyes.

Sometimes I think we don't realize how lucky we are. We are living in a generation that has extraordinary advances in technology, advances that enable international travel in mere hours. Our home land - for better or for worse - is under a Jewish sovereign that allows us to flock there in droves, worship freely, and do that which our forefathers could barely dream of, and pined for all of their lives.

I was a very fortunate kid. My first trip to the Holy Land was when I was nine or ten years old. We stepped out onto the tarmac and we kissed the ground, oily tar and all (now that Ben Gurion airport has that shiny new Terminal, I have to wait until we're outside at the taxi stand to kiss the ground; the taxi drivers always get a kick out of it, but they quietly applaud the action).
I remember going to Angel's Pizza in the Bell Tower on King George street on our first night there and complaining that the pizza tasted "too sweet".
My father looked at me sternly and said "Be careful not to complain about anything in Eretz Yisrael - it's sweet because everything here is sweetened by kedusha (holiness)!"

The danger that our privileged state poses is our becoming to accustomed to what we have, and losing that sense of wonder, awe, and appreciation. I've written about this many times before, but we have to constantly arouse feelings of yearning and thanks for our ability to go to the Holy Land. Rabbi Yehuda HaLevi wrote "My heart is in the East, and I am at the furthest end of the West." We have to emulate that passion, that burning desire to go there, to be there, to stay there. Just because we are able to get there for a few hundred dollars in a few hours should not make it less precious to us.

We can not let it become something that we take for granted.

Monday, August 2, 2010

New Post on B.M.T. from Reb Ally!

Thankfully, Reb Ally has accepted an invitation to be a fellow contributor on B'nei Machshava Tova and has already submitted a piece over there.
Other contributors include Dixie Yid, and we are waiting on others to join us!
In the meantime, check it out!

B'nei Machshava Tova: Don't Be So Self Critical!: "There were two new movements who appeared on the horizon of the Torah world about 200 years ago [give or take - I am not that old so I don't..."

Sunday, August 1, 2010

24/7 Judaism

Recently, my good friend and chavrusa Reb Ally posted a wonderful thought from Rav Hutner on the Joy of Being. In that vein, I'd like to share a quote that I saw in Hachsharas Avreichim:

It cannot be limited to prayers and other forms of service alone that we feel our closeness to God and bask in His glory - but always. 
For one who conducts himself as a mundane person throughout the day, and his soul is buried beneath the trivialities and frivolities of his pursuits - ultimately his prayers and service will be mundane as well, unable to arouse his soul even at the times that he does serve God. 
Rather, all day, in every thing he does, one has to be a Jew! Throughout the day, one has to feel his closeness to God - sometimes on a higher level, sometimes on a lesser level - but a Jew always!

Many times, we believe that we can compartmentalize our lives; we don't allow our family life to mix with our business/school/yeshiva dealings, we won't bring our work home, and we leave our Judaism in shul or the beis medrash. Reb Kalonymos Kalman is telling us - at least regarding that last item - that it can't be that way.

The mistaken idea that it is possible to be a Jew at home and anything else on the street is a dangerous one; it leads to an eventuality in which our specifically Jewish activities are affected negatively. As a matter of fact, that exact sentiment - echoed by Russian maskil Judah Leib Gordon - is often the first step toward shirking one's duties as a God fearing Jew.

The answer is to counter this problem by remembering that no matter where we find ourselves, we are first and foremost Jews, and we should be proud of that special role that we have been chosen to fill. It should inform every action of the day and permeate our lifestyle at all levels.

There is no such thing as "a simple Jew" - even the "simplest" Jew is capable of the most incredible achievements known to man. We would do well to remember that.

Press Conference Release for Describe's "Harmony" Music Video This Monday

I got this e-mail from a PR rep over at the Shemspeed label asking me to post this. 

DeScribe is an Australian born musician whose spiritual journey and yearnings influence his music. I know hip-hop isn't for everyone, but I like most of his stuff.

Monday, August 2, 2010 
1:00 PM 
Brooklyn Borough Hall
20 Years After the Crown Heights Riots, Black and Jewish Community Leaders Endorse DeScribe’s “Harmony” Hip Hop Music Video as a Groundbreaking Tool for Unity and Racial Harmony in Brooklyn
DeScribe (Born Shneur HaSofer), Crown Heights’ Hassidic Hip Hop and R&B artist, will host a press conference at Borough Hall on August 2nd, 2010 at 1:00 pm with NYS Senator Eric Adams andBorough President Marty Markowitz, Council Member Letitia James and Assembly Member Karim Camara to premier his revolutionary “Harmony” music video, which celebrates diversity, understanding and harmony amongst the Crown Heights’ Black and Jewish communities. This event is presented in collaboration with heads of the Crown Heights community and Shemspeed, an independent recording label and artists’ promotional agency based in Crown Heights. The event is sponsored by COLlive.com, one of the most prominent Chabad Hassidic media outlets providing constant up to date information about the movement’s worldwide news and initiatives, and Marley Coffee, owned by Bob Marley’s son, Rohan Marley, which helps promote and support environmental and social justice causes, including aiding Jamaica’s poor communities and “going green.”
For more information and a link to the video, visit: http://shemspeed.com/harmony
For more information, please contact:
Nina | Shemspeed PR

DeScribe, T.A.Z. and Jew Da Maccabee - Ani Ma'amin

Describe and Y-Love - Change