Monday, January 10, 2011

Baruch Dayan HaEmes - Zaidy is Gone

Moshe Yess, the inspiration for a generation of Jews, among them Abie Rottenberg of Journeys fame, has passed away. BDE.

From the forward to the Journeys songbook, 2004, by Abie Rottenberg:

... Later that year I was made aware of and purchased an album entitled "Megama" that was produced and recorded in Israel by two very talented musicians named Moshe Yess and Shalom Levine. What a revelation! Intelligent, thought provoking, tear inducing English lyrics about Torah and Jewish identity - delivered in a delightful blend of folk, country and Jewish music styles. When I first heard "My Zaidy" (the Moshe Yess classic on Jewish continuity) I was awestruck and deeply moved! "It can be done!" I marveled, and duly inspired, resolved to try my hand at the craft. Now, more than two decades and four albums later, it is high time I acknowledge their role. I am forever in their debt...

My Zaide

My Zaide lived with us in my parents’ home,
He used to laugh, he put me on his knee.
And he spoke about his life in Poland,
He spoke, but with a bitter memory.

And he spoke about the soldiers who would beat him;
They laughed at him, they tore his long black coat.
And he spoke about a synagogue that they burned down,
And the crying that was heard beneath the smoke.

But Zaide made us laugh,
Zeide made us sing,
And Zeide made a kiddush Friday night;
And Zeide, oh, my Zeide,
How I love him so,
And Zeide used to teach me wrong from right.

His eyes lit up when he would teach me Torah,
He taught me every line so carefully.
He spoke about our slavery in Egypt,
And how G-d took us out to make us free.

But winter went by,
Summer came along,
I went to camp to run and play.
And when I came back home, They said, “Zaide’s gone,”
And all his books were packed And stored away.

I don’t know how or why it came to be,
It happened slowly over so many years,
We just stopped being Jewish
like my Zeide was,
And no one cared enough to shed a tear.


And many winters went by,
Many summers came along,
And now my children sit in front of me.
And who will be the Zeide of my children,
Who will be their Zeide, if not me?
Who will be the Zaides of our children,
Who will be their Zaides, if not we?


  1. Where can one get the Journeys songbook? That is such a poignant quote. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I'd love if someone had a link to the lyrics or a recording of David Cohen's Bar Mitzvah by Megama.

  3. How old was he? had he been sick? Where is the shiva? Is there an email to send condolence messages to?

  4. Avrumi:

    M$M Enterprises/ P.O. Box 751103 Forest Hills, NY 11375


    Welcome back. I almost closed up shop without you. Yes(s), he was sick. Moshe Yess Obit


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