Sunday, January 5, 2014

Lenny Solomon - Best Episode Ever!

SHLOCK ROCK RULES!!!!!

Lenny Solomon and Etan G rocked Omaha this past Shabbos!!!

Omaha, Nebraska was the first stop on the Shlock Rock Winter Wonderland Tour of 2014. 

We kicked off the Shabbos with a community wide Friday night dinner at the shul.  Lenny did some hits off of his Album Shabbos in Liverpool - Lenny's album where he put all of Shabbos davening to Beatles Tunes. 

On Shabbos we had a very special episode of Good Shabbos Nebraska - America's favorite Shabbos morning talk show. 

Omaha Singer Song writer Karen Javitch came on the show and 11 year old Danny Denninberg sang two hits off of her children's album - Who Knows One.  The songs were great, and the crowd was blown away with Danny's talent.  That kid is going places!

Then we had Dr. Eyal Margalit and Aryeh Epstein come on the show.  With the help of Dr. Howard Gendelman they have organized a med center chaburah that meets every Thursday at the Nebraska Medical Center.  For the last year they have been learning messechet Megillah and they recently finished.  They came on the show and taught us a bit about what thy learned, and they sponsored the Kiddush after the show where we enjoyed their special cholent that they personally prepared before Shabbos and they made a formal siyum for us all to celebrate. 

Next, I welcomed on Dan Gilbert.  Dan was one of the winners of last year's TOYO award and he was the one who nominated me for this year.  He told us a bit about the award and how he was proud to be the Jewish recipient last year and how it demonstrates to the greater Omaha community the important impact of the Jewish community and how it contributes to the diverse tapestry of our city.

After Dan we brought out Imac and the Zoester (Imac is actually on vacation so Elinor filled in again for her this week).  After their segment they started laying down a beat doing that hip cup banging thing that the Macabeats made popular in their dror yikrah video.  As they laid down the beat the crowd started clapping and then Etan G - the Jewish rapper made his dramatic entrance and started rapping his hit song "Time."  It was amazing!

Etan got in the seat and told us a bit about how he got into Jewish rapping and the impact that it has had on Jewish kids.  Then we introduced the one and only LENNY SOLOMON!!!!

What an incredible honor for me to welcome Lenny Solomon to Good Shabbos Nebraska!  To date the most famous person that I had on the show was Boris Gulko, which was a thrilling and unforgettable experience, but Lenny was different.  Besides the fact that Lenny and Shlock Rock are known throughout the world, I am from the generation of Jewish kids that Lenny had a profound influence upon.  For me personally this episode was something that I will never forget!

Lenny spoke about the origins of Shlock Rock and then - as we always do on Good Shabbos Nebraska - we went straight to the parshah.  We talked about how the Torah says that the purpose of the ten plagues was so that Pharoah, the Egyptians, the Jews, and the whole world for all of history should know that there is only one God. 

Lenny pointed out that is the major theme of the entire Tanach, and it is the central message that the Jewish people have been charged with sharing with the world. 

Lenny's latest project is a rock opera that he composed called "Daniel of Babylon."  Daniel of Babylon tells the story of the Biblical Daniel, his trials and tribulations as the first recorded diaspora Jew.  It also tells how throughout the story we see again and again how the world leaders came to recognize that Hashem is the one true God. 

Lenny has already finished Daniel of Babylon and he is looking for a few more investors to get the project playing on Broadway.  I think that this could be the next Joseph and the Technicolored Dream Coat.  If you are interested in investing please reach out to Lenny on his website. 

At Kiddush we had the siyum and after Kiddush Lenny answered some questions and sang some songs off of his Shabbos in Liverpool album.

After Shabbos Lenny and Etan G rocked the house with a Shlock Rock concert!  They packed the shul and they sold 100 CDs after the show! 

They pulled out all the hits!  We started the concert with his classic "Eliyahu" to lead into Havdalah. 

After Havdallah he pulled out "Havdallah! (Have a sniff see the light have a sip)
They sang classic hits like "Everyone knows its Rashi" "we got a strong desire" and of course "Minyan man"
Etan G pounded out Motzi and Yo Yo Yarmulka!
They did a Hebrew set with Lenny's classic Hinei Matov, Am Yisrael Chai, and some modern Israeli hits where he brought on our Israeli Shaliach Eliad Eliyahu to sing.
He did a holiday set where they played "Tu Bishvat" "Achashveirosh" I can't get no Humintashen" and "let's get this seder started!"
He did some Beatles hits, and closed with "To Unite All Jews."

Over the last ten years I saw bunch of concerts from some veteran bands including U2, Bon Jovi, and of course They Might Be Giants.  And yet last night's concert was by far and away the best concert I have seen since probably the last time that I saw Shlock Rock!

Lenny Solomon is like a fine wine.  he gets better with age.  He is to my generation what Shlomo Carlebach was to the generation before and what Yoseele Rosenblatt was to his generation. The best part of last night was to see all of the kids, including mine, who are now second generation Shlockers. 

Judaism has a hard time competing with the secular culture, but thanks to Lenny we have tools to bring Torah and mitzvoth front and center to our children.   He elevates the secular culture and uses it as an ally to teach Torah rather than view it as an adversary.  He makes Judaism fun and exciting, and hje makes being Jewish cool! 

My father bought Shlock Rock cassettes that we played non-stop in the car when I was a kid and they had a profound influence on me. 

Last night I had the privilege to buy them for my children on CD and to purchase some downloads so that I can provide the same inspiring Jewish experience to my kids that my parents gave to me.

Thank you Lenny for everything you do!  You are a Jewish hero. 

Keep on Shlocking and we will see you again next year in Omaha on Good Shabbos Nebraska - Where every Shabbos is a shabbaton!

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