(Courtesy of Congregation Ohr HaTorah) Congregation Ohr HaTorah hosted singer and composer Ari Goldwag this past Shabbat, February 8-9. Goldwag is well-known for his own singles and music videos such as “Am Echad,” and has composed numerous hit songs for other musicians like “Yesh Tikvah” and “Ivri Anochi” sung by Benny Friedman. Originally from West Hempstead, Ari has lived in Israel since 2000, and this was his first time visiting the Teaneck/Bergenfield area since his youth.
On Friday night he led Kabbalat Shabbat using his famous “Kah Ribon” tune for Lecha Dodi. Later in the evening an oneg was hosted by Steven and Karen Finkelstein with delicious food and very beautiful kumzitz-style singing led by Ari. Rabbi Sobolofsky spoke at the oneg, remarking that the theme of this Shabbos was song and he emphasized the role and power song has in our service of Hashem.
On Shabbat morning, Ari led both Shacharit and Musaf at the 8:30 a.m. minyan, using several tunes of the late Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. Shabbat afternoon following Mincha there was a seudah shlishit held in the shul where Ari led the singing, including songs from his youth when he was a star soloist in the Miami Boys Choir (with one of Ohr HaTorah’s own members, Yaakov Zachter). He also delivered words of Torah on the weekly parsha. After Ari led other moving tunes such as “Im Eshkachech Yerushalayim” and “Yibaneh HaMikdash” Rabbi Sobolofsky was inspired to speak heartfelt words related to the theme of yearning to rebuild the Beit Hamikdash.
Finally, after the conclusion of Maariv, Ari alternated between two different tunes in singing Havdalah, and then led a round of dancing.
Sponsors for the Shabbat included: Judah and Nina Eizikovitz, Jonah and Chani Fink, Stephen and Rachel Fried, Michael and Dini Frohlich, Phil and Tamar Gross, Chaim and Shana Klein, Yaacov and Shanna Mayer, Yitz and Aviva Novak, Josh and Alyse Rozenberg, Jason and Rebecca Stein, Shlomo and Rachael Swinkin, Avrami and Romy Tabacznik, and Yaakov and Elana Zachter.
Congregation Ohr HaTorah is located at 36 Rector Court in Bergenfield.