The Arty Semite

What Will Happen (When the Messiah Comes)?

By Ezra Glinter

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On the Yiddish Song of the Week blog, clarinetist Joel Rubin writes about “Vos vet zayn?” (What Will Happen?), a song performed by Rabbi Eli Silberstein of Ithaca, New York. Rubin writes:

Anastasia Chernyavskyv

Rabbi Eli Silberstein (first name pronounced to rhyme with “deli”) has been the charismatic leader of the Roitman Chabad Center at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York for over twenty-five years. Silberstein comes from a long line of Hasidic scholars from Russia and can also trace his lineage to the Vilna Gaon, one of the foremost rabbis and scholars of the 18th century. He possesses a large repertoire of nigunim that he had learned as a child in Antwerp, Belgium, where he grew up in a community comprising Hasidim from a number of different dynasties, as a Yeshiva student in Israel and France, and in Crown Heights in Brooklyn, New York, the headquarters of the Lubavitcher Hasidim.

“Vos vet zayn?” is a cumulative folk song that Silberstein learned from an old recording of Yossele Rosenblatt (1882-1933). Silberstein grew up with the old recordings of the great cantors, especially those of Rosenblatt and Zavel Kwartin (1874-1952).

Listen to the song and read the whole post here.


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