Asara Bnei Adam (Aaron Razel & Ishay Ribo)

May 22, 2023

There is so much inspiration to harness from the recent experience I shared with my heilige Daf Yomi chaburah this past week. Each location left us enthralled, and each Torah giant visited and spoken of left us with a profound feeling of admiration and awe. I still do plan to share some of the lessons and musical revelations that struck me throughout the trip, but for now, I wanted to express one of the overwhelming benefits that I have been privileged to derive just from being a part of a special group of individuals who “do the daf.”

Torah study has always been a unifying force among the Jewish people, transcending differences and fostering a sense of shared purpose and community. Rav Meir Shapiro’s vision of the Daf HaYomi program brought this reality to the forefront of our collective consciousness, allowing even the most disconnected among us to plug in to the grandest system of synchronized study the world has ever seen.

The sight of people from diverse backgrounds and professions coming together to learn Torah is truly a most beautiful sight to behold. Whether they are talmidei chachomim, professionals, students, or semi-retired zaidy’s who are still very much “with it,” each individual brings his singular perspectives and insights that enrich the shared learning experience. It is a testament to the enduring power of our holy Torah, its ability to bring people together and to strengthen the bonds of Yiddishe unity. Ashreinu mah tov chelkeinu…

On a daily basis, I have the invaluable opportunity to observe so many fine Yidden who never take their eyes off the prize. Day after day, our devoted “shteigers” boldly find a way to get it done. They make room at their desks, dashboards or dining room tables to pore over the pages of their precious gemaras. Whether it’s the 9-to-5 working father who balances his many responsibilities in order to tune in to the shiur on his way to or from the office… the on-call physician who uses his precious breaktime to dissect an entirely different kind of subject… the Yeshiva bachur who tucks himself into the quietest corner of the house to listen in for as long as he can before bedtime… the kollel yungerman who places his shtender on his back lawn, puts on his headphones and transforms the grass beneath his chair and the trees that surround him into his own personal beis medrash…

Besides for quite literally holding up the world, every one of these unassuming soldiers is bringing the Geulah by toiling together in the one true constant of their otherwise dissimilar schedules. As we are taught in the Midrash of Tana Dvei Eliyahu, Seder Eliyahu Zuta (14:1):

אין ישראל נגאלין לא מתוך הצער ולא מתוך השעבוד ולא מתוך הטלטול ולא מתוך הטירוף ולא מתוך הדוחק ולא מתוך שאין להם מזונות אלא מתוך עשרה בני אדם שהן יושבין זה אצל זה ויהיה כל אחד מהם קורא ושונה עם חבירו וקולם נשמע

“Bnei Yisroel will not be redeemed out of sorrow, nor out of slavery, shaking, madness, distress, nor out of having lack of sustenance, but on behalf of ten people sitting together, reading and challenging one another, the sound of their voices heard aloud…”

It is through the kol Torah that the world continues to exist and it will be through the kol Torah that the world will merit the Geulah Shelaima, b’karov bi’yameinu.

Without a doubt, two of the most prominent trailblazers in alternative Jewish music today are Aaron Razel and Ishay Ribo. Both have found tremendous success in their creative melodies and messages; expressions of heartfelt desire to be close to Hashem and for the Ultimate Geulah, while both doing so in their own unique way. The fact that these two share this special duet only enhances the song’s meaning and authenticity.

Ribo, a child of Baalei Teshuva who, after making aliyah, became completely Torah observant, has famously made a concerted effort to stay true to his Torah ideals and genuinely frum lifestyle despite his ensuing international superstardom. Razel, also a child of Baalei Teshuva, completed a stint in the army and found himself searching for something more. His search took him to a Yeshiva in Tzfas, and it was there that his learning completely transformed him and changed the trajectory of his life. After completing Shas with the last Daf Yomi cycle, he continues to make Torah a priority in his life, while inspiring those around him with his musical skills.

Hearing the two of them together on this beautiful song, Asara Bnei Adam, is truly a rare treat, as Aaron had never featured guest singers on any of his previous albums. This song is from Razel’s 2017 release Ad Emtza Makom – Until I Find a Place. Aaron first recorded this song on Yaakov Shwekey’sKolot” album in 2014 which in turn introduced Razel to a more mainstream audience. Not that he wasn’t known before, but his duet with Shwekey really turned him into a household name for Jewish music fans worldwide.

However, today’s rendition by two of the quintessential modern-day songwriters in the business, displays the inimitable appeal of these two incredible artists – both of whom spend their free time absorbed in the light of Torah.

“…וקולם נשמע…”

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