Chibu (Chili Genuth)

March 11, 2022

With sincere thanks to a dear friend and JMN subscriber Elazar M. for the timely suggestion!

It’s been so long, I almost forgot how to do this!

Baruch Hashem, it has been some of the busiest weeks I have experienced in my fledgling “music career” – it was almost a full-time job keeping up with all the projects and their respective deadlines… We had the privilege to be a part of various aspects of the first-of-its-kind Jewish Music Hall of Fame concert, offer input for several magazine articles, as well as my usual behind-the-scenes/don’t get-in-the-way/let-the-masters-do-what-they-do-best involvement in – count ‘em – THREE new studio albums, with more on the way be’H!

All I can say is Baruch Hashem – It’s Shabbos!

With little time and energy left to spend writing these Musical Notes entries, it has been a little quiet on this platform – I do apologize. But with the help of Hashem, in the upcoming days and weeks we can hopefully get back to highlighting some more beautiful tunes, both new and old. Thank you for your continued encouragement and support!

The first pasuk in this week’s parsha, Parshas Vayikra, sets the tone for the new Sefer and reveals an inspiring concept that is worth singing about. The pasuk begins, וַיִּקְרָא אֶל מֹשֶׁה וַיְדַבֵּר – And [Hashem] called to Moshe and spoke to him… (1:1). Rashi is quick to point out the significance of the choice of wording used in this instance. We may think that “Vayikra” and “Vayidabeir” are superfluous, seemingly indicating a similar outcome – that Hashem spoke to Moshe Rabbeinu.

But Rashi suggests that the word “Vayikra” is an intimate calling – a way to communicate with love – referred to as “Lashon Chibah,” and as such is not extra at all! Now, why does Rashi feel the need to expound on this particular usage of the word, when the word “Vayikra” appears earlier in the Torah as well?

Chazal tell us that it is due to the delicate nature of the subject matter that immediately follows – Sacrifice. Korbanos are not simply the slaughter of animals, but rather, they represent a profound lesson and challenge to our holy nation. As the word “korban” itself indicates, when we sacrifice ourselves in order to achieve closeness with the Creator, we are elevating our existence and enabling ourselves to reach the highest of levels of d’veykus b’Elokim possible.

The Sefer of Vayikra is defined by its name. Hashem calls to Moshe in a language of affection, beginning the entire Chumash of Affection with a word that emphasizes the immense love that is shared between G-d and His Chosen People. Rashi informs us that it is here, as we are introduced to the laws of sacrifice, that this specific lashon is particularly poignant. It is only through sacrifice that one can attain this unique relationship with the Ribono Shel Olam, and thus it is introduced in a Lashon Chibah – an expression of love.

So, for today’s selection, I wanted to share with all of you the title track of the 2021 debut release of the talented vocalist Chili Genuth called Chibu. This beautiful composition was written by the sweet and hartzig Hershy Weinberger and conveys the penetrating message that we have touched upon in the article above.

Wishing all of you a lovely and memorable Shabbos Parshas Vayikra, Parshas Zachor!

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