WHERE DID THE INITIAL IDEA TAKE ROOT?
Yossi Green, whose songs are the subject of this project, explains that it all began as a whim when producer Aron Zisser decided to arrange a Shabbos getaway at the Leonardo Hotel in Be’er Sheva a few years ago. “But this time,” as Mr. Zisser explained, “the Nusach would not be based on the songs of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach which had become the standard for these Shabbos getaways, instead I wanted to attempt something very different. I wanted the Tefillos to be based on the melodies of Yossi Green!” He went on to explain that since over the years Yossi’s melodies had become world famous and a community that wasn’t familiar with his music was almost nonexistent, he would have the Nusach of the Tefillos arranged around the greatest hits.
The Baal Tefila to lead the services would be none other than the well-known and mellifluous Avremi Roth. Avremi would then arrange for a choir to accompany him. A specific Shabbos date was chosen and the work got under way. The immediate and positive response to the initial advertisements placed in the media surprised everyone as the rooms the hotel had set aside for this event were soon sold out. The preparations for the Shabbos got under way in earnest as Avremi Roth and his choir began working to bring about the success of the event and soon had a complete Nusach based on Yossi’s popular songs.
WHAT WAS YOSSI’S INPUT INTO THAT FIRST SHABBOS?
Was Yossi himself apprised of that planned weekend in Be’er Sheva? When I ask him this question he answers that at first he had no idea for no one had said anything to him about these plans. How did he eventually find out about this Shabbos in Be’er Sheva? He explains that he happened to have completed a week of work in Israel on a Wednesday morning and was ready to fly back home to the USA when he noticed a strange ad in a newspaper at breakfast about some Shabbos coming up which was being marketed as a Shabbos Nusach Green! Thinking he wasn’t reading it correctly he quickly phoned Avremi Roth to ask him what this was all about. When Avremi heard his voice he stammered out, “This cannot be! Are you in Israel right now?” To which Yossi responded that he was but was shortly leaving to the airport to fly back home. Avremi then responded emphatically, “No, you cannot! You must stay in Israel for Shabbos and come join me in Be’er Sheva at the hotel. We planned an amazing Shabbos based on your songs and you cannot fly back before Shabbos and miss this!”
YOSSI DECIDES TO JOIN THE PEOPLE FOR SHABBOS
Thoroughly confounded but crazy curious as to what this was all about, Yossi made arrangements to stay until after Shabbos and joined Avremi as a guest at the hotel in Be’er Sheva. Yossi explains that when he inquired as what would be his role at this Shabbos, the response was, “You don’t have to do anything just sit with us, smile and enjoy!” Yossi further relates that when he pulled into the parking lot of the Leonardo on Friday afternoon he saw many different types of Yidden from all over Israel most of who he’d never met before wheeling their luggage into the hotel. Apparently, they had decided to come to the hotel for the Shabbos to participate at the event.
A FEW MINUTES BEFORE SHABBOS BEGINS
Just before candle lighting Yossi walked into the Shul and was warmly welcomed by a jubilant and surprised crowd who were already dressed and ready for Shabbos and who had not been expecting him to be there. A piano at the front of the Shul facing the crowd had been set up and doing something he had never done before, Yossi spoke, played and sang together with everyone until a few minutes before the Zman when the piano was removed and the Tefilos began. “It was one of the most delightful Shabbos experiences I had ever had,” Yossi says, “as you can well imagine!” All the Tefillos and all the Shabbos Zemirois had been arranged around Yossi‘s songs. After the meal, the Oneg Shabbos or Botteh went on into the wee hours of the morning with all kinds of singing and Divrei Torah based around the texts of the songs. When the time for Havdalla finally arrived everyone agreed that they had a Shabbos to remember!
THE IDEA FORMALLY TAKES ROOT
After the Shabbos came to a close, Yossi composed a new piece on משה ואהרון from Kabolas Shabbos as a gift to Avremi for the joy he’d experienced over Shabbos and it was then and there that plans were put into place to begin production of a full CD project called Shabbos Nusach Green. Every piece of the Davening of Kabolas Shabbos would be worked on individually until perfected.
THE PROJECT IS FINALLY COMPLETE
After many hours of writing and rewriting the project was finally brought to its completion. Stellar vocal arrangements were added by Srulik Herstik and performed by a very professional group of young men. Upcoming star arranger, Yehuda Galili, arranged a few of the new pieces for orchestra and are all featured on the CD.
SHABBOS NUSACH GREEN IS HERE?
After intense work for a few years, the project begun by Avremi Roth named שבת נוסח גרין has finally been completed with its Premiere Performance scheduled to take place אי”ה on Shabbos Parshas Voeira (שבת פרשת וארא) in Yerushalayim. One of the most sought-after hotels in Jerusalem, the noted Waldorf Astoria, has been selected as the venue for the Shabbos event. The Shabbos will be attended by an exclusive who’s who of music fans from all over with the venerated past Chief Rabbi of Israel, R’ Yisroel Meir Lau, שליט”א in attendance throughout the Shabbos, IY”H.
Avremi Roth, the Baal Tefila extraordinaire will Daven all the Tefillos, arranged and accompanied by the well-known Srulik Herstik and his 10-person choir! Srulik, who arranged the vocals for the recorded project in general and the Shabbos in particular, is known for the exactitude and perfection of his vocal arrangements.
This coming event at the Waldorf אי”ה celebrates the completion of the work and the new CD will be available for purchase after the Shabbos.
More details to follow as they become available…