The story is told of an opponent to the Chassidic way who once saw the holy Apter Rav, the Oheiv Yisrael, arrive extremely late for morning prayers. Frustrated that a religious leader would be so lax in his observance, the man stalked over and demanded that the Apter explain why it was appropriate for him to slack off in his scrupulousness and set a negative example.
“Allow me to tell you a story”, said the holy Apter, a smile spreading across his face. “This morning, I awoke long before dawn to study Torah before the morning services. Like a good Jew, as soon as I opened my eyes, I said “Modeh Ani“. But as I said the words “Modeh Ani“, “I am grateful”, I began to wonder: “Who am I?” When I said the words “Lefanecha”, “To You”, I began to wonder: “Who are You?” For hours, I couldn’t move from that spot until I felt I had sufficiently resolved these questions which penetrate to the very depths of our religion. This is why I came late to shul.”
This powerful song, “Modeh Ani” (production by Mendy Portnoy), takes the listener on a musical journey through the foundational definitions of what it means to be a Jew. “I am a Jew, a servant, a son.” “Hashem is my God, my King, and – most importantly – my loving Father in heaven.” It isn’t hard to imagine that Hashem says “Modeh Ani” as well – thanking each and every Jewish soul for doing its part in the gargantuan effort to reveal His Presence in the world and transform the darkness of physicality into a “dirah b’tachtonim”, a dwelling place for the Shechinah.
We hope you enjoy and please remember to like, comment, subscribe, and share this song with family and friends!
Listen on: SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/yaakov-
Coming soon to Spotify!
Produced and arranged by Mendy Portnoy
Mixed by Mendy Portnoy & Ben Wallick
Lyric Video by: Yaakov Klein
Guitars: Noam Hargol
Drums: Idan Friedman
R’ Yaakov Klein is an author, musician, and educator devoted to sharing the inner light of Torah through his books, music, video content, and lectures. R’ Yaakov is the author of “Sparks from Berditchov” and “Sunlight of Redemption” (Feldheim). His essays and poems have been featured in print in a variety of Jewish publications including Aish Uk’s Perspectives, The Jewish Home, and Mishpacha Magazine as well as online at Chabad.org, Breslov.org, and Times of Israel. R’ Yaakov writes a weekly Torah publication, “Thank You Hashem for Shabbos Kodesh!” which is widely distributed both in print and online. His popular classes in a wide range of Chassidic and classical Jewish thought, which are housed on Soundcloud.com as well as by YUTorah.org, have been played tens of thousands of times by Jews across the globe who appreciate the depth, beauty, optimism, and relevance of the material as well as R’ Yaakov’s honest and engaging style.