A number of years ago, our Chabura in Efrat, the Bnei Machshava Tova Chabura, spent the summer learning the teachings of Reb Ya’akov Meir Shechter on Ahavat Yisrael. One of the pieces we learned was a whole essay on the custom of the Arizal to not begin davening without saying ‘Hareni Mekabel Alay Mitzvat Asei Shel Ve’ahavta Lere’acha Kamocha.”
Based on the 34th teaching in Likutei Moharan, Reb Ya’akov Meir was teaching us that each person carries inside, a special something that no one else has. The more I love what makes the other person special, the more that this special quality I can see and love in them begins to appear and shine brightly in my own life too. When we begin to pray and actively choose to love all those with whom we are praying, that sense of love and oneness causes the gates of prayer to open wide.
As a result of being so deeply affected by this teaching, I was davening to compose a melody for these powerful words from the Arizal. A number of weeks after we learned this piece, I was driving home from a performance, and this niggun came down. Since then, we begin every Shabbos morning in our shul with this niggun. In fact, this phrase is the only thing hanging on the walls of our shul.
A number of months later, we visited Reb Ya’akov Meir Shcheter, and had the privilege of singing him the niggun he inspired within us. May we all merit to connect to this energy and open the gates of tefillah and of our own hearts.
This song was sponsored by the Rickman family:
בחור הנחמד ,תם וישר וירא אלוקים סר מרע ולטוב נצמד סבל וקיבל וקידש שם שמים באהבה ובא המות ויקטפהו בצעיר ימים ביום ט מרחשון שנת תשפ
Naftoli Meir, our beautiful 15 year old son, left this world in November 2019. The words of this song so perfectly capture his essence. His care, concern and love for everyone he met has become his legacy.
For more music, shiurim, information and to stay up to date with Rav Shlomo Katz and The Shlomo Katz Project visit our website at:
Composed and performed by Rav Shlomo Katz
Vocals: Rav Shlomo Katz
Guitar: Rav Shlomo Katz
Music Produced, Arranged and Mixed by Mendy Portnoy
Drums – Elie Farkas
Electric Guitars – Israel Portnoy
Bass – Eran Zilberberg
Mastering Ronen Hillel