Neshama Carlebach, is a musical powerhouse, who is sharing her memories of her father, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, as she tells the tale of pain, legacy, and transcendence to “return to where you are born and born again.”For those who don’t know who Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach was, he was a Jewish rabbi, religious teacher, composer, and singer who was known as “The Singing Rabbi” during his lifetime. Carlebach is considered by many to be the foremost Jewish religious songwriter of the 20th century, in a career that spanned 40 years. He composed thousands of melodies and recorded more than 25 albums that continue to have widespread popularity and appeal. His influence continues to this day. A musical written about his life, Soul Doctor, opened on Broadway August 15, 2013, but it Neshama who carries on his legacy.
After Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach’s death allegations of sexual impropriety were waged against him.
HINENI- I am here.
My friends, I humbly come before you. I am grateful to have this privilege to share what I hope will be a contribution to the conversation we are now engaged in, in this moment of transformation. I acknowledge that who I am – my very name – might make it hard to receive anything I might wish to offer. Still, our tradition teaches us that silence is consent, and I cannot remain silent in the face of so much pain.
I am in this conversation. I am also broken. I see, I hear, I witness.
I have been quiet during this time, in pain, listening, taking it all in. Deeply. Profoundly. Re-evaluating and reassessing perspectives and family relationships can be the most painful thing. I am feeling it all. It has been quite a lot to handle, too much at times. Despite this, I am determined to add my own voice to this process.
These are the realizations I’ve come to and the decisions I’ve made: The essence, my friends, is to be brave, to acknowledge fear and not be paralyzed by it. To be angry and to love anyway.
I hear all that you’ve been saying.
My sisters, I hear you. I cry with you. I walk with you. I will stand with you until that day when the world commits to healing and wholeness for all, for the countless women who have suffered the evils of sexual harassment and assault.
I pledge to walk through this narrow-bridge world with you, listening to your hearts, hearts that sing with pain and strength, resilience and passion, feelings that resonate to Heaven as loudly as any song I’ve ever sung.
It is up to us all to both work to heal from what has happened and also to create, educate and transform the future. It is one thing to seek healing from past wounds, but we must also work to invent a future that empowers all of us to bring holiness to the way we treat each other. This commitment to learn from the pains of our past and honor each other means that there must be a plan of action we all invest in.
I walk on this journey with you. Every fiber of my being is looking for the light to heal our brokenness – mine included – and to see what we can do together to radically change the status quo that for so long has disempowered women, voice, body and soul.
What our world needs today is nothing less than a revolution in the way human beings view and treat each other.
Here are my truths:
It’s so powerful to see how in one moment something can feel like darkness, and in the very next moment (or perhaps even the same moment), that very same thing might feel like the purest light. I’ve watched the music of my father heal someone’s life in front of my very eyes, and I’ve read of how that very same music has triggered deep pain for others.
Human beings are complex, the questions of life are complex, the healing is real, and the pain is real. There is no hiding from all these truths. My father, a soul who saw sisters and brothers cut down by the Nazis, who jumped straight from the insular Yeshiva world of his childhood into the boundaryless free-love world of Berkeley in the late 60s, who revolutionized Jewish music forever and embraced every human being, was complicated too.
Sometime in the late 70s, my father was involved in an intervention staged by women who were hurt by him. He came, even knowing the content of the conversation that was to happen. And when they told him that his actions and behavior had hurt them, he cried and said, “Oy this needs such a fixing.” I do believe that the actions, advocacy work and the way he raised his daughters in the last years of his life showed remarkable listening and personal accountability.
I accept the fullness of who my father was, flaws and all. I am angry with him. And I refuse to see his faults as the totality of who he was.
When I talk about my shifting perspective, I believe it must be said that I do not recognize the version of my father that some people describe. To me, he was the kindest, most respectful, most loving person to my friends and me. I myself witnessed him as a deeply passionate supporter of the role of women as leaders. The year my father passed away, he was taken to Jewish court (beit din) by his own synagogue, furious that he had dared to allow me to sing beside him. Before I even knew that it was important, my father was shouting to the world that women must have the place to share their voices and be heard. He was one the first to support Anat Hoffman and the Women of the Wall. He trained and ordained women as rabbis far ahead of any of the recent advances for women we’ve witnessed during the past decade within Modern Orthodoxy. I don’t believe he understood how his voice would change the fabric of women’s prayer, but I believe that he hoped and prayed that the tides would shift.
That he did not live to see all that would come from these acts of radical love brings me great sadness. What might he have witnessed during these past 23 years since his death that could have pushed him to translate his public commitments to women’s equality into choices he made as a person? Who knows the apologies he might have made, if he might have been granted the chance to offer the public acknowledgements so many only called for upon his passing, if only he had been able to give more years to repair the world around him as a man brave enough to ask for forgiveness. I wish he had had that chance, and that he could have been part of the healing he necessitated, a healing he would have been particularly equipped to offer. I would have had the chance to ask my own questions, and perhaps to hear what he would have said in response.
There is an international debate happening at this very moment over the fate and worthiness of my father’s life and work. I wish he could weigh in. I wish he could respond. I can only watch and assess our broken world. As my father himself said, we have to laugh with one side of our heart and cry with the other. That his life, music and actions prompt both laughter and tears will likely not cease in our lifetimes.
We, as human beings, try to strive for closure. That’s a natural inclination. But to try to find peace and closure with something that will never be clear nor closed has been – and will likely remain – painful and confusing. My choice is to stand here. To not run away.
And this is why we need to sing and hope even more than before. Finding songs to propel us is essential, now more than ever. If there were no songs, we would sing anyway. We’d find a way. My father’s music has been a salve for many and a trigger for others. In the end, those who feel healed by the music I bring – my own and my father’s – will be blessed by that. In the end those who feel that they did not want to include it in their repertoire will not include it.
Those who know me know that my work is about bringing a message of love and transformation. And, indeed, I have infused my own work with some of the words of light and love and hope and meaning that I learned from my father. I continue to spread that meaning and light and love and hope, even as my own eyes, my own perspective, has shifted. Even as I grapple with new language. Of all the challenges I have had to face, this moment is the most painful. And I am grateful. This conversation is more necessary than ever, and I more committed than ever to continuing my work, bringing my voice wherever I can, listening well and sharing of my own heart.
When I was 9 years old, a trusted friend of my father’s, also a rabbi, a fixture in my home, came into my bedroom and molested me. For the child in my heart, who has walked through life in fear since that moment, I thank you all for shifting the tide. Our daughters, our sons, our children, must have a better world. And that, friends, must be our true focus. We must not stop our work, pouring out the music of our souls to rid our children’s worlds of pain, fear, and hunger of body and soul.
Yes, the discomfort is painful. Deeply painful. But we are called to lean into it. We must, if we are to transform the world. Some will sing my father’s music, some will not. But we are all called to sing a better day into being.
My sisters, we have lived too long with the silence that encases our hearts and the sounds of our own sorrows. Today and tomorrow, if we are blessed and if we are brave, we’ll find ways to stand together to make that harmony richer than it’s ever been.
With love, blessings and more than I can possibly express,
Originally published by TimesOfIsrael.com
Inside the Roku Holiday Bash to Celebrate a Season of Giving
Talk about a perfect way to celebrate the holidays!
Roku’s holiday event last night dazzled the tastemakers and influencers of New York City.
Guests were thrilled to enjoy the splendid soiree that showcased Roku’s full ecosystem of products, leading operating system, and newly launched All Things Food and All Things Home destinations.
Roku is a one-stop-shop for all of your gift giving needs with a range of products to choose from no matter your budget, including TVs, streaming players, audio devices, and smart home products.
Be sure to check out Roku’s Holiday Promotions:
- Now through 12/02: $15 off Express 4K+, $20 off RSS 4K
- Now through 12/09: $30 off Roku Ultra
- 12/03 through 12/30: $5 off Express, $10 off Express 4K+, $10 off RSS 4K
- 12/17 through 12/30: $30 off Roku Streambar
The Glorious Corner
TAP 2 — (Via Rock Cellar) Doubling down after a May 2022 report that indicated everything was a go for a sequel to 1984’s classic comedy/music industry satire This Is Spinal Tap, filmmaker Rob Reiner has now confirmed that plans are taking shape in a big way.
Not only is the sequel on tap (pun intended) to begin filming in early 2024, but Reiner recently told comedian/podcast host Richard Herring that “everybody’s back” for the sequel. This no doubt refers to principal cast members Michael McKean, Harry Shearer and Christopher Guest, though Tony Hendra (who portrayed the band’s manager, Ian Faith, passed away in 2021).
The U.K.’s Guardian notes that the plot will reportedly center on Faith’s death, after which his widow inherits a contract that requires the band to do one last concert. Reiner is also due to return in the character of film-maker Marty DiBergi, a figure supposedly based on Martin Scorsese, who had directed celebrated music documentary The Last Waltz in 1976.
What’s more, Reiner also spilled the beans that appearances from Sirs Paul McCartney and Elton John and Garth Brooks are in the works too, among what one must assume will be a million other amusing cameos. After all, a film as beloved and influential as the original This Is Spinal Tap counts pretty much every living musician as a fan (give or take), so you know the sequel will hold nothing back when it comes to the entertainment factor.
In the podcast, Reiner also talked about This Is Spinal Tap’s remarkable afterlife, culminating in selection for the National Film Registry in 2002, after its initially unfavourable reception on its first release. “To wind up in the National Film Registry, that’s bizarre,” Reiner said. “We previewed it in a theatre in Dallas, Texas, and the people didn’t know what the heck they were looking at. They came up to me afterwards and said, ‘I don’t understand, why would you make a movie about a band that no one has ever heard of, and they are so bad? Why would you ever do that? Why don’t you make a movie about the Beatles or the Rolling Stones?’ I would say, ‘It’s satire,’ and I tried to explain. But over the years people got it, and started to like it.”
Personally, I found the 1984 original movie just hilarious. Aside from a great send-up of the music biz, the cameos were just fascinating: Paul Shaffer as PR-man Artie Fufkin; Dana Carvey and Billy Crystal as ‘mime’ waiters; Fred Willard; Anjelica Houston; Russ Kunkel; Danny Kortchmar and Fran Drescher as promo-gal Bobbi Fleckman … all just inspired.
Reiner’s on a roll – his Albert Brooks doc Defending My Life is sensational. A must-see.
Maybe an update of The Monkees’ HEAD next?
SHORT TAKES — Mark Bego’s Joe Cocker tome hit #4 on theAmazon charts this week. Here’s a great review from Goldmine on the book by their Lee Zimmerman: https://l.messenger.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.goldminemag.com%2Freviews%2Fjoe-cocker-book-shines-light-on-unfortunate-undercurrents-of-a-stars-career&h=AT2zaG2QKuxuHdpJO1nPHKaiO7IWkbAHCBRAeq3m4-J45axSc_wBott7ABve8Wcd7GpQC13gybDWb2Hale6D809pTdtqqmpDoxC4u6FLA7SNNJ2jHbVKKpSaH1kxX4Ide1AyXDJXSZL2idNWvOch4A
… Micky Dolenz sang “Silly Love Songs” at Monday’s Troubadour benefit for Denny Laine and our spy said he really rocked it. Maybe a Dolenz Sings McCartney album is next? … So, Merriam-Webster’s word of the year is authentic? Interesting choice for sure …
Writer and reporter Pablo Guzman passed this last weekend. An original member of The Young Lords, Guzman was a fierce fighter and brilliant writer. On Fox 5/Good Day NY for decades, he most recently was a reporter at WCBS. Here’s the Daily News take: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12799071/Legendary-NYC-news-anchor-Pablo-Guzman-dies-aged-73-Big-Apple-veteran-reporter-dubbed-son-Bronx-founded-Puerto-Rican-activist-group-Young-Lords-journalist.html …
And it’s official, the NY-launch for the Mark Bego Joe Cocker book will be Tuesday, January 9 at Steve Walter’s Cutting Room.
NAMES IN THE NEWS — Sara Gore; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Daryl Estrea; Tony King; Ace Shortly; Kjersti and Jeremy Long; Debbie Gibson; Van Dean; Liz Skollar; Maude Adams; Robert Vaughn; Steve McQueen; Zach Martin; Coati Mundi; Avery Sharp; Steve Walter; Gary Gershoff; Jane Blunkell; Kimberly Cornell; Paul Iorio; Lee Jeske; MArt Ostrow; Peter Shendell; Sharon White; and ZIGGY!
Countdown to Christmas: A Sweet Treat For Christmas and Chunakah
24 days to go! Every year people panic to find the perfect gift. We at T2C have been collecting idea’s all year long to bring you the perfect gift guide at all price levels. When you’re at the end of your rope trying to find the perfect Christmas present this year, come to this guide for some great suggestions.
I am starting first with Chanukah which starts December 7th. Here are great little surprises and treats. First up are these festive Chocolate Dreidels ($14) are handmade with the finest chocolate, and filled with milk chocolate gold-foiled Gelt coins for a surprise inside that never disappoints. They make a great addition at any Chanukah celebration everyone will love! Each Dreidel contains 3 coins. Gluten Free. Kosher Certified.
Then there are the adorable Menorah Pops. At $4.95 its a sin not to indulge.
Their unique selection of Chocolate Gift Boxes, Towers and Gift Baskets stand out among New York’s discerning chocolate enthusiasts. We loved the box of 30 Chocolate Mini Presents at $25 these bite-sized solid premium milk chocolates wrapped in Italian foil are perfect for filling stockings or party favors. Gluten Free. Kosher Certified.
Li-Lac Chocolates are fresh, gourmet chocolate hand-crafted in small batches for exceptional quality and superior taste. They also come in dairy free, sugar free and Kosher certified making them perfect for the family. These chocolates are creamy, tasty and so delightfully sinful.
Handmade in Brooklyn, not only are you supporting a local business but freshness is guaranteed.
Li Lac Chocolates are now my go to chocolate place for gifts.
Ziploc and Milk Bar Host Holiday Mixer
It was the holiday mixer that hit all the sweet notes.
Milk Bar founder Christina Tosi and Ziploc hosted a fun interactive holiday party at the New York City Milk Bar flagship location on November 29. Attendees at the special affair got to hear Christina’s tips and tricks for the holiday season, as well as see Ziploc’s latest innovation, the Stay Open Design bags.
“Ziploc bags have been a favorite tool of mine since I started baking because they are so versatile and easy to use. From rolling out and freezing dough to ensuring my baked goods always stays fresh, there’s no shortage of ways that I use Ziploc® at home and in our bakeries,” she said. “The new Ziploc® Stay Open Design bags help give me an extra set of hands in the kitchen. As soon as I tried them, I was immediately reminded of mixing puppy chow in a Ziploc® bag as a child, and I knew this would be another perfect collaboration.”
Teaming up for the release the bakery’s first-ever, limited-edition take on “puppy chow” dessert – Ziploc x Milk Bar Holiday Mix – is a perfect way to start December. Perfect for festive gatherings, hosting gifts, stocking stuffers, family road trips and long sessions on the couch watching holiday movies, the offering features popular holiday flavors, including corn square cereal, white chocolate, cookie butter, sprinkles, and sugar cookie pieces.
Each bag of the Ziploc® x Milk Bar Holiday Mix comes pre-packaged in a quart-size Ziploc® Stay Open Design storage bag. Ziploc®‘s latest innovation helps ensure the contents will stay fresh and easily snackable thanks to a cuffed opening and patented stand up bottom that keeps it upright and open for filling and sharing with confidence. For the month of December, pick up a bag at the New York City, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles Milk Bar stores for just $7, plus tax, while supplies last.
And, for anyone in NYC, starting December 1, you can also book the perfect holiday activity, a build-your-own holiday mix-making experience! Attendees will learn Christina Tosi’s tips and tricks with the Milk Bar expert bakers and walk away with a gallon-size bag of holiday mix gifting for their own enjoyment.
For those not located near a Milk Bar store, don’t worry! Milk Bar and Ziploc® are sharing the exclusive recipe for free on both of their websites – a wonderful opportunity for a festive home activity with friends and family. Ziploc® also created a one-stop shop, to easily find all the ingredients needed at Amazon, Target or Walmart, including Ziploc® Stay Open Design bags that allow for easily folding, filling, scooping and snacking.
Photos by AP for Ziploc®
Avengers Tower Sets Meet And Greet With Signing
C. B. Cebulski, Editor-in-Chief of Marvel Comics, and The LEGO Group Senior Graphic Designer Mark Tranter will be at the Fifth Ave LEGO Store this Friday, December 1st from 5pm-6pm signing the Avengers Tower set—the most iconic building in the Avengers Universe, with 5,201 pieces and an all-star cast of 31 figures.
The Avengers Tower, formerly known as Stark Tower, was a high-rise building complex located in Manhattan. Constructed by Tony Stark, the tower was powered by an Arc Reactor that made it capable of running itself for over a year. The top ten floors housed the research and development initiatives.
Following the dissolution of S.H.I.E.L.D., Stark Tower became the main headquarters of the Avengers. However, after the Ultron Offensive, Stark refurbished a Stark Industries warehouse upstate into the Avengers Compound to use as their primary base while Avengers Tower was repurposed for Stark Industries’ use. In the aftermath of the Avengers Civil War, Stark sold the tower and moved all of its equipment to the Avengers Compound.
By 2024, the tower, under its new ownership, had gone through extensive construction and renovation.
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