Some Beautiful Beyond BT Music

There have been a few posts here on the blog about music, more specifically about the music many of us grew up with. Take it or leave it? OK for me but not for my kids. Can’t get it out of my head, etc.

My brother Chaim is a musician. Before he became observant he was, as they say, “living the life”. He was the lead singer for a West Coast band that had growing local popularity, was gaining radio play, and playing larger venues. After becoming observant he stayed away from his music as it reminded him of many of the things he wished to leave behind, mostly from a lifestyle point of view.

I would often chide him that Hashem didn’t give him his talents to be squelched but to be redirected, channeled.

After several years, he finally returned to his music with a deeper spiritual vibe. Here is, as he puts it, the artist named Chaim, formerly known as the artist named Jonny, and currently unknown with a beautiful song he wrote.

19 comments on “Some Beautiful Beyond BT Music

  1. Shalom Reb Chaim, this is your friend the promoter, GReat song, lets get together soon !

  2. Does anyone have a clue as to how to upgrade the quality (and I don’t mean expense!) of today’s Jewish simcha music? Typical problems include painfully high overall volume, even painfully higher bass volume, and endless, dull, unmemorable tunes and arrangements. When riffs or entire tunes are “borrowed” from rock, they seem to be from the worst available rock. You can hear a few bars of a “new” hit and already know what the whole tune will be. I sense that music in the old country (whichever one) was far more uplifting.
    Whether the problem is with the audience, the musicians, or the musicians’ perception of the audience, something has got to change.

  3. I recorded Ruby Harris in my studio once. We also played some weddings together. Phenomenal musician. Thanks everyone for your postitive responses to my song. It’s really H’s song, I’m just a truck driver. I hope to put out more music, but music should be right in the collective sense. There are people who have one good song that they captured in the moment in the studio and then they shlep a whole bunch of other junk onto their CD just to fill up the space and get it out there. Boston took 5 years to record one of their albums. I now feel that with Siata d’Shamaya I could put out something good in a shorter period of time, im yirtze H’. All artists should remember to daven for their art, and mine, because it has potential to go into so many ears. We need to ask H’ to help our music achieve the goals of Torah. This is not a simple task. Everything we do needs siata d’shmaya, help from H’. By asking for help we make a statement that we wish to come from a place of humility and that helps not to have arrogance in the music. And there’s no room for H’ in the place of arrogance. Actually, my Rebbe says you do need a little arrogance to achieve anything in the world, it just needs to be directed through Torah.

  4. OK, I’m in! And I think that Ruby Harris (That awesome vilolinist and more from Diaspora Yeshiva band) might be intersted in this if we can find a time when he’s not in the studio. Sounds like fun!

  5. David,

    Thanks for both posts this week – inspirational!! Tell Chaim love his sound and talent. Whenis the album coming!!


  6. Chaim is now in Passaic and since he owns a recording studio, if we ever ger this BeyondBT jam together, we can lay down some tracks.

  7. I’d really like to hear from Chaim himself a little of his story, e.g. how and why he gave up “living the life” and how he has adjusted over the years.

  8. Rabbi Simenowitz – My apologies. How could I forget the man with the telecaster and no hostages taken.

    From What Do We Do With Our Baggage:

    “When high school kids would come up to the farm where were lived with their guitars in tow, I used to get a kick asking them if I could “sit in” They’d kinda stare at me and say “Rabbi, do you play?” I’d smile and say “Just a little” Then, I’d break out the old telecaster and off we’d go – no hostages taken!”

  9. count me in Mark – I’m a serious player from way back when:)

  10. Chaim. The song is beautiful. Thanks for sharing it.

    We need to get you together with Gershon Seif and some of the other musicians here so we can form the official Beyond BT house band. Maybe we can figure out a way for you guys to jam together – live on the blog.

  11. These are among the most inspiring stories; those who had a chosen path based on their talents, and then were able to redirect them as Baalei Teshuva in order to serve Hashem. I’ve mentioned the film Ushpizin a few times; here is one more note about it: The lead actor is a BT who was a popular actor and left acting when he became orthodox. After several years and longing he returned to acting—-on his terms. This included insisting that his real-life wife play opposite him in the movie, in order to avoid tznius questions. If you want to read the rest of this compelling story, go to, click ABOUT, then ABOUT THE PRODUCTION.

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