From Halifax - "Putting on the Yarmulke"
Dear Lenny and Eitan G.,
Hope your travel went well to Toronto and that all the concerts are going great. We would like to thank you for doing an amazing concert in Halifax. All who attended had a wonderful time and spread the word that Shlock Rock Rocks. I would also like to give you some feedback as you may have questioned the worthiness of travelling so far for so little pay etc. Parnosah is an issue and there's nothing wrong with that, but you never know the impact you may make and every neshoma touched is a whole world (as we have learned). The morning following our concert someone phoned to tell me that her 7 yr. old son who had been having a hard time wearing a kippa in a very non-Jewish environment is now proud to wear it. After hearing these comments and thanx from parents and attendees and the impact we've made this is ALL worth it. The Mitzvot that we do truly touch those involved, who in turn affect others etc. ultimately perfecting our world to be a true home for Hashem.
May you and your families be blessed with all that you need in health and happiness,
Rabbi Mendel & Bassie Feldman
From Toronto - "Saving a World"
Here is a little story that I know you will appreciate. It's a story for your Shlock Rock "Divrei HaYamim", one which fulfills your band's truest raison d'etre, so to speak.
Do you remember that I mentioned an Israeli employee of ours that was living with a former Tibetan monk? Well, we gave her a pair of Shlock Rock tickets, hoping that she would attend your concert. She did and brought her boyfriend along. To make a long story short, they began having arguments about religion and other things almost immediately after the concert. She informed me a few days ago they broke it off for good. She was considering marrying him and even brought him home to Israel to meet her family. In any event, she now moved out of his apartment and she is now living not too far from me with some other Jewish singles.
I have been trying to get her to come for Shabbos for the longest time. I give her challah every week and things related to the Jewish holidays. No matter what though, she seemed persistent in her effort to remain "broad minded" and liberal enough to be living with a Buddhist monk. Apparently, your concert, due to the music, the message in the music and the location (it was the first time in a long while that she had been in a shul) touched something in her. The fact that she was surrounded by all Jews, also for the first time in ages (as she had been gallivanting around India for months and months following the army service and then came directly here), also made an impression. She expressed her realization in her uniqueness as a Jew and felt a pride in her Judaism that had been suppressed for so long. Sitting at the concert with her boyfriend made her even feel a bit ashamed and uncomfortable. In any event, whether directly or indirectly, Shlock Rock's Toronto show has changed this young Jewish woman's life.
We know that everything happens for a reason. I can tell you that you have managed to save a whole world in the form of this young woman. I know that you would agree that here is no price tag for something like that. Your visit here may have been orchestrated by the One Above for this very purpose. You never know...
Anyway, I just wanted you to know about this. Yasher Koach and Chazak Ve'Ematz
Adina Abramov - Toronto
From Washington DC - "The Turning Point"
I have also been remiss for quite a while in sending you my sincere gratitude. My husband and I adopted a 9-year-old boy from Kazakhstan in January 2001 (he is now almost 12). He lived in an orphanage before we adopted him. I think people thought we were crazy -- "how could you ever expect him to feel/be/act Jewish? Won't he destroy the frumkeit of your family?" etc. Two years later he is learning the mishnayos and at about 3rd grade level in Hebrew. He is a proud Jew, always wears his kippah and tzitzit. His goal in life is to go to Israel and rebuild the beis hamikdash. He is an amazing boy, and everyone who knows him knows his destiny was to be a Jew.
One thing that was very hard for him was that he was used to watching R-rated movies, listening to hard core rap, etc., and weaning him off that base sort of society stuff was very difficult. We are Ba'alei Tshuva as well, so we didn't know what to substitute music-wise.
Once we learned about Shlock Rock, he was able to have "modern" or "popular" music that so greatly eased his withdrawal from what he was used to, that we believe it was what made him loosen up to other Jewish learning and ways of life. It may sound like a stretch, but I can tell you it was definitely the turning point in his re-shaping his heart into a Jewish heart.
Best of luck and a kosher Pesach,