|Original Release Date||Nov 3, 2010|
Song Released to Benefit Cedarhurst Man
Once again, the Jewish music community has banded together, pooling its collective talents to help a fellow Jew in his hour of need. A new single, entitled Berachamim is being released today to benefit Ilan Tocker, a 33 year old Cedarhurst father of four who suffered a traumatic brain injury last July. While doctors gave Tocker less than a 10% chance of survival, Tocker beat the odds and is recovering faster than doctors could have ever imagined.
Berachamim is the brainchild of producer Avi Newmark, who was overwhelmed by the rachamim shown to Tocker by friends and strangers alike. Sitting in the ICU waiting room, hearing of the kindness and dedication that total strangers showed Tocker as they davened, said Tehillim and made kabalos upon themselves, Tocker’s friends and family davened for Tocker, himself a compassionate person who lived to help others, to be shown the same Rachamim that Klal Yisroel was showing him. When Tocker proved the doctors wrong and came through surgery successfully, Newmark vowed to bring the lesson of Rachamim to the world the best way he knew how. In a song.
“There is no doubt in my mind that is the compassion and achdus that Klal Yisroel showed in such a dire situation is what gave us the miracle of that is the continuation of Ilan’s life,” said Newmark, in an exclusive interview with VIN News. “It wasn’t what any one person did. It was how everyone came together k’ish echad, b’lev echad, everyone, even total strangers, attempting to find favor in Hashem’s eyes any way they knew how. Be it saying Tehillim, making a siyum, baking challah for Shabbos, giving tzedaka or just treating people with kindness, each act was a tefila in its own right. It is those collective tefilos and the rachamim that everyone showed during this terrible ordeal brought about the rachamim that Hashem ultimately bestowed upon Ilan.”
Berachamim, composed by Ari Goldwag, features the talents of vocalists Benny Friedman, Ari Goldwag and Yitzy Spinner, guitarist Aryeh Kunstler, drummer Gal Gershovsky and engineer Ian Freitor. All proceeds from the sale of the song, which is available for 99 cent download on Mostly Music and iTunes, will go to the Ilan Tocker Foundation, which is helping defray the costs of Ilan’s lengthy illness.
While Tocker clearly has a long way to go in his recovery, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when he received his first aliyah since his illness at the Young Israel of Lawrence-Cedarhurst this past Shabbos. The entire congregation broke out in song as Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum embraced Tocker, announcing “the only words we can say are Tov L’Hodos LaHashem”. The Cedarhurst community has gone all out to raise money for Tocker, holding cookbook sales, an arba minim fundraiser, a ping pong tournament and an upcoming Chanukah event in addition to local business making donations to The Ilan Tocker Foundation.
All proceeds of this song will be given to help with Ilan's recovery. Please donate further by going to IlanTockerFoundation.com.
Letter from Avi Newmark, the producer:
July 21st 2010.
A night I will never forget.
My dear friend Ilan Tocker suffered a brain injury so devastating that doctors were awed that someone in such critical condition could still be clinging to life. To me, sitting in the waiting room of the ICU, it was clear what needed to be done. We spread word of Ilan’s terrible accident to anyone who could daven for him, asking them to beg the Riboinoi Shel Oilam to have Rachamim and not let one of my best friends succumb during this terrible time.
A husband, a father, a son, a tremendous baal tzedaka, a compassionate man who loves his nation, who would do
anything to help a fellow Jew in need now needed us to do everything in our power to help him. The immediate
response to the many emails and text messages requesting people to say Tehillim for Tzvi Ilan ben Gita was absolutely
overwhelming. Within minutes we heard about someone at the Kosel gathering Jews and saying Tehillim, about over two hundred people gathering in standing room only homes to say hours of Tehillim for Ilan in this most dire of straits.
Every bracha that was made, every penny that was given to tzedaka, every perek of Tehillim that was said made a
difference. Ilan made it through a surgery that doctors had given him only a ten percent chance of surviving. It was clear to us that all that Ilan embodied, all the goodness he had done for others was now being done for him. All
the compassion Ilan had shown to others was now being shown to him.
Berachamim. We ask Hashem to hear our tefilos, hear our cries, hear us beg and plead. But there was something more that I witnessed and that was how just as we asked Hashem to deal with us Berachamim it was with Rachamim that all those who heard about this nightmare were davening for Tzvi Ilan ben Gita. And it was with that realization that this song came to be. This song is about everything I witnessed Klal Yisroel do for Ilan. It didn’t matter whether people knew Ilan or not, our nation assembled with fire, intensity and most of all, Rachamim, to do whatever they could to find favor in Hashem’s eyes to help our friend, our brother, Tzvi Ilan ben Gita.
The top talent in Jewish music today has selflessly joined me in the production of this song. Each and every one of them jumped on board instantly, lending their talents before I could even finish asking them for their help. Benny, Ian, Ari, Yitzy, Aryeh, Gal and Sruly: I cannot thank you enough. We have all worked together in the past, but this song means more to me than anything I have ever done. It is the story of how my beloved friend was saved. It is with your help that I can now release this song and donate all the proceeds to the Ilan Tocker Foundation which will help Ilan in his recovery.
To the listeners: If you buy one song this year please, please, please let it be Berachamim. Let us continue the amazing call to arms with which we all gathered together as one and battled for Ilan’s recovery.
And to Ilan: I love you and there are no words to describe seeing you return to Shul this past Shabbos and receive an aliyah. I would say I am here for you but you are even more fortunate than that. We are all here for you. Klal Yisroel is here for you and it is with the collective strength of our people that you will continue to fight and get better, bringing our people nachas and simcha, and most importantly, bringing us Ilan.
- Hauntingly Beautiful Song Review by Bracha
This is the most hauntingly beautiful song. The story alone is inspirational and shows the power of Tefillah, yet the song shows the power of music to unite people and leave us with emotion that could not otherwise be expressed. It was a true act of Ahavas Yisroel to both daven for his recovery, for the many people who never even knew Tzvi Ilan but whose Tefillah made a difference.
May his recovery be a source of inspiration for others.
Benny Friedman continues to be one of the premier voices in Jewish Music Today and a force in the Jewish Music Community for doing more than just singing a beautiful song... but making a difference.
Musically, the song has a soft, jazzy, contemporary sound that fits perfectly with the lyrics and the way Benny sings. One can conjure up an image of a man davening for his friend, swaying back and forth begging Hashem for Rachamim. Just perfect. (Posted on 11/4/10)