Dear Camp Agudah,
As we write this letter to you, we are all reeling from the terrible tragedy which occurred just last week, when our beloved friend and counselor Yisroel Levin and his kallah Elisheva Kaplan were r”l killed in a car accident. All of us felt a close connection to Yisroel, and it’s impossible to put into words just how painful this is to everyone. None of us will ever forget Yisroel’s warm smile, his sense of humor, his personality, everything about him that made him so special. While it is impossible to give a full account of all the amazing qualities Yisroel had, there are a few that stick out. Simchas hachaim, pure joy of life. Yisroel was the happiest person any of us ever met. Tefillah. His Tefillah was unparalleled- watching him daven was a lesson on how to relate to Hashem. Friendship. As his friends we know how special he made us feel. We were each his best friend. And family. As we heard, his family was his life. A loving son, brother, uncle, and Chosson, he truly made everyone feel like a million dollars. As Yidden, we have a day which embodies all of these special qualities. Shabbos Kodesh. Shabbos is a day that is all about family, friends, tefillah, and simple joy. And who exuded more joy on this day then Yisroel? The qualities of Shabbos were all clearly inherent in Yisroel's life. He loved Shabbos, and he exemplified everything Shabbos is about.
With this in mind, we feel humbled to have the zechus to present to you this production in memory of our dear Yisroel A”H. Shabbos Kodesh, the 2017 Orange Team theme song, is an a cappella production, and a fitting tribute to Yisroel Ben Yeshayahu A”H. Much like Shabbos itself, music has the power to uplift and inspire us. It is our fervent hope that this production, which combines both these powerful tools, will bring us all some degree of nechama during this most difficult time.
We’d like to thank the special people who put so much hard work into this production. Our super talented producer Naftali Blumenthal for EVERYTHING. All the hours of work you put in and topping it all off by coming through for us at the last minute when we needed you. Menachem Kramer for going above and beyond what anyone could’ve dreamed. Shua Frank for lending us your special voice. May you continue to use it along with your enthusiasm to serve Hashem. Thanks as well to your father for all the help. Aaron Eliezer Pilchick, thank you for always dealing with our complaints/suggestions and for your commitment to making an absolutely perfect cover. And Eli Serebrowski for your technical assistance. And of course, even in the difficult times, we thank Hashem for everything he’s given us.
The following addition to this write-up was added 3 days after the song came out, but for very good reason. At the Shiva house when Mrs. Levin was told about the song “Shabbos Kodesh” that was dedicated in Yisroel’s memory, she related the following incredible entry about Shabbos that she found in a diary of Yisroel’s. He wrote about how much he loved Yeshiva Darchei Torah, how he was thankful for his friends and Rebbeim etc. He said he feels his life was comparable to a week followed by Shabbos. A whole week long, even if you love what you are doing, it can still be tiring. The daily grind and hustle needs a break at some point. At the end of the week the ultimate break comes, and that is Shabbos. He explained how he considered Darchei his “week”, and after a long week he needed time to unwind on Shabbos. Camp Agudah, he said, was his Shabbos. Camp afforded him the chance to relax in a beautiful setting after a year full of Ameilus B’Torah and growth. We all know how much Yisroel loved Camp Agudah. If camp was like Shabbos to him, how much must he have loved Shabbos!
We can only hope that this song inspires us to live our lives in Yisroel’s example, to have a greater appreciation for the power of Shabbos, the day that “there every week, spirit it lifts”, during this time, when we need it most. Until we are once again reunited with Yisroel with the coming of Mashiach, at least we can say, “for all that I do, it guards me too”.
Besuros tovos, The CA Production Team:
Eliezer Frank, Izzy Krasnow, Aron Lowenthal
Sefirah 5778, April 2018
Produced By: CA Productions, 2018
Vocals Produced, Recorded, Arranged, and Mixed By: Naftali Blumenthal at ASAP Productions - firstname.lastname@example.org
Mastered By: Jake Antelis
Vocals By: Shua Frank
Backups Vocals By: Shua Frank and Menachem Kramer
Lyrics By: Izzy Krasnow, Shuey Krasnow, Ari Kaufman
Cover Design: Aaron Eliezer Pilchick (thekensingtongraphic.com)