Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach-Songs and Stories
Rabbi Shlomo 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 also continues to this day in “Carlebach minyanim” and Jewish religious gatherings in many cities and remote pristine areas around the globe.
Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach was also considered a pioneer of the Baal teshuva movement (“returnees to Judaism”), encouraging disenchanted Jewish youth to re-embrace their heritage, using his special style of enlightened teaching, and his melodies, songs, and highly inspiring story telling.
Yossi Klein Halevi paid tribute to Shlomo in “The Pied Piper of Judaism,” published in the issue following his death. He offered general biographical details concerning Shlomo’s life, and stressed his quality of ahavat Yisrael. He noted that Shlomo “sang wherever there were Jews, from American prisons to Indian ashrams,” and concluded, “He taught an orphaned generation numbed by the Holocaust and assimilation how to return to joy.”1