FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
A. This website will introduce you to many original songs that you’ve never heard before.
Q. If the Rabbi is so terrific, why didn’t he make records/CDs long before this?
A. If you’ve never been a rabbi, this will explain:
Rabbis teach adults, kids, lead Sabbath and Holy Day services, teach and train Bar/Bat Mitzvah kids, comfort people in mourning, do funerals, make sure Brides and Grooms get to the Huppah/Canopy in good shape, do baby namings, Brisses (look it up). Throughout his rabbinic career, Rab Lev has been a loving husband to his wife and daddy to his four kids, may they live and be well. He has also...taught in his own and other people’s religious schools...in a Catholic high school...in a Jesuit College for many years...taught several Jewish courses at Northeastern University (24,000 students), organized and ran Holocaust Remembrance events there, and conducted all the Jewish student activities at Northeastern as Hillel Director and Campus Rabbi. These days, he says prayers for sick and dying patients in hospitals, and has made a video recording that is shown every Sabbath at a hospital, as well as videos for all Jewish Holy Days.
Rab Lev also reads books, newspapers, and magazines of all kinds, both Jewish and secular...studies traditional texts (25 years studying Talmud with colleagues)...attends meetings of Temple Boards, Jewish Community Boards, Medical Ethics and Medical Research Committees...and leads Educational Groups to Israel. Rab Lev was a counselor at Hebrew-speaking Ramah Camps. He's always learning new songs, writing new songs, and learning to sing and play them on the guitar.
Q. So that’s why Rabbi is just now getting around to making the CDs?
A. Yep. He’s still pretty busy as a Hospital Chaplain in Boston, MA, and participating in lots of other very intense Rabbinic activities.
Q. What CDs has he made?
A. The top ones are the two called CELEBRATING LIFE!, containing all of Rab Lev’s original songs (so far). It is a stunning achievement. For the past 30 years, he’s sung them everywhere he goes.
CD-1 (21 songs) is mainly for singing along with him. This disk includes: Shabbat is Coming (every Friday Night), Did a Mitzvah (why don’t you?), Puff The Kosher Dragon (the Jewish version written 20 years before “Puff the Magic Dragon”), When I’m Together With You, When Simchat Torah Comes to Town, and We Won, We Won, We Won, a really fun Chanukah song. These songs have a lot of bounce; people laugh, smile and clap their hands when they hear them, and that’s no exaggeration.
CD-2 (20 songs) is more serious, more thoughtful. Some are prayers from the Jewish Prayer Book such as And It Shall Come to Pass, sung in Hebrew and English, and My Life is Lovely, a wedding song. Then the irrepressible Rab Lev celebrates his retirement and becoming Rabbi Emeritus with Getting Old (“...though you’ll notice I trust, less like gold more like rust...”) and How I Got to be Seventy, bellowed out to a hall filled with friends on his 70th Birthday!
Click HERE to order your copy of Celebrating Life!
Q. Are they the only ones Rab Lev has made?
A. O, No! He’s made a really magnificent LET’S CELEBRATE SHABBAT! CD and Manual, which you can order HERE. Designed for families that would like to learn how to celebrate Shabbat in the traditional manner, it has brief readings and prayers, along with the music. Listen to it, and you might want to Celebrate Shabbat in your own home.
In addition, if you can't make it to services on Friday evenings, you can get the KABBALAT SHABBAT service video and DVD that has been shown at a large Boston hospital every week for many years. This half-hour movie is professionally produced and edited.
Q. Are there others?
A. O, Yes! Rab Lev has re-done songs for PURIM and CHANUKAH, and the best Yom Tov one is for PESACH (PASSOVER). It includes many of the prayers and almost all the songs, including different melodies for the same prayers. Plus, THE RAB LEV BOOK OF POEMS contains 52 poems, many of them illustrated with Josh Edelglass's drawings, and includes a special CD of Rab Lev reading nine poems.
Order any or all of these items HERE.
IN CONCLUSION, you’re in for an absolute treat each and every time you listen to Rabbi Paul H. Levenson (Rab Lev) on his TWO CDs of (mainly) ORIGINAL SONGS, called CELEBRATING LIFE! along with CDs for PURIM, CHANUKAH, PESACH, and LET’S CELEBRATE SHABBAT! plus the KABBALAT SHABBAT video/DVD and THE RAB LEV BOOK OF POEMS.
Click HERE to order your copies today!