I just came from an amazing performance at Hart House at the University of Toronto. YONA (Youth Outreach Network of the Arts) invited Neshama Carlebach to perform for an intimate audience. YONA’s goal is to bring programming on campuses “from darkness to light – from hatred to harmony” by bringing free unity concerts with amazing performers to campuses across Canada.
There were two moments that stood out for me. First was Neshama’s performance of the song “Return Again” from her album Journey. It was moving, and the audience dropped their guard and joined in for an amazing moment. The second notable moment was when she re-told a story about her father and explained the meaning behind the title of her newest album “one and one”. I’ll do my best to retell it here, but I hope that you’ll have the opportunity to hear Neshama in concert so you can hear her tell it in her own words. Check her out on iTunes
Neshama recalls attending a meeting with her father many years ago. At the end of the meeting a man approached her father, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach and said that he would love to write the story of the famous Rabbi’s life. Rabbi Carleback responded “Brother, it sounds like a great idea, but let me ask you a question or two to see if we are on the same page” “Sure”, replied the man. “What is one plus one” asked the Rabbi? “Two” the man responded. Rabbi Carlebach then asked “What is one plus one plus one?” The man responded with what seemed a reasonable answer “Three.”
“I’m sorry, I just don’t think this will work out” explained Rabbi Carlebach, and the man walked away puzzled. Neshama explained that at the time, she too was puzzled by her father’s response. Had the answers not been correct? Rabbi Carlebach explained to his young daughter, “one plus one is One” and that “one plus one plus one and one, is still One. When we come together, we are One. When you and I are united, we are One.” “What would it be like if today, one and one and one and one were One?” pondered Neshama. With her hope and blessing for a renewed world where “one and one are still One” she continued in song.
It was amazing! Kol HaKavod to Marcel Cohen the founder of YONA for bringing this event to campus. If you want to know more about YONA, and would like to hear about upcoming events, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep your eyes out for an upcoming event at York University.