ALEPH Kallah 2018 | Opening Rap

Rabbi Geela-Rayzel Raphael and Binah Barbara Block weave a beautiful melodic tapestry that welcomed Kallah 2018 attendees and also provided a brief introduction to how ALEPH came to be!

Yah, Yah, Yah, Shechinah
Kallah and Kabbalah
Sing, Meditate and pray
Yod Hay Vav Hey

Once upon a time there was a rebbe,
A hussid in a black hat was he,
Escaped Europe with his streimel intact
Landing in the land of the free.

Along the way he met Reb Shlomo
Sang with him a niggun or two
Making rounds on college campuses
Trying to round up young Jews.

He was on such a journey from Chabad
To Falls River in the state of Mass
With a detour through New Bedford
He delved into the task

Of reaching Jews with spirit
Telling stories like Holy Beggars
He landed way up in the frozen north
Among the Winnipeggers.

Zalman started having children
Who called him their dear Abba
Later he created a Tallisarium
One summer at camp Ramah.


But then came along the sixties
With tie dye, drugs and anti-war
And Zalman tapped into the spiritual hunger
So many people wanted more, more, more!

And when Timothy Leary
Spread the word about LSD
Reaching for the stars through peace and love
High with divinity.

Reb Z traveled, taught and sang
Gathering the sparks of hungry souls
Who wanted to feel the fervor
Of a Judaism making them whole.

There were minyanim, and retreats
And joyous concerts galore
Poetry, new music, new translations
With spirituality at the core.

He had a holy vision
Based on the ruins of Qumran
To create a brand new spiritual order
Rising from the ashes that were gone.

Along the way our rebbe studied
Got a masters and PhD
From Lubavitch to Havurat Shalom,
And then to HUC.


He met with the Dali Lama
And Pyr Valayit Kahn
And Swami Satchidinanda,
Holy men stayin’ up til dawn.

Deep ecumenism was brewing
Opening all those doors
All religions were ways to seek more wisdom
Deploying us by the score.

Davvening Hebrew and English
Bridging the old world and the new
He broke the mold so many ways
Now we could be spiritual Jews.

When he came to Philadelphia
Taught at Temple and RRC
The energy was building,
We needed new communities.

But was it New Age Judaism
Or Hasidism for the Aquarian age?
He taught us all about a paradigm shift
And how to be a sage.

There was marijuana haroset
Blowing shofar with Paul Horn
And birkat hachama on the Empire State
Staying up all night until morn.


Now Zalman and Reb Shlomo
Began to gather more and more sparks
Communities began to sprout
and the seas began to part.

Now we had the Joys of Jewishing,
Moshav Shivtay Shalom
Moshav Modiin, Boston’s B’nai Or
Were places to call home.

There was The house of love and prayer,
Aquarian Minyon, Kehillah and more.
P’nai Or Philly, Ruach Ha ‘aretz,
Began to open the doors.

From Portland to Ashland, Seattle, Vancouver
Pnai Or, Bnai Eitz Or
Boston, Philly, Boulder, Berkeley
Fabringin, TAO and more.

In 1985 we gathered,
For the first renewal Kallah
We all streamed in from near and far
Sharing Shabbos and fresh challah.

We had found our tribe of people
Rainbow Jews we became
Some were singers, poets, dancers, artists
And many changed our names….

Women added the voice of Shechinah
And raised up Miriam’s well
Eshet Hazon feminine power
A place for Shechinah to dwell.


Tikkun Magazine was born
Reb Arthur prophesized Shalom
Reb Marcia created the seminary
For students to call home.

The ordination program flourished
Training Rabbis and Rabbinic Pastors,
Thank G-d for Jack he taught the Cantors too
So we avoid melodic disasters!

In ‘90 our leaders convened
For a weekend of community
And the Alliance of Jewish Renewal was born
Creating unity.

Then Zalman heard the call of Boulder
To spread his teachings far and wide
Yesod supported his efforts and dreams
Ohalah was part of his pride.


So ALEPH was a culmination
of many different streams
Are we a movement, a denomination?
We are the zenith of our Jewish dreams.

We made room for women’s voices,
Gays lesbians, and trans* too
Psycho halachah and eco–kashrut
We also welcome Jew-Bus.

C-DEEP, Meditation, DLTI,
Ruach HaAretz and Kol Zimra,
Pilgrimages and retreats that break the mold
ALEPH has the programs to lift your soul.

As the tribes gather from the four corners of the earth
And the higher powers assemble to bring us rebirth
May the angels and Shechinah come to bless our days
We open to receive Yod Hay Vav Hey.

And now we gather ourselves again,
To share our holy light
And greet these beautiful faces
We welcome you tonight.

So taste the many offerings
And sing some great new songs
Study with these learned teachers
For you all now belong to

The ALEPH tribe of Renewal
Where we all do our part
With high and holy spirits
And amazing open hearts!!

And amazing open hearts!

Final chorus

Yah, Yah, Yah, Shechinah
Kallah and Kabbalah
Sing, Meditate and pray
Yod Hay Vav Hey