17 Adar 5781 / Monday, March 01, 2021 | Torah Reading: Ki Tisa
 
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HomeIsrael and SocietyJewish Music and ArtsMelodies and Tender Souls
 
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Melodies and Tender Souls    

Melodies and Tender Souls



If music affects the less-refined soul of an animal, imagine how it affects the tender, ever-so-sensitive soul of a baby or a young child…

 



Rebbe Nachman speaks extensively about the far-reaching effects of spiritually wholesome music on a person's soul (see Likutei Moharan I:3). We're all well-aware that such genres as hard rap, acid rock and heavy metal certainly aren't conducive to relaxing at the end of the day. Even plants and animals react to music, a fact that any dairy farmer, botanist, or agriculture student is well aware of. For that reason, you'll never hear acid rock or heavy metal in a milking parlor; such music causes tension among the cows and is detrimental to optimal yields.
 
If music affects the less-refined soul of an animal, imagine how it affects the tender, ever-so-sensitive soul of a baby or a young child. Two amazing letters that I received in recent weeks bring this point home:
 
Letter One: The Receptive Three-year old
 
Dear Rabbi Lazer,
 
Is it true that a three-year old can be highly receptive on a spiritual level? We had a maid that used to listen to motivational CDs with subliminal messages and my son of three-years, Immanuel  (Hebrew for 'Hashem is with us' -LB), told me that he listened from that maid "ugly and scary messages" and we fired her. As a result of her CDs, he was having nightmares. I bought Calming Waters and let my son listen to the peaceful flute and nice sounds; my son insists that your CD is full of beautiful messages. The Gemara says that Hashem hides secrets and prophecies with toddlers and infants. I don't mean to pry, but is my son really receptive to subtle spiritual messages? Does your CD really have spiritual messages? Thanks so much, DR from LA
 

 
Dear DR,
 
Yes, your son is very receptive, indicative of his very holy and pure soul. Make sure you give him the best Torah education imaginable. And yes, all my flute music has messages, since the melodies come to me during personal prayer, when I'm speaking to Hashem. They reflect a yearning for Hashem and a desire for Hashem to bring us close to Him. That's why the melodies are so soothing to the soul. Blessings always, LB

 


 
Letter Two: The Relapsing Bedwetter
 
Dear Rabbi Brody,
 
Our seven year-old daughter was toilet-trained at a very young age; if I remember correctly, she was dry at two years old already. You can therefore imagine how perplexed and upset my husband and I were when she started relapsing and wetting her bed several months ago. We took her to a pediatrician thinking that maybe she had an infection of something else causing problems in her urinary tract but all the tests came up clean. We then went for two sessions to a very good child psychologist who suggested several different methods. We tried all of them, and each had only limited success.
 
We were at wits end until one evening when my husband and I went to a Bar-mitzva reception. In the middle of the meal, I wasn't feeling so well so I asked my husband to make me home. Rather than coming home at 11 PM like we told the babysitter, we arrived early at about 9:30. Our babysitter – a young lady of 16 who began babysitting for us once or twice a week for the past couple of months – was letting our daughter listen to her iPod, which just “happened” to be playing some scary street-sounding rap music. It turned out the babysitter had been “treating” our daughter to OST, Cowboy Junkies, Black-eyed Peas, and a bunch of other similar stuff. Needless to say, that was the last night that we used the services of that babysitter.
 
A neighbor of mine who is a long-time reader of yours suggested that we play “Calming Waters” for our daughter while she's falling asleep. The neighbor said that your music and Guy Tzvi Mintz's songs at bedtime helped her own grandchildren get up dry. We took her advice and it worked! We have no words to express our gratitude. Sheila and Don from Alabama
 
I answered:
 
Dear Sheila and Don,
 
Thanks so much for the feedback. It makes everything worthwhile. It's not surprising that you've been playing Guy Tzvi's music together with mine, because not only are we close friends, we've teamed up (see above photo, taken in the Judean Hills) to do an album together entitled “Judean Dream”, which will be released, G-d willing, in the nearest future. Guy Tzvi and I don't play music for music's sake; our melodies are the way we praise Hashem. In other words, they're the soul's expression of its yearning for the creator. Like Rebbe Nachman taught us, we do our utmost to be upright melodists; it's therefore so gratifying to know that your daughter's soul has found them soothing. Spiritually pure melodies are not only uplifting, but as you have seen, they can heal souls as well.

With blessings and very best wishes,

LB
 





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