Portland's Rabbi Aryeh Hirshfield was a Rabbi, a musician, and a tireless activist for global peace and interfaith dialogue.
Sunday December 27th 2009 was the first yahrtzeit, or anniversary of his death. On this special Yiddish Hour we explore the roots of Reb Aryeh's music, and learn of his journey from musician playing Dylan and Spanish protest songs in Ghirardelli Square, to Rabbi and composer of liturgical music.
This program focuses on the musical origins of Reb Aryeh's music, as well as the activist roots behind his choices of sacred text. There are recordings of music both old and new by Reb Aryeh and friends, and interviews with Rabbis Yitzhak Husbands-Hankin and Moshe Shur, both of whom are themselves composers of liturgical music used today in many Oregon synagogues.
It's funny now that the show is finished, less than half of the music featured is from Rabbi Aryeh, but I hope that this program helps people already familiar with Aryeh's music to get a fuller picture of his musical and activist influences.
Rabbi Aryeh's music including the CD Batee L'Ganee can be purchased through this website http://www.rebaryeh.com and you can find links there to much more information about his life and his work as a rabbi and as an activist for justice and peace. The new digitally remastered two CD set Wings of Peace & As The Deer Yearns is now also available!
Rabbi Shur's CD A Shur Thing can be found at www.jewishjukebox.com ... and you can contact him through the Hillel program at Queens College in New York City.
Rabbi Yitzhak gave me a copy of his CD Treasure Each Day when I visited Temple Beth Israel in Eugene to record the interview. I don't know if they sell the CD there, but you can call TBI at (541) 485-7218 and find out.