Shlomo Carlebach

‘Soul Doctor’ Redux

Retooled production of Carlebach musical plays down the counterculture rabbi’s biography in favor of his songs.

12/09/2014
Special To The Jewish Week

If anyone saw himself as a fixer, it was Shlomo Carlebach. With the extraordinary power of his original melodies, the wonder-working rabbi traveled around the world beginning in the 1960s, helping Jews who were suffering from drug abuse, loneliness and alienation from Jewish life. Ironically, “Soul Doctor,” the musical about Carlebach’s life and career, has itself been in need of repair. After a highly publicized flop at the Circle in the Square on Broadway last year, the musical returns, Off-Broadway this time, in its 11th incarnation. And now, the creative team believes, the musical has finally found its voice. The retooled show, which is currently in previews, opens this Sunday at the Actors’ Temple Theatre in Midtown.

Josh Nelson as Shlomo Carlebach with his so-called Holy Beggars. Carol Rosegg

Getting A Read On Carlebach

Author of new book suggests it’s still too early to gauge rabbi’s true influence.

11/05/2013
Special To The Jewish Week

There has been a huge outpouring of material about the life and music of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach since his death 19 years ago at the age of 69. There have been memoirs, articles, hagiographies, photo collections, magazines, records, tapes and hundreds of Youtube entries. There even was a Broadway show, “Soul Doctor,” which ran for nearly 100 performances until it closed last month.

New biography of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, by Natan Ophir, exhaustively documents the life and career of the late Jewish troubadou

Kiddush With Reb Shlomo

Shabbat dinner with Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach usually involved at least 50 people, maybe many more, according to his daughter, the singer Neshama Carlebach. It was Reb Shlomo’s custom to make kiddush and then pass around his wine, even if symbolically, to make sure that everyone had even a drop of the sanctified wine.

The kiddish cup designed to honor Reb Shlomo fits in the palm of a hand. Photo courtesy Jonathan Greenstein

Erev Shabbat: The Beautiful Moment Just Before

I remember the wet stones. When I lived in Jerusalem for a year, I spent Fridays slipping all over the place. In the hours before sunset, the Old City’s enchanting stones became slip-and-slides as young boys bearing buckets of water glazed the timeless stairways and passages, giving the holy city the last bath just before Shabbat.

Erev Shabbat is more of a struggle to create stateside than in Israel. Wikimedia Commons

Debbie Friedman Talks About Being Gay

I left out any mention of Debbie Friedman's romantic history in my farewell piece. (Correction: Debbie Friedman was born in 1951, not 1952 as reported).

 I spoke about this topic with Debbie enough times to know that she wasn't interested in that aspect of her private life being discussed in print.

Syndicate content