When he was a kid, Avremel Friedman went public as a child soloist on several albums — but while the light of most child stars dims as their voices change, Avraham Fried’s only became brighter. Ten years later, his 1981 debut album, No Jew Will Be Left Behind, turned into the beginning of a nearly four-decade stretch, as listeners connected to his niggunim of the neshamah. Through hundreds of songs and dozens of albums, we’ve sung and swayed, danced and prayed. And now we’ve asked our readers:
Which one of Avraham Fried’s songs has touched your life?
“Ani Maamin” (No Jew Will Be Left Behind, 1981)
My mother, Malka Berkowitz a”h, was diagnosed with cancer at the young age of 59. She passed away nine months later. As her life slowly ebbed away, it was heartbreaking to watch how she deteriorated day by day. About four weeks before her petirah, a new tape came out — No Jew Will Be Left Behind was a compilation of songs, sung by a relatively unknown Lubavitch bochur who went by the name of Avraham Fried. The tape had a soul-stirring “Ani Maamin” that captured my mother’s heart. With her weakened fingers, she pressed the rewind button on the tape recorder over and over again as she listened to the melody and cried bitter tears. I kept begging her to stop torturing herself and turn off the music, but she wouldn’t listen. It was only many years later, when my more mature self looked back at this episode, that I realized that this was her way of preparing herself for her departure from This World. Like those on the “Ani Maamin” Holocaust train where this niggun was composed, she too was fortifying her emunah in the coming of Mashiach, and the ultimate happy ending, the geulah sheleimah. May we be zocheh in our day!
—Layale Jacobowitz (Berkowitz), Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Very, very, touched by your story. This classic, as we all know, captures the pain of the Holocaust, as well as the unwavering emunah in Mashiach and geulah. May we merit for it to come speedily, and and be reunited with our loved-ones. Amein.
(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 791)