The Story behind the Song: Only with Love

A message that every parent, rebbi, and teacher knows deep down

He reached out to talmidim with love, and however far they were, the gap narrowed to arm’s reach. The traditional modalities of chinuch were part of Rav Dovid Trenk’s approach, but so was any innovation, any tactic, any means that would bring Torah to them. When Yisroel Besser’s newest book, Just Love Them — about the legendary rebbi who impacted thousands of lives and families — was ready for publication, Rabbi Gedaliah Zlotowitz and the team at ArtScroll felt that they could best reflect Rabbi Trenk’s personality by also going out of the box in order to promote his enduring message and bring the secrets of his successful approach to the public.

What better medium than song, and what better man for the job than singer-composer JOEY NEWCOMB, a rebbi himself? “When I was asked to compose a song in honor of Rav Dovid Trenk’s yahrtzeit and the printing of Just Love Them, I had to first listen to the stories about this amazing man and try to experience what he had done for so many people. And then Sruli Besser sent me this incredible pasuk from Hoshea 11:4, where the Navi says (referring to Hashem drawing Am Yisrael to Mitzrayim with gentleness, mercy, and love) “Bechavlei adam emshecheim, be’avosos ahavah — I drew them with the ropes of man, [which are] cords of love.” Once I received that beautiful idea, the song came to me within minutes. It resonated, too — I now consciously try to live that way. I’ve seen throughout my own life that the rebbeim I’ll always remember are the ones who showed us they loved us no matter what.”

The music video, sponsored by Rabbi Trenk’s talmid Jonah Bruk, has gotten tens of thousands of hits in the short weeks since its launch. “Just Love Them” might not be a chiddush, but the song tugs at the heart, and it’s become a mantra to carry home a message that every parent, rebbi, and teacher knows deep down.

(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 819)

Just Love Them
Joey Newcomb