"This song reflects that we’re all in it together — and we won’t be waiting forever"
In a room that feels empty / sitting all alone / Where just two candles glow… so begins Bonei Olam’s new “VZAKEINI” song to be released this week, a sequel to the hit single that launched the project two years ago and inspired a wave of emotion and deep empathy, crystallizing into the Vzakeini group effort. Through a $1 donation and a prayer said at candlelighting, 40,000 Vzakeini members worldwide are now offering their support weekly to a couple facing the heartrending challenge of childlessness.
Rabbi Boruch Goldbergerer is the brain, and the heart, behind the initiative that connects families the world over with Bonei Olam’s clientele. “One client told me that on the week that her and her husbands’ names had come up to receive the Vzakeini tefillos and donations, she lit her candles with the feeling that she was not alone,” Rabbi Goldberger relates. “Although her home was utterly quiet and still, she knew that 40,000 women were joining her in her pain and her prayers. This couple had been told by doctors that even with medical intervention, there was less than one percent chance of them being able to have children. Two weeks after the Vzakeini list carried their names, they went for a pre-treatment check-up — and were told that the treatment would not be necessary: Good news was already on the way.”
No one can possibly know the length of time any couple will wait and yearn to set up a family, and no one can quantify the heartache they will endure. Yet it’s clear from Vzakeini clients how supported and encouraged the couples felt by the thousands of members who were holding their hands through the darkness. Rabbi Goldberger realized that the incredible hardship of waiting for an indeterminate length of time is mirrored by the wait we all endure as we long for Mashiach to arrive, when the tragic scenes of galus melt into sunrise. Who is holding our hands through the bitter years? Our Father, Who carries all our pain and holds on tight through the suffering.
When he brought this concept to Mrs. Chayale Neuhaus, the composer and lyricist responsible for “A Yid Never Breaks,” Chayale used an original melody she had composed some time ago and wrote fresh lyrics that are direct and poignant. Doni Gross’s golden touch brings together vocals from Baruch Levine and Benny Friedman, and there is a sweetness to the tone, reflecting the sweetening of challenge through togetherness and support.
There is also, somehow, a familiar echo. “Once the chorus begins,” Doni says, “it pulls you in with a certain familiarity. You can sing along with it easily and naturally, almost as if you knew the song before, although you don’t.”
A children’s choir sings the final chorus: Tatte, it’s hard to keep waiting /But you’re right here with us / holding our hand / all together our cries will be stronger /and pierce through the heavens / again and again
“One reason the Vzakeini initiative is so powerful is that it’s a Klal Yisrael initiative,” Doni says. “We can all take part with just one dollar and a piece of our hearts. This song reflects that we’re all in it together — and we won’t be waiting forever.”
(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 900)
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