The Official Jewish Songbook

Mesiras Nefesh Night Was Falling

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Mesiras Nefesh

Night Was Falling

Night was falling in the Russian camp,

Darkness, silence settled all around.

Icy moonlight lit the forest ground,

Casting shadows on the snow.

Among the cold drifts far from anyone,

Secretly a bris milah was done.

Notice of the father and the son

Could mean sure death in the snow.

In the day, in the still of night,

In the open or away from sight,

We will always keep the Torah -

And do Mitzvoswithout fear.


In the mountains, in the Russian planes,

In the streets and in the subway trains.

We are faithful to the Torah -

Ubisheim Hashem nazkir.

As they left their strength began to wane,

And each step was filled with bitter pains.

But Hashem saw faces filled with love -

Vayelchu shneihem yachdav.

They were then caught with the mila knife,

And the soldiers took the father’s life.

The son cried as he saw Kidush Hashem -

And Malachim wept with them -
Have no fear my son of knives and guns,

Hashem lee ma ya’aseh lee adam -

We must always keep the Torah,

And do Mitzvoswithout fear


Many years passed since that dreadful day.

Grass and wheats grew on that martyr’s grave.

And the son, for whom his life he gave,

Followed in his father’s ways.
So one dark night in the winter cold,

When his only son was eight days old.

He did as he had been shown and told -

A bris mila on that day.

In Mitzrayim and in Germany

The dark age and much infirmary,

We will always keep the Torah without fear.

A Chossid Is Weeping

A chossid is weeping his body wrapped in tears
He hasn’t seen his Rebbe for eight long years
His soul reaching upward yearning to be free
Enwrapped in golus the flame does burn

Rebbe oh Rebbe we are so far apart

But this letter I dictate is engraved in my heart
Hayom holaditi oh Rebbe hear my plea
And help me bear this harsh decree

Transcending limitations yearning to be one

A Rebbe to his chossid like a father to his son
Eight years later alive and free
A letter from his Rebbe he chances to see

Reb Mendel, Reb Mendel your letter I received

In all your bitter pain do not be grieved
Your suffering I see and soon you will be free
And once again return to me

Candy Man

In a shul he was known as the Candy Man,

Although he was the Gabai too.

A simple man, with no airs about him

He calls himself an ordinary Jew.

Every morning, the shul doors he opened.

He always was the first one of the ten.

And after the prayers were all over

He’d stay on behind the other men.

Old Abe Greenstein, he’s our candy man.

That simple man with no airs about him.

Old age Greenstein, the man that no one knew,

He calls himself an ordinary Jew.

On Shabbos, the children all flocked to him

When they made a blessing they would get a sweet.

Everybody said, “Good Shabbos” to him,

He was a friend of everyone he’d meet.

Well one Shabbos during service the boiler blew,

Flames leaped high with crackling sounds.

The congregation was waiting outside the shul

When the news got out… Abe couldn’t be found.


Where’s Abe Greenstein, where’s that candy man

While the fire inside the shul was raging

The congregation waited silently,

The rabbi just stood there and shook his head,

Without Abe… what will be?

Suddenly, before them stood old Abe.

With his clothes aflame and charcoal on his face,

He looked more like an angel than a man,

With the Torah scrolls clutched in his embrace.


Old Abe Greenstein…

Jews of Silence

In the midst of a distant country,

A prayer ascends to the sky;

“Hashem, Hashem, please have pity,

Oh, to kiss the wall before I die.”


Jews of silence we can hear you.

Jews of courage we are with you.

Soon the six million strong,

You’ll burst into song,

Bikibutz golioseinu

Jews of silence…

Along the road

Lartzeinu bikarov biyameinu

Just One Man’s Defiant Stand

(T.T.T.O. Listen Brothers—MBD and Friends)

The Kremlin’s eerie lights

Casting shadows so deceiving

Upon the crumbling remnants of our nation

A sad and sorry plight

Morale destroyed and shattered

For the heart of Russian Jewry was escaping
Just one man’s defiant stand

Up against the odds, against his land

Our hope, the power of the individual

If need be, I’ll fight alone

No matter what I have, it’s not my own

Reb Getche, our future is your legacy

The Rebbe’s holy face

For you, a distant image

How desperately you waited to perceive him

The Iron Curtain down

The gates begin to open

Freedom on the edge of your horizon

Just one man’s…


I’m a very tired and old worn out man,

And my eyes have long been blind.

Most things that people say to me,

Just seem to slip my mind.

Oh, but the sufferings and painful times

That were in years long gone,

Are still as clear upon my memory

As the number on my arm.


What will become of all the memories?

Are they to scatter with the dust in the breeze?

And who will stand before the world knowing what to say

When the very last survior… fades away?
When I hold my grandson close to me

And his fingers trace the pattern of my tears,

He asks me, “Grandpa, tell me why do you cry,

What is it that you fear?”

And I tell him, “There once was a little child,

Who smelled this sweet and felt this warm.

But he was taken from before my eyes

And only I remain to mourn.


What will become of all the memories?

Are they to scatter with the dust in the breeze?

And who will stand before a world that now wishes to deny

Will they believe in someone… who never heard the cries?
There is nothing I can say or do to make things change.

Time has a way of passing by so fast.

And like a fleeting shadow noone will recall,

The faces of the past.


What will become of all the memories?

Are they to scatter with the dust in the breeze?

And who will stand before the world, yet one thought gives me comfort

It’s all that I have left,

I know that G-d in heaven… won’t forget?

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