The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Beyond 12 Gates

Michael Shapiro has a new website (still under construction). He also has a new CD, River From Eden.

Of his five old CDs, my favorite is "The Sparkle of Sunlight" but they are all worth purchasing. They are very beautiful and very deep, about as far from Shiny Shoe music as has ever been written. They are certainly not for everyone but they will move you profoundly if you care to focus.

To my knowledge, the five old CDs (there is a sixth album but it was only produced in cassette form and is not currently available; the master has been lost) were written and produced while Michael was a ba'al teshuva, deeply influenced by Breslov Chassidus. Since then, he has turned away from traditional Orthodox Chassidus and joined the Jewish Renewal movement. He currently teaches classes in Phoenix, AZ.

The new CD was written and produced recently. I have ordered it but not yet received it. It will be interesting to hear how his music has developed as his views of Yiddishkeit have changed.

PLEASE NOTE: The "Teachings" section of the website is based on the "Jewish Renewal" view of Torah and is not mainstream Orthodoxy. I do not endorse or recommend it. Indeed, I was reluctant to link to the site itself but there is no denying the beauty and depth of his music.



  • At 8:09 PM, Blogger kishke said…

    Even if the master was lost, it can be remastered from the cassette. There will be some loss of quality, but it should be quite decent anyway.

  • At 8:59 AM, Blogger NekudaTova said…

    We recently contacted him directly, and he sent us a couple of his CDs. My husband is a big fan

  • At 9:41 AM, Blogger MoChassid said…


    I asked him about it a few months ago and he said it was not in the works. Perhaps now that he has gone to the trouble of setting up a website he will reconsider. I have never heard the tape but some of my sources tell me it's the best of all of the albums. BTW, it's called"A Living Generation".


    I have been sending people his way for the past five years. I found out about his website from a friend I recently referred to him.

  • At 3:26 PM, Blogger The Anchorite said…

    IMHO "beyond twelve gates" is his best, although "sparkle" is a close second. You once floated the idea of doing an album of contemporary musicians covering his songs, any chance of that happening?

  • At 3:44 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    the anchorite

    Sadly, no chance. On the other hand, based on a conversation I had with Michael today, there is a good chance that he will re-record A Living Generation in the relatively near future.

    I listened to Sparkle of Sunlight this morning. I haven't listened to "Gates" in a while but I am so blown away by "Sparkle" that I can't imagine anything is better. I will listen to it on my way home tonight.

  • At 5:55 PM, Blogger Gabi said…

    Return Home <-- best song (B12G)

  • At 9:16 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    I have to disagree with Anchorite after listening to B12G again. It is, indeed, beautiful. However, there are no songs as breathtakingly beautiful as the title song of The Sparkle of Sunlight and the last song Elijah and Elisha. If that song doesn't make you cry, nothing will.

  • At 5:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I vote for "A Living Generation". The song "Hold On" has helped me hold on through some very tough times. BTW, a bit of trivia that some might not know: the lyrics of the title song "A living generation" is based on a poem of HaRav Kook z"l. Of course, the Eliyahu/Elisha song is a masterpiece of p'shat...

  • At 5:07 AM, Blogger dmew59 said…

    Ve'Erastich Li remains for me the most beautiful, and spine chilling song. It is on the Reflections album done with Yehudah (Jerry) Katz, which I don't think was ever released on CD.

  • At 4:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Is he still teaching classes? If so, where?


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