Long Island, NY – Once again, the Jewish music community has banded together, pooling its collective talents to help a fellow Jew in his hour of need.
A new single, entitled Berachamim is being released today to benefit Ilan Tocker, a 33 year old Cedarhurst father of four who suffered a traumatic brain injury last July. While doctors gave Tocker less than a 10% chance of survival, Tocker beat the odds and is recovering faster than doctors could have ever imagined.
Berachamim is the brainchild of producer Avi Newmark, who was overwhelmed by the rachamim shown to Tocker by friends and strangers alike. Sitting in the ICU waiting room, hearing of the kindness and dedication that total strangers showed Tocker as they davened, said Tehillim and made kabalos upon themselves, Tocker’s friends and family davened for Tocker, himself a compassionate person who lived to help others, to be shown the same Rachamim that Klal Yisroel was showing him. When Tocker proved the doctors wrong and came through surgery successfully, Newmark vowed to bring the lesson of Rachamim to the world the best way he knew how. In a song.
“There is no doubt in my mind that is the compassion and achdus that Klal Yisroel showed in such a dire situation is what gave us the miracle of that is the continuation of Ilan’s life,” said Newmark, in an exclusive interview with VIN News. “It wasn’t what any one person did. It was how everyone came together k’ish echad, b’lev echad, everyone, even total strangers, attempting to find favor in Hashem’s eyes however they knew how. Be it saying Tehillim, making a siyum, baking challah for Shabbos, giving tzedaka or just treating people with kindness, each act was a tefila in its own right. Those collective tefilos and the rachamim that everyone showed during this terrible ordeal brought about the rachamim that Hashem ultimately bestowed upon Ilan.”
Berachamim, composed by Ari Goldwag, features the talents of vocalists Benny Friedman, Ari Goldwag and Yitzy Spinner, guitarist Aryeh Kunstler, drummer Gal Gershovsky and engineer Ian Freitor. All proceeds from the sale of the song, which is available for 99 cent download on Mostly Music and iTunes, will go to the Ilan Tocker Foundation, which is helping defray the costs of Ilan’s lengthy illness.
While Tocker clearly has a long way to go in his recovery, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when he received his first aliyah since his illness at the Young Israel of Lawrence-Cedarhurst this past Shabbos. The entire congregation broke out in song as Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum embraced Tocker, announcing “the only words we can say are Tov L’Hodos LaHashem”.
The Cedarhurst community has gone all out to raise money for Tocker, holding cookbook sales, an arba minim fundraiser, a ping pong tournament and an upcoming Chanukah event in addition to local business making donations to the Ilan Tocker foundation.