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8th Day: Behind the Lyrics

by Jewish Music Reporter July 23, 2013

How does the Chassidic Rebbe, Reb Zusha of Anipoli, inspire non-Jewish record engineers to give it all they got? What do today’s youth have in common with the Cantonist degree in the times of Tsarist Russia? What song is going to be sung when Moshiach comes?

These are some of the questions 8th Day co-founders, brothers  Shmuel and  Bentzi Marcus, answered in an exclusive interview with the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute’s Torah Cafe, entitled “Behind the Lyrics.”

Speaking of lyrics, many fans wanted to know what inspired the hit song “All You Got” with its chorus that sings:

Because in this life you only have what you got
So give it all you got

“There’s an old Chassidic tale of Reb Zusha,” explained 8th Day singer Shmuel Marcus, “who said that when he goes up to heaven they’re not going to ask him why he wasn’t like Moses; they’re going to ask him why he wasn’t like Zusha. What we take from this story is that your job is to be the best you [that is] possible.”

Reb Zusha’s message of being the best you possible even influenced the hearts of the non-Jews working on the song.

“A lot of the sound engineers in the studios really identified with it,” said 8th Day guitarist Bentzi Marcus.

Another song that impacted a wide range of listeners was the soul-stirring song, “The Rabbi’s Son.”

The song was inspired by the terrible decree in Tsarist Russia, where Jewish boys were abducted from their homes and thrown into the Russian army. When they were released from the army, they often had trouble acclimating back into their communities.

“You may have people like that today,” said Shmuel Marcus. “They’re not abducted by the army, but for whatever reason they don’t have the formal education, and sometimes there heart is on fire, more than someone who did have a formal education.”

Watch this fascinating discussion as well as insights into a few other songs on www.TorahCafe.com. For more about the band, visit  www.my8thday.com.

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