Singer and composer Udi Davidi is releasing a Chassidic song for the first time. A number of months after the release of the album Mechakeh LeSheket, which has already been chosen as the album of the year by a number of places, he is releasing a new song together with Israel’s Yedidim Choir. The song entitled Im Amarti Matah Ragli, composed originally by R’ Meir Shapiro of Lublin, the Rosh Yeshiva of Chachmei Lublin and establisher of the Daf Yomi program, whose Yahrtzeit fell out this Shabbos.
There is an interesting story behind this song. One of the times that R’ Meir entered the Yeshiva that he was the head of, he saw the difficult lives the Bochurim there led. They slept on wooden benches and were hungry. He Told himself that this is not the way for Bnei Yeshiva to learn Torah. He took some of his belongings, and went on a fundraising trip, looking for money for the Yeshiva. He went to any place he could think of, but did not see any success in his trip. While on the journey back home, he counted the money that he had managed to scrounge, and saw that it didn’t even cover the expenses of his trip! Tired and broken, he returned to the Yeshiva, and sat down on a bench. His students surrounded him, and he was enveloped in a deep sense of sadness. He then began to sing the sad, quiet composition, to the words of Chizzuk “Im Amarti Matah Ragli Chasdecha Hashem Yisadeini.” This is the first part of the song.
The next day, a stranger entered the Yeshiva, tall and unknown. It was clear that he was not there to study Torah. “I’m looking for R’ Meir,” he said. “What do you need from R’ Meir?” asked the Shammes. “I would like to speak to him privately,” while the Shammes was trying to push him away by telling him that R’ Meir was busy. The man pushed his way through though, until he reached R’ Meir. The two quickly connected, and the Jew, obviously a rich man, told him, “You strengthen the Torah, and I will worry about all of your financial needs.” R’ Meir couldn’t believe the simcha he felt. Overcome with emotion, he grabbed the two hands of the man, and in front of the eyes of all of the bochurim in the yeshiva, started dancing and singing a new tune for the same passuk, but this time the tune was happy and excited, and that is the second half of the song.
R’ Meir didn’t have any children of his own, and he used to say that he had two children, the Yeshiva and the Daf Yomi. May this Niggun be an aliyah for his neshama!
Udi Davidi is currently working on an album of original songs, including a number of Shabbos songs with original tunes, and more. Im Amarti is the first single off of that new album.
Click PLAY below to hear the song