Through rain, sleet, and snow . well maybe just snow, Jews from all over made it their business to attend this past Sunday night’s Big Event at the WaMu Theater in Madison Square Garden. Lipa Schmeltzer, along with other great Jewish entertainers, performed to an energized crowd of men, women, and children. The sold-out event included entertainers such as Dedi, Yeshiva Boys Choir with Eli Gerstner and Yossi Newman, and an appearance by Abie Rotenberg. Sheya Mendlowitz was the producer and Yisroel Lamm provided the music.
Eli Gerstner, in an interview on matzav.com
, said that this event was the most talked about since last year’s planned event that never happened. He was of course referring to the Lipa concert that was banned by certain gedolim
. This year, the event made it through, with the permission and brachos
from various gedolim
The concert featured not just the usual singing, which goes on at many Jewish concerts, but a whole performance, and very apropos to the month of Adar. Throughout Lipa’s performance, there were men dressed up in different costumes, in addition to the various costumes that Lipa himself donned.
Lipa also delivered a siyum in middle of the concert. What a remarkable contrast to see how Jews celebrate and what their forms of entertainment are, such as having a siyum in MSG. “It was really inspiring to see so many Jews there at once,” remarked an enthused Rivky from Brooklyn. “I had an awesome time.”
In between songs, there was something to watch on three large videos above head. Some of them were comical, and some were inspiring, such as the one dedicated in memory of Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum, a”h, who was Mendlowitz’s mentor. Rabbi Teitelbaum started the original Pirchei Boys Choir, as well as Camp Sdei Chemed. He was also a rebbi at Torah Temimah and pioneered the “Dial-a-Daf” program.
The crowd was very enthusiastic and really got into it. There were some boys who got up to dance, and others just danced in their seats. “The singers really got you into it and made you want to sing along. I loved it,” exclaimed Batsheva from Brooklyn. There was a real need for such a simcha. Even Lipa pointed this out in an interview he had with matzav.com. He said he felt Hashem gave him this special koach to entertain, and during these hard economic times, the audience needed some uplifting.
Besides Lipa there were other exciting performances as well. The Yeshiva Boys Choir, now called the Pirchei Choir (as Eli Gerstner pointed out) performed, revamping Pirchei’s old classical songs. And Dedi made a special appearance from Eretz Yisrael.