Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, better known as the Ba’al HaTanya, once said, “Words are the pen of the heart, but music is the pen of the soul.” The power of a niggun, a heartfelt song, to lift the spirits and inspire is legendary, and has been utilized by the Jewish People since their inception, when they sang the Song of the Sea after leaving Egypt.
For a number of years, the Denver Community Kollel has held a community-wide kumzitz at homes throughout Denver. This year, the Chanuka kumzitz reached a whole new level, as it was held at the East Side Kosher Deli, Denver’s premier location for kosher dining and products. “The kumzitz created an amazing amount of wonderful Jewish energy,” said Marcy Schreiber, who, with her husband Michael, owns and operates the Deli. “We were very honored to host this special event and look forward to hosting others in the future.”
The kumzitz attracted over a hundred Jews from all over Denver. Rabbi Mordechai Mandel and Rabbi Mordechai Fleisher, both members of the Kollel, as well as Moshe Schwab, son of Kollel Dean Rabbi Aron Yehuda Schwab, provided lively music on their guitars, as those in attendance put their hands together and joined in joyous song.
Besides the inspiring music, there was plenty of opportunity for socializing, as community members had some time to schmooze and enjoy the warm, friendly atmosphere. “The Kollel members have the rare ability to combine serious Torah scholars with an ability to connect with people,” says Harvey Pacht, a long-time participant of the Kollel’s varied learning opportunities and programs. “It occurs for me as an authentic expression of being a Jew.”