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Attitude of Gratitude

by Jay Rapoport

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"I WANT TO BE FORGIVEN" (by Jay Rapoport) CHORUS: I did something wrong I want to be forgiven Give me the strength To do what’s right 2x Because I was angry Because I didn’t think Because I was exhausted and on edge Because I’d been drinking (ALT LYRIC FOR KIDS: "Felt like I was sinking" Because I can be mean I was reckless and selfish Because I thought I could get away with it CHORUS Because I’m in pain I wish I could undo it Because I hurt him Because I lost her trust Because I let them down I was self-destructive That’s not who I am It’s not who I want to be Oh bring down my walls of defensiveness and self-righteousness Help me to stay humble Please CHORUS
"WE CAN'T GO ON LIKE THIS" (by Jay Rapoport) If you’re surprised you ain’t been paying attention To tragedies too numerous to mention So I gotta put my two cents in Cuz we can’t go on like this It’s mundane to hear of a shooting And we can’t agree on a solution So we fight this battle we’re losing And we can’t go on like this So we wake up each morning And pray for a change While we keep doing the same things day after day But there’s only sorrow and tears and pain If we can’t find a different way Oh, if we can’t find a different way Woah... You say don’t make this about voting And it’s far too soon to be so outspoken Can’t you see our poor world is broken And we can’t go on like this I wish we could all work together And find ourselves a way to be better To heal the hurting forever Cuz we can’t go on like this So we wake up each morning And pray for a change While we keep doing the same things day after day But there’s only sorrow and tears and pain If we can’t find a different way Lord, if we can’t find a different way So don’t shut me out, I won’t ignore you Take just a minute for a different point of view Things are so bad we’ve got nothing left to lose You know it’s in the cracks That the light pours through Ooh... Let’s wake up tomorrow morning and work toward a change And stop doing the same things day after day And push through the sorrow and tears and pain Maybe we can find a different way someday Maybe we can find a different way
"WE ARE TOGETHER" (by Jay Rapoport) Part I We are together It’s so nice to be together Cuz when we are together It’s so good Part II Hinei mah tov Hinei mah tov umah nayim Shevet Achim Shevet Achim gam yachad Part III Hi...nei Hinei mah tov Part IV I clap my hands I move my soul
150th Psalm 03:38
"150TH PSALM" (by Jay Rapoport) Play a note Sound a signal Beat a drum Move your body Tell a story Draw a picture Take a silent breath Let it out slowly.... CHORUS Take a minute to admire, applaud, appreciate your blessings Just celebrate, clap your hands, cry out, give thanks Rave about it, recognize it, sing it loud and strong... Smile, stand up and cheer...oh Hallelujah, Hallelujah (2x) For powerful moments For acts of loving kindness For radical amazement For being alive Think back on the memories Of a hundred fifty years (count up all the years) Add up the experiences Gather up the tears CHORUS Kol haneshama tehalel yah (4x) Hallelujah, hallelujah (4x)
"LOVE OF MY LIFE" (by Jay Rapoport) For Rachel on our 10th wedding anniversary, in honor of Grace and John If you go, I'm going with you When you're gone, I'm by your side Cuz my life is all about you You're the love, love of my life CHORUS: Love of my life, love of my life I am yours, you are mine Love of my life, love of my life You're the love, the love of my life If you smile, if you cry (tears and smiles are for you)... When it’s dark you’re the light If you sing (songs are all for you)... I will always hold you tight If you love... In the end, we’ll be all right
"CREATED FOR YOU" (by Jay Rapoport) For Emet I remember the spot where I was standing When I heard we were having you And from the day we first uttered your name I smiled at our secret truth Yeah, you were our secret truth CHORUS: You prince among men, descended from Kings Strong and Graceful, honest and true We are but dust and ashes and yet This whole world was created for you, my boy This whole world was created for you A home full of love has been waiting To not just be three (us) anymore We've had a good run but we're over the moon Becoming a little bit more Yeah we're becoming a little bit more CHORUS Doc said your future isn’t written yet son It’s whatever you make it, so make it a good one Before we find justice, saving the day You need truth, to find your way Seeing your sister hold you the first time With each shining face like a mirror I can barely stop smiling Cuz our boy is finally here Yeah I will never stop smiling cuz our boy is finally here CHORUS
"EVEN MORE" (by Jay Rapoport) For Ruthie Here is the little girl I carried Not so little these days Growing and learning and singing and shining Surprising me in all sorts of ways There’s one thing I didn’t count on When I held her in my hands All the love I felt for that baby girl I couldn’t begin to understand CHORUS: Cuz with every passing year And every changing season As much as I loved you before Deep in my heart Where you’ve lived right from the start Every day, I love you even more Once upon a time it was the three of us All attention in her direction Now there’s a little boy at play, we’re busier than yesterday But don’t ever think we have to split affection There’s one thing you can count on When I hold you in my arms All the love I felt for that baby girl Has multiplied beyond CHORUS One plus one well that made two And soon what came along was you And just when I thought I had everything Everything became much more Three was something, now we’re four And the love I had was nothing like the love I’m feeling now CHORUS
"KI KAROV EILECHA" (by Jay Rapoport) Not in the heavens Or beyond the sea The thing to do Is right in front of me And to your best self Try to be true Ki karov eilecha It's near to you CHORUS: And these words Are not beyond the sea Ki karov eilecha Lo Bashamayim hi Not in the sky But close to me Ki karov eilecha Lo Bashamayim hi And these words Are not far away Not in heaven That you should say Who will go there And bring them back That we may hear them So we can act CHORUS From your heart to your mouth Look deep inside Let the words be your guide CHORUS
"I NEED A MOMENT" (by Jay Rapoport) I need a moment of silence I need a moment of peace I need a moment without anybody or anything to do I need a moment alone with me To breathe, to pause To hear my own voice I need a moment of silence I need a moment of peace I just need a moment I just need a moment Ooh... I need a moment of action I need a moment to make it happen I need to take this energy and this rage And find a way to make the world a better place To build, to dream To take a stand I need a moment of action I need to make it happen I just need a moment I just need a moment (2x) Ooh... I need a moment of love I need a moment of hope I need a light to shine on the darkest night Break through the clouds and set me free To feel, to be real To hold on tight I need a moment of love I need a moment of hope I just need a moment I just need a moment (4x) Ooh...
"MY PARENTS' CHILD" (by Jay Rapoport) For my parents I am My parents’ child My sisters’ brother My grandma’s dream I am My child’s parent My partner’s love And they are me CHORUS: There are those Who came before Shaping me I tell their story There are those I come before May they Tell my story I am Part of the chain Holding tradition In changing time I am Finding my voice Seeking meaning Making it mine CHORUS I am But one of many Can’t move the mountain On my own I am Part of something Bigger than me It calls me home CHORUS I am My parents’ child My sisters’ brother My grandma’s dream I am My child’s parent My partner’s love And they are me



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For my third Ruach Rock studio recording project, I’ve been thinking about building community and teaching text through music in a whole new way. After crowdfunding my first two albums of Jewish piano rock in NYC produced by my friends and colleagues Glenn Grossman (the 50s Rock & Roll-styled “With All Your Heart,” 2010) and Toby Singer (the 60s Motown-inspired “They Tried To Get Us, We Won, Let’s Rock,” 2014), I was ready to make my first Chicago recording project in early 2020.

A few events led me to this moment in time. First of all, I no longer had a child under 2 (which also influenced the timing of my last project). In addition:

* A congregant at Temple Sholom of Chicago had recently told me that my theme song from 2014, “Ki Karov Eilecha - It’s Near To You,” still resonated with him, to the point where he had brought it up at family dinner on more than one occasion, and he asked if I planned to record it.

* I received a voicemail from my former teens from Congregation Rodeph Sholom in New York City telling me that they were traveling on their confirmation trip to Europe and started singing my theme songs from a decade ago.

* I walked by a Religious School classroom at Temple Sholom and overheard a teacher saying, “...and what does B’chol Le’vav’cha mean?” Several hands shot up and the correct answer came in chorus, “With All Your Heart!”

* I ran into a rabbi at a shiva and we played Jewish geography for a bit before realizing that our paths had crossed more than a decade ago, at which point he began singing my theme song from 2009 when we had worked together, “We Are All Connected.”

* A new Religious School faculty member sent me this note regarding my latest theme song ("We Are Together"): “Somewhere in Olam Ha-bah (the world to come), Debbie Friedman is smiling.”

Each of these interactions reminded me that you never know the impact that you may have on another person, and that music touches souls in such a unique, precious and lasting way. Over the years, I’ve accumulated a number of Jewish texts that my current and former students still remember and recite because of my songs - some of which are fairly obscure!

Meanwhile, I was busy writing on a variety of subjects: adaptations of Jewish texts, social justice, t’filah (prayer) and family life. My theme song texts from the past few years at Temple Sholom included Psalm 150, Lo Bashamayim Hi, and the 1000th version of Hinei Mah Tov. I also started creating my own English interpretations of prayers, with a focus on the Amidah (standing prayer), and wrote new songs for my wife and children. Finally, I have been moved to compose several times over the years in Iight of numerous tragedies involving gun violence, an issue that not only impacts Chicago, but the American Jewish community as well, and indeed our whole country. I did a lot of my composing on guitar, late at night, and on the porch swing at URJ Camp OSRUI, where I originally recorded a cappella versions of several of these songs way back in summer 2019.

As an educator, I naturally started thinking about curriculum that I could build around these concepts, similar to my HUC-JIR MARE Capstone Project - “Ruach Rock T’filah: Creative Prayer for Teens,” which I piloted fully at the Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School in 2017. I continue to be passionate about making Jewish concepts and text relevant and accessible for all ages. (I’ve also come up with a few solid Passover song parodies!) In 2020 I began leading an online "Attitude of Gratitude" service which included many of the compositions that ended up on this album.

My greatest musical joys over the past few years have included forming a Berklee College Brass Band to perform with a talented group of my musical friends at the URJ Biennial in Boston, touring the country with my “Mi Chamocha Freedom Songs” creative prayer experience, and leading late-night singalong jams at the Hava Nashira Jewish Music Conference at URJ Camp OSRUI. I’ve also had the pleasure of leading T’filah with my Religious School students, teens and preschoolers since 2014 as Director of Lifelong Learning at Temple Sholom of Chicago.

Since 2018, I’ve been blessed to be part of an amazing new Jewish musical community, Jewish Rock Radio's “Chicago Sings,” co-founded by Laurie Akers and Rick Recht. Every few months, Laurie gathered a growing lineup of local(ish) Jewish singer-songwriters for collaborative musical performances sharing their original Jewish music, which have been supported and broadcast by Jewish Rock Radio. This group has been feeding my musical and spiritual soul, and I can’t get enough!

As I started to contemplate putting a new collection of songs out into the world, and how it could honor the community connections I’ve built in Chicago, I couldn't think of a more fulfilling way to make it happen than with my “Chicago Sings” community. So I invited these talented people to join me in bringing these songs to life with some good old-fashioned group singing that has defined our communal sound. Ultimately, I hope that the recordings will evoke the feeling of sitting in a living room with friends gathered around the piano, singing out in joy and sorrow.

I was all set to record in early 2020 when the pandemic hit. And so, I put the project on hold, even though I could feel the songs pushing to be heard. As so many of my musical colleagues got creative about socially distanced possibilities for collaboration, I started to see a way to make this music beyond my original vision of gathering in a local studio, and this also afforded me the opportunity to work with a longtime friend and jam partner, Zach Singer, based out of Austin, Texas.

Zach is a guitar genius who began defining his own production sound during the pandemic. We met in 2005 at Hava Nashira and for many years would jam on our favorite classic songs into the wee hours of the morning. I was inspired by his energy, his creativity, and the bond of our friendship to work together via Zoom, text message, and occasionally email to bring these songs to life. Zach found a way to connect the music and the people together in a way that I couldn't have imagined, but for which I am so incredibly grateful. Making this album was a dream come true in so many ways, and I could not have done it without him. He put together a narrative through the songs that tells a story of struggle, community, gratitude for family, acceptance, longing and identity. Zach found the musicians, created the arrangements, played every single guitar note, and tweaked each song to my specifications while keeping his eye on his vision of a jam-soaked 70s funk journey through time and space.

As Zach says: "Put on your headphones and get your gratitude on."


released January 21, 2022

Produced by Zach Singer for Star Guitar Records
Copyright 2021 Maxfun Music (ASCAP), all rights reserved

Dedicated to the memory of Grace & John Tarini, who inspired me to move to Chicago and raise my family here.

With endless gratitude to my family - Rachel, Ruthie & Emet - who supported me making this album in countless ways, including giving me the time and space to record, listening to every version of every song every time we got in the car, singing along, and each inspiring their own songs.

As always, I’m grateful to my parents Nancy & David for being my most longstanding fans and endless supporters, and to my sisters Alexis & Dena for keeping our weekly calls full of matching laughter.

I have such gratitude for the people who "Kickstart"-ed and "Jewcer"-ed my Jewish music career. So many things became possible with the support of my village believing in me. I do my best to pay it forward.

Major gratitude also goes to the vocalists, flautist and graphic designer who donated their time and talent, as well as the friends that lended their ears and eyes to this project to help me make it the best it could be.

Laurie Akers (3, 9)*
Steven Chaitman (3)*
Cantor Susie Friedman (3)*
Dan Lee (3)
Kenneth Lyonswright (3, 7, 9)*
Cantor Andrea Markowitz (3)*
Rachel Mylan (1, 2)
Cantor Jay Isaac O'Brien (3, 9)*
Beth Reinstein (3, 8)*
Zach Singer (1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8)
Cantor Abbie Strauss (5)
Cantor Shanna Zell (9)

*member of Jewish Rock Radio's "Chicago Sings"

Lead Vocals, Piano, Rhodes, Wurlitzer & B3 Hammond Organ: Jay Rapoport

Bass, Acoustic & Electric Guitars, Ukulele, Mandolin & Mellotron: Zach Singer

Drums & Percussion:
Walker Adams (3, 4, 7, 8, 9)
Paul Pinon (1, 2, 5, 6)

Cello (7): Dan Lee
Flute (8): Rabbi Donald Rossoff

Graphic Design: Rick Lupert
Executive Consultant: Cantor Ross Wolman
Listening Ears: Rachel Mylan, Kenneth Lyonswright, Shwa Losben, Donnie Cutler & Sue Horowitz

Jay Rapoport vocals, piano & keyboards, Laurie Akers vocals & Rabbi Donald Rossoff flute recorded by Andy Shoemaker & Jason Schmidt at Rax Trax Studio in Chicago, IL

Bass, acoustic, and electric guitars recorded by Zach Singer at Star Guitar Records in Austin, TX with additional recording by Weldon Taylor Fulton at Premier Music Academy in Round Rock, TX

Rachel Mylan vocals recorded by Josh Goldberg at Kosher Style Records in L.A., CA

Cantor Shanna Zell vocals recorded by Joel Edinberg in Boston, MA

All other vocals and instruments recorded at home

All songs arranged, recorded and mixed (unless otherwise noted) by Zach Singer.

"We Are Together" mixed by Zach Singer with Matthew Silberman
"Even More" mixed by Zach Singer with Dan Lee
"I Need A Moment" mixed by Tom Deis

All songs mastered by Tom Deis

All songs written & composed by Jay Rapoport
except "I Want To Be Forgiven," with lyrics adapted from Mishkan HaNefesh, published by CCAR Press

Join the fan club: Facebook.com/ruachrock

Follow Jay on Twitter @jayrapoport

For lyrics, chords & other resources (including the Ruach Rock Tefilah curriculum) or to join the email list, visit ruachrock.com


all rights reserved



Jay Rapoport Chicago, Illinois

Jay Rapoport, RJE takes Jewish values and texts and transforms them into “Ruach Rock”, a catchy piano-pounding style influenced by Ben Folds and Billy Joel. In 2020 Jay appeared on the Disney Holiday Singalong, defeated his former student on “Who Knows One?” and received a Covenant Foundation grant to compose the theme song for the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland’s “La-bri’ut” curriculum. ... more

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