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They Tried To Get Us, We Won, Let's Rock!

by Jay Rapoport

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    Each song page features lyrics, notes for discussion and conversation starters - enjoy!
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"I LIKE TO DANCE ON SHABBAT" (by Jay Rapoport) I like to dance on Shabbat Yes I do I like to dance on Shabbat Do you dance too? I like to dance (7x) I like to dance on Shabbat Zipper song: Sleep Eat Walk Schmooze Chill Clap Sing
"L'CHADAYSH ET HA'YASHAN" (by Jay Rapoport) CHORUS: L'chadaysh et ha'yashan Oo'l'kadaysh et heh'chadash "The old shall be renewed And the new shall be sanctified" So we do things in new ways Cuz we've been at this a long time The world keeps on changing But it still needs you and I The old shall be renewed And the new shall be sanctified CHORUS You got to renew the old And sanctify the new May have started with them Now it continues with you You don't have to complete the work But there's a part you have to do You got to renew the old And sanctify the new CHORUS You got to renew the old And make the new holy Sometimes it happens fast Sometimes it happens slowly Though time keeps moving on That Torah keeps on rolling You got to renew the old And make the new holy CHORUS x2
"TODAY IS THE BEST DAY" (by Jay Rapoport) The world is wide and I am small The grass gets green and it grows tall Time slows down to a crawl And I stand in awe of it all I don’t always know where I’m headed Sometimes I feel lost inside But I’ll never throw the towel in I’ve learned to enjoy the ride CHORUS: This is the only life I’ll live They call it the present ‘cause it’s a gift The hourglass sands may shift But today is the best day of my life The sky unfolds, no cloud in a hurry If I could fly I’d never worry Always be right where I’m going Still there’s something exciting about not knowing I don’t really know what I’m meant for Sometimes I get lost in my mind But I don’t need all the answers I’m happy with what I find CHORUS And when destiny comes calling I will open the door Smile as I look all around me And see everything I’ve been searching for The world is wide and I am small The grass gets greener and it grows tall Time slows down to a crawl And I stand in awe of it all
"AM HASEFER" (by Jay Rapoport) At first there was nothing but thoughts and ideas Tales of our people, passed down through the centuries Parents taught their children, that’s how it got around Until we had the bright idea to write all this stuff down CHORUS: That is why they call us the people of the book Our stories made us strong, some words was all it took If you think you’ve heard it all before, take another look We are Am Hasefer, people of the book Carved on two stone tablets we got the first ten rules The rest came with the Torah wrapped in an animal skin scroll Today we can surf the web or read it on a screen Now it’s up to you to fill the spaces in between CHORUS 3x
"GOD IS JUST A WORD" (by Jay Rapoport) “God” is just a word For the things we can't explain Like the feeling that you get Seeing a rainbow after the rain “God” is just a word For all that we believe It's bigger than just one idea Bigger than you or me “God” is just a word For the idea we have That doing good will lead to good And keep someone from feeling bad “God” is just a word For not being alone For knowing there's a reason For hoping there is hope CHORUS: Don’t be afraid to believe Don’t be afraid to be wrong In a roomful of people you’re never alone Just let yourself go, you already know that “God” is just a word “God” is just a word For the presence in our midst For wanderers in the desert A reason to exist “God” is just a word For what we cannot see A little bit of common ground Between you and me CHORUS “God” is just a word For someone to ask When we don't know where to turn And we just need something to grasp “God” is just a word For someone to thank When something that we dreamed comes true And takes our breath away “God” is just a word For the moment of quiet When you focus on your thoughts And who you are deep inside “God” is just a word For when we are together And we add to more than just our sum And it continues on forever CHORUS
"WHEREVER YOU WILL GO" (by Jay Rapoport) Inspired by the Book of Ruth & Ruthie Rapoport Even though it's only been a few weeks It's hard to remember my life before And even when I dreamed of your face I couldn't imagine what was in store Now every day I can't wait Til the moment you open your beautiful eyes And every time I watch you sleep I feel like all with the world is right CHORUS: Wherever you will go, I will go Your mom and I can't wait to watch you grow Whatever happens in your life you'll know As long as I may live I'll love you so It seems like we waited forever For the moment that you would arrive and even as we grew impatient You were exactly right on time Now every night I can't wait For my moment to rock you to sleep And every time I see you smile I file away a memory to keep CHORUS And though the days may seem long I know the years will feel short And though we just brought you home I know someday I will have to watch you walk out that door I can take a thousand pictures But I know the time will still pass by So please be patient with your old man He's been waiting for you his whole life Now every minute I can't wait To see what you're gonna do And I just have to remind myself Our parents once held us like this too CHORUS
PaRDeS 02:50
"PaRDeS" (by Jay Rapoport) Do you ever ask yourself (self?) What this is all about What our tradition says (says) About the here and now When we read a little text We interpret different ways There’s a tool that helps (helps) And we call it PaRDeS CHORUS: If you’re in search of meaning As you go throughout your day Read the Torah, And remember—PaRDeS! Peshat is the simple Remez is the hint Drash is the insight And Sod is the secret Look at what you see Is there something more What does it all mean? That you never knew before CHORUS PaRDeS is an orchard of meaning Sometimes reading is believing CHORUS 3x ending (2nd time: January or December)
"WE ARE BUILDING" (by Jay Rapoport) Part 1 We are building We are building the future We are building With our hearts, with our hands We are building Part 2 Glory to those who hope for the future is yours (We are building the future) Glory to those who hope for the future is yours (With our hearts, with our hands) We are building Part 3 We're not only children We are your builders We are your builders Al tikra banayich Ela bonayich, ela bonayich We are building Verse 1 We are building shelter for those in need We are building community our souls to feed We are building a homeland so all can be free We are building for you and me (all sing Part 1) Verse 2 It takes everybody to make it work It takes the different skills we bring It takes everybody to make the world whole It takes everyone to make shalom
"MY TEACHER, MY FRIEND" (by Jay Rapoport) Inspired by Meir Rotem & Pirkei Avot (the wisdom of our ancestors) Find yourself a teacher, and get yourself a friend Make time for the Torah, build for it a fence Let your heart be open, be cautious with your words Always work for justice, pursue peace for the world Every time I see you I learn something new CHORUS Baruch Hashem, Baruch Hashem Thank God for you My teacher, my friend Provide yourself a teacher, and remove yourself from doubt Stand up for others, and of yourself be proud Share your smile freely, try to get along Appreciate your blessings, sing another song Every day you tell me Things I never knew CHORUS You inspire us with your stories Your spirit and your journey Thank you for your wisdom I have been so blessed Every time I see you I learn something new CHORUS
"THE HOLIDAY SONG" (by Jay Rapoport) They tried to get us, we won (we won), let's eat! (let’s eat) They tried to get us, we won, let's eat! A little sorrow goes down easier with a big chunk of meat They tried to get us, we won, let's eat! A few times a year we get together for a great big meal Grandparents and cousins join us for a brisket or some veal This is how we celebrate that we can't be beat But it seems like all these holidays are just an excuse to eat They tried to get us, we won, let's eat! They tried to get us, we won, let's eat! When will they figure out we are too stubborn to admit defeat? They tried to get us, we won, let's eat! There was that time the Pharaoh didn't really want to set us free Or the other time when King Antiochus fought Judah Maccabee Or that other other time when Haman came up with an evil plot But every time we triumphed and those guys deserved what they got(Don't mess with us!) They tried to get us, we won, let's eat! They tried to get us, we won, let's eat! When you're chomping hamantaschen or a latke victory is sweet They tried to get us, we won, let's eat! Now when you look back at all we been thru Don't it make you think That we should have a feast including everything in the house Except the kitchen sink They tried to get us, we won, let's eat! They tried to get us, we won, let's eat! My momma's matzoh balls are such a tasty treat They tried to get us, we won, let's eat!


A new set of 10 original Jewish piano rock songs in Hebrew and English for all ages, including music for holidays, baby namings, teacher recognition and exploring themes of healing, theology, renewal and building community. Featuring Motown-style horns, the vocal harmonies of HUC-JIR cantorial and rabbinic students, a NOLA-style brass band and a special appearance by singer-songwriter Naomi Less.


released December 2, 2014

Produced by Toby Singer
Copyright 2014 Maxfun Music (ASCAP), all rights reserved

Executive Producers: Tirza Arad, Cantor Rebecca Garfein, Nancy Reder & David Rapoport, Dr. Ed Reder, Cantor Rebecca Robins, Cantor Michael Shochet, Rabbi Ben Spratt

This album was made possible by generous support from the Congregation Rodeph Sholom Religious School Parents Association in honor of the retirement of Tirza Arad

Dedicated to the memory of Sam Felder & Altonette Winston,
and the retirement of Tirza Arad

This album would not have been possible without Toby Singer, Steve Purcell, Shawn Setaro, Shanna Zell, Rachel Van Thyn, Amir Giveon & the Jewcer team, Tirza Arad, Kerith Braunfeld, Marcia Stein, Rian Nixon, Craig Taubman, Rick Recht, Ellen Allard, Merri Arian, Dr. Adriane Leveen, Cantor Rebecca Garfein, Rachael Evans, Jen Jurek, Aaron Hersh, Eric Komar, Lucy Batterman, Ben Ellerin, Joshua Finkel, Emma Goldin, Vladimir Lapin, Jay Isaac O'Brien, Daniel Reiser, Ben Barry, Shwa Losben, Dylan Gantz, David Olinsky, Deborah Sacks, all my contributors, everyone who posted/tweeted/liked the project, Mom & Dad, Dena & Alexis, and especially the incomparable Rachel & Ruthie Rapoport, who really know how to "dance on Shabbat"!

Thanks to all my incredibly generous supporters, especially my Executive Producers along with Abby & Donnie Cutler, Diane Firestone, Rabbi Lori Koffman and Rabbi Sari Laufer for helping to make Ruach Rock!

Lead vocals, piano & keyboards: Jay Rapoport
Drums & percussion: Steve Purcell
Bass guitar: Shawn Setaro
Guitars & additional keyboards: Toby Singer
Violin: Kenneth Feibush
Backing vocals: Shanna Zell, Naomi Less, Lucy Batterman, Emma Goldin, Toby Singer, Jay Isaac O'Brien, Ben Ellerin, Vladimir Lapin, Daniel Reiser, Joshua Finkel
Handclaps: Jay Rapoport, Toby Singer & Steve Purcell
Snaps: Jay Rapoport & Toby Singer

Tenor Sax & Clarinet: Mark Dover
Trombone: Jimmy O'Connell
Trumpet: Evan Honse
Tuba: Chanell Crichlow

The Rodeph Sholom Children's Choir features: Charlotte Beede, Genevieve & Phoebe Beirne, Julian Glickman, Angelica Grandizio, Caroline & Eve Hecht, Braden & Kaitlin Keil, Lila Kloss, Barak Landis, Mia Leshne, Rebecca & Eliza Merber, Sophia Sachar, Talia Sclar, Skylar & Sylvie Sherman, Jackson Solano, Jacob Steinberg, Paulina Steinman and Rachel Youngwood

Drums & Rhodes recorded at Let 'Em In studios in Brooklyn, NYC by Drew Guido

Grand piano & the Rodeph Sholom Children's Choir recorded at Congregation Rodeph Sholom in Manhattan, NYC

Upright piano, electric & acoustic guitars, horns, lead & backing vocals recorded at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion in Manhattan, NYC

Bass, keyboards, lead & backing vocals recorded at Rachel's Apartment in Queens, NYC

All songs written & composed by Jay Rapoport
except "God Is Just A Word," written & composed by Jay Rapoport with Toby Singer

All songs arranged & recorded (unless otherwise noted) by Toby Singer
& mixed by Toby at Atlas Hugged in Brooklyn, NYC

All songs mastered by Jonathan Jetter at Right Angle Recording in Manhattan, NYC

Art concept by Toby Singer
Art layout by Rachel Cahn
Photography by Rachel Rapoport

For booking, contact booking@ruachrock.com

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

This album is intended to spark conversations, prompt questions and get you thinking, talking and singing - ruach (spirit) is a great way to start interesting discussions!


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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