It's been 12 years since I recorded an album of original music, though I've been writing compositions throughout this time. (Thanks for your patience!) I tend to write songs for occasions, and over the past decade-plus I have had so many moments to celebrate life's blessings: the birth of my daughter Channa (Kein Tikaneis), and in the blink of an eye, I was writing a song with her (S'mores); the birth of my son Micah (Y'varech'cha), and the opportunity to encourage both of my kids to become the best people they can be (Be A Mensch). My parents celebrated their journey through life together at their 40th wedding anniversary (With Joy We Come Together), my nephew David became Bar Mitzvah (Awesome Journey), and others close to my family became Bat Mitzvah (Gal and Achoteinu). Many of these songs were written at my beloved second homes, URJ Camps Swig and Newman (Shalom Rav, Ma Rabu, and V'samti Makom). Other songs were created at communal Jewish gatherings or at the request of some of my mentors (Al Kein, N'sia Kedosha, Stop! Look! Remember!, One Small Flame, and Pitchu Li). Some of these songs are just silly parodies with fun learning opportunities, celebrating the joy of life and being in a Jewish community (Hey! There, in the Nile, a... and Shabbat-bat-bat!). I could not have done this project alone - it really does take a village! I am tremendously grateful to my wonderful, extremely supportive wife Tammy for believing in me, for encouraging me to continue to write music and to release a new CD, and for giving me the time to do it. Channa and Micah fill my days with joy and giggles and I am in awe of all the blessings they bring to my life. Enormous globs of thanks go to my enthusiastic and loving family and my amazing network of friends - they all inspire me and have faith in me and my music. Working with my unbelievably gifted cohorts to create this product was truly a treasured opportunity. Bringing my Yidlets and their Chavurah of close friends to the studio was also a special treat. I feel so very blessed to have all of these people in my village. May these lyrics and this music inspire you as you go through life's awesome journey! L'Shalom, Cantor Wally P.S. Listen for Cantor Marcelo Gindlin, Sue Epstein, and the Pacoima Middle School Singers under the direction of Scott Mandel, who also sing on this CD!
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