Moshe Hendel Feiglin first picked up a guitar at age 15 years old, finding comfort and expression through music during his turbulent teens.
“I was angry and confused, and had typical bad case of the teenage blues,” said the Melbourne native.
After finishing high school in 2001, he spent a few years in Israel, primarily at Mayanot Institute of Jewish Studies, and it was there that he began writing songs, and performing music.
Feiglin is better known locally for his lead role in the Jewish function band ‘The Niggun Collective’ – which has played at hundreds of weddings, concerts and special events Australia wide. But it is his original folk project that lies that the heart of his passion for music. Recently the band decided to change the name of the band to ‘Feter Hendel,’ the affectionate title of Moshe’s great uncle, Chenoch Hendel Lieberman, OBM, the renowned Chassidic artist.
As a child Hendel was misunderstood, his Cheder teachers lacked the capacity to reconcile his artistic passion with his Chassidic responsibilities. In an interview, Hendel would recalled how his pages of Talmud would be full of pencil drawn illustrations, to the great dismay of his teachers. This lead to him leaving his community behind to study at the Moscow Academy of Art.
“I can really relate to Feter Hendel’s life story” Feiglin reflects, “He paved the way for a new form of self-expression within Chassidic life. There was a time where people felt that one had to make a choice between living as a Chassid and pursing your artistic dreams, but that has since changed…”
The Rebbe had a special relationship with Hendel Lieberman, encouraging him to paint, to recreate the images and scenes destroyed by the horrors of the Holocaust, and to hold exhibitions to share his art with others. Hendel knew the pain of the Holocaust all too well, his wife and two daughters were brutally murdered by the Nazis. He has no living decedents.
“I believe the Rebbe’s message to Hendel was profoundly simple, Feiglin explains, “Chassidus emphasizes the unity of all things, to elevate everyday experiences into G-dly ones. Music and Art are vehicles of expression, it’s up to the individual to decide how they can best express spirituality through these mediums…”
Feiglin’s band ‘Feter Hendel’ have just launched a crowd-funding campaign to help fund their newest musical venture. It follows the success of their first EP ‘Lost Treasure’ and promises to deliver all new material with a completely fresh sound. It will be recorded in the magical Belgrave hills by guitar legend Ben Edgar, and produced by musical prodigy Alex Burkoy. Feter Hendel also have plans for a music clip which will bring one of Hendel Lieberman’s paintings to life using ground-breaking 2.5d technology.
“I’m both excited and humbled by the outpouring of love, friendship and support that this music has created, and looking forward to sharing that with the world,” he told CrownHeights.info.