The new album, which features 13 songs with English lyrics on the theme of Redemption and Moshiach, includes seven solo’s by the producers son, Mendel Rivkin.
This new album is being released now, in honor of and to mark Mendel’s Bar Mitzvah today, the 3rd of Adar 5770-2010.
The introduction of the song is sung here in Hebrew and continues in English according to a translation of the original song, developed in Chabad summer camps. The following is a description of the song as offered by the vocalist Mayer Rivkin:
The Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Chassidism, and his disciples perceived the Divine in every detail of the physical world. From the world around them, they used metaphors to bring to life how we should relate to the Divine.
One of the early great Chassidic masters was Rabbi Yehuda Aryeh Leib (1725-1812), renowned as the “Shpoler Zeide” – the “Grandfather (living in the town) of Shpola.” His devoted love for his fellow Jews and his many miraculous rescues of Jews from distress, made him into a legendary personage.
The song is a profoundly poignant expression of the Divine-human relationship – of G-d in search of man, and man in search of G-d. Our Divine Father grants free will to choose our path in life, while at the same time endowing us with power to find the right path. Though we may wander from Him, eventually we are prompted to return. But then reality sets in, and we realize how past deeds may have erected a seemingly impassable barrier between us and the Divine. Our implied plea is that, as our compassionate Father, G-d should overrule the “guards” He has placed to prevent approach by wrongdoers, and should allow His children to return even in defiance of His own rules.
Like other great Jewish saints, the Shpoler Zeide used to pray, every night at midnight, the prayer of Tikun Chatzos lamenting the “exile” of the Divine Presence that parallels and is caused by the Jewish people’s state of spiritual exile. In preparation for this prayer, he would sing this deeply moving song: “Kol Bayaar” – “a voice in the forest.” In the original composition, each Hebrew verse is followed by its translation in Yiddish and then Ukrainian. The first verse describes how our Divine Father seeks His children who’ve wandered off and have become lost in the forest of this world’s attractions. The second is His call asking where we have gone that we have so forgotten about Him. The third is His plea for them to return home, for He feels so “lonely” without us. In the fourth verse, His children reply that we are ready to return, but unfortunately cannot enter His palace, for the “guards” standing by the gate refuse to admit us.
Ultimately, in the last verse, Hashem offers his advise and instruction, that the way to connect with Him and bring the long awaited Redemtion, is through the learning of Torah.
A Voice In The Forest – Lyrics
I hear in the forest a cry and a shout
A father seeks his children who have wandered about.
Children, children where can you be
That you no longer remember me.
Children, children return to your home
For it’s hard for me to be here all alone.
Father, father how can we return once more
The guards are all surrounding the door.
Children, children Torah you should learn
Then Biyas Hamoshiach you will surely earn.