On Wednesday December 23, 2016 Rabbi Reuven Biermacher, was seriously injured in a stabbing by two Palestinian assailants near the Jaffa Gate and later died of his wounds. The death of Biermacher, 45, left his wife and seven children without a husband and father. As a result, a $1 million crowd funding campaign was launched featuring a free giveaway of a track called Hashem Hamelech 2.0 for any donation toward the cause. The track features a unique and inspired pairing of Israeli singer Gad Elbaz and American rapper Nissim. The song is an exuberant celebration of God and life. As of this posting, the campaign has raised $358,947.38 toward it’s goal. Donations can be made at hashemmelech.com.
Gad Elbaz’s music is unique in that he seeks to bridge the divide between secular and religious Jews by combining religious themes and phat beats. Nissim, for his part, is a veritable force of nature. A convert to Orthodox Judaism, Nissim was born and raised the Seward Park neighborhood of Seattle, where he continues to reside. He came from a troubled but very musical family and retired from a promising career in Rap music in 2011 in order to focus on his conversion. A year later he returned and we expect greater things from him.