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New Song from Waterbury Mesivta – “What I Need Most”

New Song from Waterbury Mesivta – “What I Need Most”

This translates to mean “In the rock caves where you stood- there you acquired your splendor and your strength”.
The literal reference is to the twelve years that Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai and his son, Elazar spent in a cave hiding from the Romans. During those years, they ate only carob fruit and dedicated their time to furthering their growth in Torah knowledge. Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, in his stone cave, acquired glory through his learning. Until today, this great Taanah and author of the Zohar is celebrated. Every year tens of thousands of people visit his grave on Mount Meron on the day that his holy soul returned to heaven.

Rabbi Kalish shlita often speaks of a practical way these words can be applied to our lives. In the course of our lives, each of us experience moments, events or periods that are extremely difficult. To us, those may feel like rock caves. We may feel confined, or in the dark. Left alone or surrounded by rigidity. It is there, exactly in that place of strain, where we have the capacity to reach our own beauty and the maximized level of the strength inherent within. By pushing through and revealing this inner power, the words of this piyyut come alive in our own worlds.

Rabbi Kalish shlita goes on to explain yet a deeper understanding of how these words can apply to our everyday lives. In this explanation, the caves of stone refer to the places in our lives that we are afraid of. Each heart knows what makes it constrict and want to withdraw. It may be a phobia, an unresolved argument, a broken relationship or even a dishonesty with oneself. The things that you are most afraid of, the things that you fear most, those are your flags. Those rock caves, home to the greatest fears we own, they hold the key to our true grandeur. To the brightest, most honest and most potent versions of ourselves.

Concept & Lyrics: Temima Schiller
Vocals & Co-Writer: Aryeh Barnett
Produced By: Hillel Kapnick (
Recorded @: Uptop Studios (Monsey, NY)
Cover Design: Huda Krupka

Special Thanks to:
Moshe Pifko for your expert insight and assistance throughout this project

Aharon Maslin for your indefatigable help and incredible patience in making this song possible.

Shout-out to AY, YMS, & the Halpert family! Couldn’t have done this without you.

-Song Background –
There is a stirring piyyut written by Rav Shimon Ibn Levi in honor of the famed Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, the 2nd-century tannaitic sage. In his eloquent tribute, Rav Shimon Ibn Levi writes:
במערות צורים שעמדת, שם קנית הודך והדרך.

Been living on the defense
Thrown across an ocean from my goals
Life is making no sense
Riding in between the highs and lows

I’m so used to falling, Why
What else can I try?

Maybe what I need most
Is hidden deep in caves of stone
The places that I fear most
That seem so dark and so alone
Let down the walls, walk through the pain
Make friends with the demons that I locked away
Maybe what I need most
Is where I fear to go.

Looking out the window
Im jealous of the way the eagle flies
Unburdened by the errors
Nothing in the past can keep him up at night

Lie awake in the moonlight, I
Can’t quiet my mind


I remember being younger
Full of hope and full of wonder
You close your eyes once
And when you wake up
You’ve lost it all.

But I’ve been feeling
Finding meaning
And it slowly starts the healing
I’ve been searching
Finding Pieces
Of everything I’ve left behind

Maybe what I need most
Is hidden deep in caves of stone
The places that I fear most
That seem so dark and so alone
Let down the walls walk through the pain
Let it build me and break me till I find my way
Maybe what I fear most
That’s where I need to go.

And that’s where I gotta go
And that’s where I gotta go
That’s where I gotta go

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