Growing up, Meilech Kohn didn’t like it in the Yeshiva. He was the quiet kid who liked to daydream and hum nice tunes, and his fellow students were so miffed by his strange ways that they shunned him altogether, refusing to speak to the awkward child. Increasingly distraught, he retreated into his inner world, which was increasingly consumed by writing songs and melodies. Eventually, he decided to drop out.
Much to the chagrin of his parents, Meilech left the fold of his tightly-knit Hasidic community. He moved to Los Angeles, then Puerto Rico, then Texas. He listened to any kind of music he could find, and continued to teach himself his craft. By the time he was ready to return home and recommit himself to religious life, he contained multitudes.
These myriad influences are evident in his music. Listen to “Ve’Uhavtu,” the smash hit rocking Jews from Williamsburg to Bnei Brak these days, and you’ll hear a little bit of everything: Techno music, Mediterranean pop, touches of trip hop, the musical patches of a life spent traveling, listening, and opening up the ears and the heart.
And now, to welcome Shabbat in a particularly jaunty fashion, enjoy Meilech’s finest. I dare you not to dance: