Archive for June 2019

This show includes live, moving, beautiful Yiddish music including 'Shein Vi Di Levone' - 'Beautiful Like the Moon' at 58:00 minutes. Be inspired. Share it!)

Learn about 'Quickenings' through music, when a person with dementia comes out of themselves. Fascinating!  


Welcome to Episode 26 with Aaron Lightstone. For some reason I am feeling an overwhelming sense of joy and awe because of this schmooze. These feelings started when I booked Aaron, a friend of twenty years, to do the show, and were strong throughout the interview and afterward. I believe the reason my response is so powerful is because..... 

Aaron Lightstone is mostly a music therapist at heart. For about 50 minutes of this 80 minute episode, Aaron talks about playing music for people who are dying. Think about that. A person is leaving this earth and their loved ones asks a man who is well-trained as a therapist, is highly proficient on the guitar and who can sing, to join the most private inner sanctums a family can create where the soul of a family member is slowly escaping them and beginning to rise toward the heavens. And Aaron does join them. And he is entirely present through his music, throughout the divine journey starting on earth, that man/woman are taking. What an honor.

While in the room, Aaron plays music the individual loves. He tells us in this interview, how he listens for the dying man's or woman's breathe and he plays according to its rhythm.  My God! His metronome is the person's heart beat.

Sometimes Aaron plays and sings Yiddish songs and other times, improvised notes and chords built upon eastern music.



Episode 26 of Hatradio! is spiritual in nature. Listening to it is like hanging out in the forest surrounded by nature's brilliance. Near the second half of the show, Aaron tells us about a band he helped create made up of members with severe physical ailments such as cystic fibrosis. It is called Bliss I-Band. Their instruments? The I-pad. How do some play their instrument? Well Samantha, a member, moves her head and buttons on her the headrest on her wheelchair sends a message to her I-Pad and she plays.

Listen to this Youtube video. 'Heart of Gold' by Neil Young...perhaps one of the coolest jam ever, just like the leaves on a tree. 

( - watch this video on Youtube about the Bliss I-Band) 

Near the end of the show, Aaron and I schmoozed about Jaffa Road, a fusion band he formed in which he plays the oud, guitar and is a composer of many of its songs. Under Aaron’s leadership Jaffa Road has toured widely in North America, won a Canadian Folk Music Award (CFMA), the John Lennon Songwriting contest, and has 2 JUNO Award nominations.

So, I think I love this interview so much because I felt I was with an individual who is a regular guy who performs acts of kindness and who repairs the world a lot, through his music. I want to do what he does. I want to emulate his kindness. I believe, simply put, this shows personifies what Hatradio! is setting out to inspire through regular folks. 

What a wonderful world we share.   Hatradio!  The show that schmoozes (with regular folks). 

Thank you Howard Pasternack for your post-production work. I love my Thursday nights with you. Well done to David Nefesh, a fine singer/songwriter, for his HATRADIO! song. You start and finish the show. You're our holy book-ends Dave! :) 

Credit for music in commercial: 
Slow Burn Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

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Greg Rogers is from Fredericton, New Brunswick. He has an accent from Eastern Canada. He stands about 6 feet and has longish white hair with wicked sideburns. The thing about Greg is, he's as brash and straightforward as you want people to be with no qualms about calling anyone out, especially himself. 

My old friend, 62 years old, who helped me when Ve'ahavta was established as the executive director of Na Me Res (Native Men's Residence), told me in the interview about his walrus penis collection. He told me the first term he learned in Inuktituk which directed as his wife to be, "pull down your pants".  He told me a story of a 'zaidy' (Yiddish for grandfather), whose family lived in his building out east, who used to take all the kids in the neighborhood out in his Cadillac on Sunday. And Greg said, one day something went wrong in the house and he (Greg) called the Zaidy, 'you dirty Jew'.  He said, "that's how i thanked him for taking us out. I'm ashamed of myself." 

The man does not follow convention when it comes to schmoozing. He says what's on his mind, exactly in the way he hears stuff in his head. That is refreshing because so many of us are just so full of shit and believe our own fiction.  

And the thing about Greg is (and he denies this) he is a highly compassionate human being having spent most of his working-life managing non-profits, usually assisting the homeless. He and his wife adopted two children, and he has the ability to understand individuals especially very complex ones. Listen to this episode and discover:

1.   Greg's overwhelming love for his wife, and their romance in Northern Canada (he sent her love notes every day for a year in her native language).

2.   Our shared discussion about the early days of Ve'ahavta and Na Me Res, especially when his clients offered to scrub swastikas off tombstones in a Jewish cemetery in eastern Toronto, and ultimately did so.

3. His thoughts about hatred, racism, good and kindness. He candidly and honestly tells us about his early dislike of French Canadians, which he eventually overcame.  

Greg is an honestnon-judgmental man. He looks at himself and fixes what is broken inside of him. He feels entirely blessed to have a woman he loves (married for 32 years), a wonderful career and great experiences in life.

Greg is a man to emulate and to be inspired by. And they simply don't get funnier that he is.

Hatradio! The show that schmoozes. 


Yisha Ko'ach (Yiddish for 'way to go') to David Nefesh for the Hatradio! song, and to Howard Pasternack for his post-production work. They help make the show what it is. 

Credit for music in commercial:
Slow Burn Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

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Episode 24 Avrum Rosensweig, Just Me!


Episode 24 of Hatradio! is a first of its kind. It is a 1-man show, Just me!.

I quite enjoyed doing this segment. I enjoyed it because it gave me the chance to talk and hear my own history and how tikun olam (repairing the world) was so prevalent and a lead up to the creation of Ve'ahavta.

Doing this show was therapeutic. It allowed revisit my past and 'hang out' with my zaidies and boobies (grandfathers and grandmothers). I adored telling the story of my mother, Gitel, walking through Queens Park with her father on Shabbat, seeing that image in my head....the squirrels running past them, the two of them sitting on a bench giggling and telling stories about the old country. I loved talking about my father, Shragah Phyvle, and his two brothers, all of whom were community builders, and cared deeply about the Jewish people and Israel

I think when you hear about my family, their journey from Easter Europe and the solid lives they made in the West, you might consider aspects of your own life, your parents and grandparents. You might smell the mothballs in their homes as we did in our grandparent's home, and recall the communication challenges you had with the Boobie, as we did. They were warriors though. They worked arduously. They were beautiful spirits. They lived their lives with verve and purpose and truckloads of love.  

And then their is the second half of the show about the genesis of Ve'ahavta. Man, those were something. They were glorious and golden years. Everything shone. I remember telling my girlfriend at the time, Roz, to remember the coat-hanger we'd purchased for our new office because it was the first coat-hanger of the first Jewish humanitarian organization ever.

In this segment you'll hear about our homeless initiatives including our Mobile Jewish Response to the Homeless and our Ve'ahavta Street Academy for the Homeless.  You'll learn about our international work including medical missions to Guyana in Bartica and the rainforests, and the outstanding work we did with our teams through the brilliant efforts of Dr. Michael Silverman. You'll discover our successes at the Howard Hospital in Zimbabwe, through the tenacity of Scarborough born, Dr. Paul Thistle who has made a life for himself there.

Folks, we met superstars. We were mentored by them. We shared with them. We were exposed to divergent cultures, different peoples, the children! Oh, the children! 

Our toil was holy in its own way and I loved every minute of it.  Every frickin minute. 

The greatest challenge doing this podcast was being articulate throughout the 1 hour and 40 minutes but mostly telling a good story, that flowed, was cogent and consistent - that made sense.  Howard and I worked on the post-production and while it wasn't the most editing we'd ever done we had to listen closely to ensure a poetry of words. And I think we figured it out. I think you'll enjoy the show.

Have a listen and let me know what you think. Share this link as I am hoping people will be encouraged through it to pursue their own dreams and enhance our world and those whom we share this planet with. 'm hoping our community of listeners here, will see their blessings and recognize what we have, versus what we lack. That is not easy, but it is do-able. 

Hatradio! The show that schmoozes (with regular folk). 


Thank you to David Nefesh for creating the Hatradio! song. David's been my brother since we're eight year old. We adopted each other. He's talented as hell. Do a google search on David Nefesh and listen to his music. He has a voice of an angle and his lyrics live.  And thank you to Howard Pasternack, my friend, for his post-production work which he does consistently every Thursday afternoon - Thursdays with Howard. We have amazing times together, editing but more so, attempting to understand the world. He's a fine teacher and cerebral partner. Well done Howard! 

Credit for music in commercial:
Slow Burn Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

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Massimo Capra was thirteen, living in a small town in Italy, when he first started working in a kitchen. Today Massimo is fifty-nine and a superstar in the Canadian culinary industry. If you’re into restaurants, familiar with Prego, Mistura and good food, then you’ve heard of Massimo and/or delighted in his handy work - superlative food

But the real thing I've discovered about Massimo, over the years and through this interview, is that he is a decent man with a generous spirit. Indeed, Massimo does not reflect those silly stereotypes we frequently see of head chefs. In his words, "it's hard to bring out the ugly" in him.

Massimo is the type of fellow you feel safe around. He laughs a lot even when we schmoozed about his near-death experience last year. He told us, the doctors said he may not live through the night, and Massimo laughed. (I didn't when I had my heart attacks). It's clear, humor is the walking stick he leans on unabashedly! And his thick Italian accent makes every sentence he utters seem so damn fun, tasty and scenic!  


Massimo is the son of a dairy farmer. They were "poor, poor, poor". So early on this highly talented man, learned about sharing. Massimo understood he'd have to work his ass off  to accomplish his dream of one day being a self-made man. Today he is. Massimo owns a successful restaurant in Clarkson, called Capra Kitchen and has three others licensed in his name: one in Niagara Falls, another at Toronto airport and a third in Qatar. And he found love over thirty years ago. He adores his wife

When I opened the door to my place to greet Massimo, I was delighted he had brought with him his beautiful Rosa. I think he did because he likes being with her and she clearly gives him lots of support. Similarly, Marty Galin was the co-host of this show and all of us go way back as buds.

Rosa and Massimo seem the type of couple who hold hands after a few decades of being together. You know those couples? 

Rosa is a demur, quiet but a strong woman who gives balance to Massimo's very effusive and big character. The two suffered a terrible loss last year when their son, Andrew passed away in Prague. Man, such a loss! Sometimes i was unable to find words to say to them (like we all get after hearing of such a tragedy). Marty and I knew Andrew. He was a good kid.

But in truth, Massimo and Rosa have strong inner selves, powerful love between them and their son, Daniel, and they are rooted firmly to the ground. I like to think this interview helped to bring Andrew to life in a way, for a moment, and give his parents some happiness at the gift of having had him as their son. Rest in peace, dear Andrew.

I like to think Hatradio! has the ability to give people gifts.

So this episode (23) of Hatradio! is a special show because Massimo, Rosa, Marty and I were back together again. It was like the old times, days passed when we were all involved in TV shows like ‘Beer Buddies’ and many radio shows. We reminisced about those days and our famous dinners at Mistura Restaurant, an upscale eatery once co-owned by Massimo. We thanked Massimo for taking Marty and me seriously. Some chefs did not. 

We schmoozed about the genesis of Massimo's beet risotto;  the process of creating recipes; how Massimo was never interested in being the best (i think he wanted just to be happy); how he was kicked and abused by mentor-chefs in his early days (sometimes the stereotypes are true) and his appreciation of our friendship and the gifts he has in life. 

Listen carefully to our interview with Massimo Capra, and be inspired by his joy (real joy, not the bullshit joy people put on), his drive to create and his intentionally strong hold on every second of life. Hear his laughter. You get this sense he's mocking the devil and saying, 'you'll not make me unhappy Devil. I love life way too much.' 

Hatradio! It's the show that schmoozes (with regular folk). 


Credit for Music, the very talented, David Nefesh.  Credit for post-production:  the very detailed (unlike me), Howard Pasternack.

Credit for music in commercial:
Slow Burn Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

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