The Deaf Man in the Shtiebel (4-Minute Acapella Song)

The Deaf Man in the Shtiebel (4-Minute Acapella Song)

My favorite CD for the sefira period is the Lev Tahor series…and here’s my absolute favorite from Lev Tahor 3. The song tells the story of a cantor’s deaf father who finally hears his son pray one Yom Kippur. Get your kleenex ready, JewishMOM:)


Just the deaf man in the Shteeble and to everyone’s surprise,
He comes to Shul each Shabbos, and he prays with tear filled eyes,
His son is the Chazzan, but his voice he’s never heard.
But he sits there enjoying every word.

He watches every motion every gesture that he makes,
And he stays till the very end however long it takes.
And when the Davening is over, he’s the first to reach his son,
And the deaf man in the Shteeble says well done.
Now it’s right before Yom Kippur, in the Shteeble there is fear
They want to start Kol Nidre but the Chazzan’s still not there.
The Shul is filled with people, as the night begins to fall,
But the deaf mans chair stands empty by the wall.

Then suddenly the Chazzan, he comes rushing through the door.
He’s wearing his white Chazzan’s hat he’s never worn before.
He pauses for a moment at his fathers empty chair, and quietly he wipes away a tear.

Then he runs up to the Beema, for there’s no time left to waste.
And half the Shul can hear the rabbi ask “how come so late?”
“Oh just getting ready for Yom Kippur” is all he’d say,”But now, I’m going up to pray”
And he takes his place surrounded by the holy torah ring,
And in a voice so beautiful he beings to sing,
Oh every heart was broken, oh and every soul burned bright,
From his Kol Nidre that Yom Kippur night.

And when he finished Davening, the rabbi asked to tell,
What was it he was thinking of that made him sing so well.
“Well you know my dad was deaf” he said, “last night he passed away.
It’s the first time that my father’s heard me pray”
And he takes his place surrounded by the holy Torah ring,
And in a voice so beautiful he begins to sing.
Oh every heart was broken, oh and every soul burned bright,
From his Kol Nidre that Yom Yippur night.


  1. maybe i over-analyse things, but although i enjoy this song, i always wonder why on earth the rabbi of the shul didn;t know that the deaf man had passed away? And once the chazzan had paused by his father’s empty chair and silently wiped away a tear, or even once he noticed that the deaf man, who comes to shul each shabbos, wasn’t there for kol nidre, why didn;t he realise that something must be wrong with the deaf man? and that maybe asking the chazzan why he was so late was a rather insensitive question, and he should instead have asked if everything was ok?

  2. Tziporah Miriam

    Such a sweet thing to think about, Ahuva. I always imagined the rabbi asking in a kind way, like asking “is everything ok?” in a less intrusive way. I always thought like you did, of course the rabbi knows something is wrong, and probably already knows what happened, and is just opening the conversation. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Miriam Friedman

    This song is a parody of a song by David Geddes – “The Last Game Of The Season (A Blind Man In The Bleachers)”

    • I heard this first over 20 years ago, sung by Country Yossi who I assumed had written it. Thank you Miriam for your clarification.

  4. Eric Sternberg

    I don’t know who wrote this song but it is one of the most amazing and wonderful heart-felt songs that resonates with a level of my Jewish neshama that rarely awakens. I am in tears whenever I listen to it and words, although having the potential to express beautiful thoughts, fail to capture how this song makes me feel.
    I am grateful.

  5. So beautiful and sad ๐Ÿ˜ญ

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