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For the week ending 25 March 2017 / 27 Adar II 5777

Jared Lazarus and Reuven Garber - "Derech Achim"

by Rabbi Shlomo Simon
The Color of Heaven Artscroll

Jared Lazarus (31)

Johannesburg, South Africa
Born: Johannesburg, South Africa
Moved to Sydney, Australia at age 11

Macquarie University, Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting 2009
University of Sydney, Masters in Education 2010

Smicha: Rav Dovid Ostroff; Pirchei Shoshanim 2014

Center Program 2005 - 2006

What happens when you combine two brothers-in-law both from South Africa, who both learned in the Center Program/Pisga at Ohr Somayach in Jerusalem, both followed the same career paths in University, both received smicha, who live near each other and are both talented musicians and singers?

The result is: Derech Achim!

Jared says: “We started our band because we felt that we have a passion for music and that we wanted to add a different dimension to Jewish music that is both deep and connecting through the exploration of different genres of music not traditionally touched upon.”

One must see the music video on YouTube https://youtu.be/wGCpvTEkJfU to understand what Jared means.

The instrumental music is alive and professionally executed and the harmonies of the vocals are quite complex, surprising and beautiful. The accompanying video is also perfectly matched to the music. Jared and Reuven both play the guitar, and Jared also plays the piano. There are accompanying musicians on other instruments.

Jared was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and moved to Sydney, Australia when he was 11 years old. His family is traditional. He went to Masada, a Jewish School in Sydney, which, while kosher and Orthodox, emphasized secular learning. After high school he came to the Center at Ohr Somayach, which had just started a program for South African/Australian post-high school students, and spent a year here before going back to Australia for University. After each academic year Jared would return to Ohr Somayach to learn until the next academic year started. After finishing his undergraduate degree in accounting, and his Master’s degree in teaching, he returned to Jerusalem and to the Mir Yeshiva. After a few years he travelled to South Africa to marry Nechama Carno, a young lady from a frum home in Johannesburg, who had learned in seminary in Jerusalem for two years. After their marriage they returned to Israel where Jared learned in Kollel and received smicha.

He now lives in Johannesburg with his and wife and three year-old son, and works for himself in real estate. He also co-authored a book on “Chassidus”, which should be published shortly.

Of his experience in Ohr Somayach, Jared says: “Taking an impressionable 18 year-old and helping him gently navigate the world of Torah is not an easy task. The Rabbis at Ohr Somayach were incredibly well equipped to handle the complex dynamics in each student, and provide catered solutions for everybody, no matter what their background. The learning was outstanding and it instilled a feeling of both a chashivus (importance) of Torah, and, more importantly, a passion for Torah.”

Reuven Garber (27)

Born: Johannesburg, South Africa SA

UNISA (University of South Africa), Bachelor of Finance 2014

Smicha: Pirchei Shoshanim; Rabbanut of Israel

Reuven grew up in Johannesburg in a Modern Orthodox family. He attended the Torah Academy there though high school. After high school he came to the Center Program/ Pisgah at Ohr Somayach in Jerusalem from 2009-2011. He is married to the former Dina Carno, the sister of Jared’s wife. She also learned in seminary in Jerusalem for two years. They have three children, bli ayin hara. He learns full time in Kollel Shaarei Chaim in Johannesburg (when he’s not playing guitar with his brother in law). He says of his time in Ohr Somayach: “I had an amazing experience at Ohr Somayach. It taught me powerful learning skills that have equipped me until today to be in full time kollel. The lessons and guidance from the Rabbeim at Ohr Somayach will always be invaluable. “


As far as their future in music is concerned:

“Our plan is to continue to make connecting music and inspire people to come closer to Hashem through the art of music.”

Jared and Reuven hope to be releasing their next video next week. We eagerly await it.

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