When I was younger, I strived to emulate my two older brothers. I did so in many ways, but I particularly wanted to mimic their passion for playing an instrument. Others told me that I was too young and should wait a year or two to begin. Then Rebecca Teplow took one look at my fingers, after her piano lesson with my eldest brother, and told me that now was a perfect time to begin. I was thrilled.
For the next seven years, my Sundays were occupied with lessons, and my days with piano practice. Rebecca never gave up on me, even when I was ready to quit. Her faith in me is what compelled me to keep playing.
On Sunday, March 10th, Teplow presented a concert of her own musical compositions, based on psalms and prayers, at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades in Tenafly. New Jersey.
On stage, Rebecca Teplow was a prayer. From her voice, to her body language, to the way her hands moved upwards as she sang songs of God’s comfort and our duty to serve Him, it was clear that her voice was rising to God.
“Our voice is a loan from God.” Teplow read, as she prepared to sing her first song, a Maimonidean verse called “Ani Ma’amin.” Each of the twelve songs was preceded by an introduction, where Teplow discussed the layers of meaning. In her words, we must surrender our ego and trust God because we are all merely instruments of God. As she noted, God is playing through us.
Truly, it was not hard to recognize the presence of God in Teplow’s voice. Each sweet note was chilling and inspiring to hear.
Teplow, a singer, composer and arranger, is a classically trained violinist who studied under Itzhak Perlman. Over the years, she turned from instrumental performance to creating music, and her compositions combine her classical sensibilities and her deep sense of spirituality. For her, all of life is a Godly dialogue.
Miriam Lichtenberg is a senior at SAR High School and a participant in Write On For Israel.