Matisyahu’s Song for Sick Boy Just Before His Petirah


matisyahu-elijahBy Matisyahu

A few years ago, a man approached me in shul with a request for me to meet a young boy with cancer. I had become somewhat numb to any requests asked of me in shul, as I get hit up all the time for all sorts of things when all I really want to do is pray and leave like any normal person.

After some time and persistence on this young man’s part, I agreed to meet Elijah on the upper West Side. I was immediately taken by him and we became friends. He would come to shows, we would text each other, and a year ago I went to surprise him at his bar mitzvah and sing with him at the party. He asked me if we could record a song together and as the year went on, it sort of fell off my radar.

Late last year we had a show in Florida and Elijah came. After the show he asked me again about the song and we made a plan to go into the studio. The next day I got a call that he had been admitted to the hospital and was too sick to leave. My friend and guitar player Adam Weinberg and I realized Elijah might not have much time to do this, and so we went to hospital with a little home studio to write and record a song. After 2 hours of trying to get a clean recording of his voice, I was getting tired and frustrated and so Adam and I went into the hallway to get some air. I told Adam I didn’t think we could get a recording: “Neither of us are sound engineers.” Adam convinced me that we may not get another shot, ¬†so we went back into the room and wrote and recorded a song with Elijah. The ideas for the music and majority of the words came from Elijah himself. We walked out of the hospital around 12 am feeling good about Elijah and his song. The next day I got a text that he had passed away in the middle of the night.

Elijah was an amazing young man. He had a life filled with heartbreak and struggle yet he maintained his faith in God and his love for life. I never saw him express anger, and within a few minutes of meeting Elijah it was obvious that you were not there to help him, but rather his presence was able to help you. He brought so much light to those around him through his sense of humor and the love that he exuded. Before he departed from this world he left us a gift that I believe will bring strength to many of those going through struggle in their lives. It is called “Elijah’s Song.”

A great deal of credit is owed to Kids of Courage and Chai Lifeline, who tirelessly gave of themselves to ensure that Elijah and countless others have the absolute best medical care and concern throughout these difficult struggles.



Click here to donate and download the song.

{Noam Newscenter}