Menachem Toker Calls New Schmelczer Song “Buha” a Bizayon for Rav Chaim Kanievsky


menachem toker[Update below.] When Israeli broadcaster Menachem Toker received a copy of a new song from Lipa Schmelczer’s B Positive album to air on his radio show on Radio Kol Chai, he made an unprecedented decision not to broadcast it, feeling that it is disrespectful to one of the greatest Torah leaders of the generation, Rav Chaim Kanievsky shlit”a.

The song is called “Buha,” an acronym for the words brachah v’hatzlacha, the general brachah given by Maran Rav Chaim Kanievsky to the many people from all over the globe who visit him for a brachah. Rav Kanievsky is known for his vigilance in regard to speech and will often say “Buha” rather than enunciating the full two words.

The song mentions Schmeltzer’s visits to Rav Chaim Kanievsky, the Tosher Rebbe and the Skulener Rebbe.

The song was composed after Schmelczer visited Rav Kanievsky and asked for a brachah. Rav Kanievsky said, “Buha. Buha.” Not know what it meant, Schmelczer asked one of Rav Kanievsky’s grandchildren, who explained that it stands for brachah v’hatzlacha.

Schmelczer explained that he learned from this how careful gedolim are about their speech and devorim beteilim, “weighing every word uttered and not speaking more than necessary, yet they honor every person.”

The song, however, seemed to cross the line with some people.

“I have been a radio broadcaster for the past 18 years,” said Toker, “and I have never banned a song from my show. As someone who speaks on air to hundreds of thousands of listeners, including tens of thousands of yeshiva bochurim and avreichim, I feel that this song, which can be understood as an attack on Rav Kanievsky, will be received negatively by the audience. I told the managers at the radio station that I mean what I said. I will not promote a song that contains such terminology in relation to one of the greatest gedolei Yisroel, whose teachings and blessings all of Klal Yisroel relies upon.”

The management of Kol Chai has supported Toker’s decision and ordered the station to be firm about not playing the song.

Update: Despite sources earlier indicating to the contrary, Toker now says that Radio Kol Chai, not him, banned the song. “It’s not me who banned it. It was supposed to be on my show today, but they banned it and chose not to play it.”

{ Israel News Bureau}


  1. For the record, Rav Chaim does not say “buha” out of concern for devarim betaylim. In fact, it doesn’t even fall into that category since it stands for something that is far from dvarim betaylim bur rather is part of divrei kedusha. The reason he says “buha” is due to his advanced age, ad meah v’esrim. It is hard for him to speak so he says that instead of the longer “bracha v’hatzlocha”. By doing this, he conserves whatever strength he has for as long as possible.

  2. Boruch Hashem. There is still hope that certain lines cannot be crossed. I never heard of the song nor knew it existed but if it in any way belittles our Manhig Hador then Kol Hakovod to those who stand and protect the Kedusha and the Kovod of our Torah

  3. In a recently published article, Lipa had this to say: “Levitin and Tirovolas [secular neuroscientists- yg] helped me understand that opposition to my music is not necessarily a religious opinion but a brain condition.”

  4. “will be received negatively by the audience.”
    Will he at least play Lipa’s song “Positive” from the new album where he sings about negativity

  5. ?מדוע מרן הגר”ח קנייבסקי שליט”א מברך בראשי תיבות בו”ה‎
    היה זה בחול המועד סוכות תשע”ג כאשר עלו ובאו המוני בית ישראל לרבינו שליט׳׳א לקיים מצוות הקבלת פני רבו ברגל ולהתברך מפיו בברכת החג, באחד מימי חול המועד ישב רבינו וקיבל את הבאים, במשך שעות ארוכות עברו לפניו אלפי אנשים וטף הממלאים את ביתו ורבינו שומע את אלפי הבקשות לברכה ומברך ומאחל בקצרה ״ברכה והצלחה׳׳ כדרכו, לאחר כמה שעות ננעלה הדלת כדי שרבינו יוכל לנוח מעט. כששב רבינו לקבל את הקהל, שמענו שמברך את הקהל בקיצור נמרץ, ובמקום שהיה רגיל לברך בברכת ״ברכה והצלחה׳׳, התחיל לברך במילה אחת ״בו״ה״, בתחילה היה נראה כי כדי לזרז ולקצר את המוני האנשים עושה כן, אך מאז ועד היום ממשיך רבינו לברך כמעט את כל מי שמבקש את ברכתו, ועונה ״בו״ה״, רק פעמים בודדות עונה ״ברכה והצלחה״. באחד הפעמים שאלו לרבינו שליט״א למה מקצר כל כך בברכותיו, הלא יש ענין גדול לברך כל אדם מישראל, ונאמר ואברכה מברכך, והראה רבינו את דברי הרמב״ם בהלכות דעות פ״ב ה״ד שכותב, ״לעולם ירבה אדם בשתיקה, ולא ידבר אלא או בדבר חכמה, או בדברים שצריך להם לחיי גופו וכו’, וכן בדברי תורה ובדברי חכמה, יהיו דברי החכם מעטים וענייניהם מרובים, והוא שצוו חכמים, ואמרו לעולם ישנה אדם לתלמידו דרך קצרה״ וכו’, (יש לציין שבמכתבים תמיד היה רבינו כותב בו”ה במשך כל השנים). והוסיפו לשאול, למה כששואלים מרבינו ברכה לרפואה עונה ״רפואה שלמה״ ואינו מקצר “רפו״ש״, ואמר רבינו מניה וביה ״כי הרפואה צריכה להיות שלמה, לכן לא מטפיק רפו״ש, וצריך לומר מלא רפואה שלמה, אבל ברכה והצלחה היא אותה ברכה גם בקיצור של בו”ה׳׳.

  6. the level of torah & yiddishkeit has gone way down since the crazy rocken music was brought to the jewish family home. it comes straight from a goyish ta’am with just the words changed & causes our holy children to lower themselves & C”V lower themselves more.

    protect your children now before its too late chas v’shalom. remove all music that have a goyish taam that are effecting our torahdike children & bringing them down in yiddishkeit from your homes. you will be so grateful to Hashem when you see your children with a torah outlook versus a rocken outlook in life.

  7. Anyone who listens to his music or to any of his interviews it is obvious that Lipa has an agenda.

    That is to “kasher” and to validate his way of life.

    It not just Jewish music that happens to be rocky.

    Its rappy that happens to be sung by a Jew.

  8. I listened to the song and I don’t see what is disrespectful about it. Some people may just be uncomfortable with new music forms but many great gedolim have said that music is not mekabel tumah.

  9. I don’t understand – they won’t play music which might be considered an offense to the Gadol Hador, but to play other “music” which might be offensive to HASHEM’S TORAH – THIS THEY WILL PLAY??? Of course we should be sensitive to the Gadol Hador’s kavod – BUT WHAT ABOUT KAVOD SHOMAYIM?????

  10. He also said in an interview that he has no problem with women in his performances but the olem is not “yet” ready for it.

  11. How is this song disrespectful to R’ Chaim and why is it worse to mention a living gadol in a song then singing songs that mention tannaim ?

  12. the fact that carlbach nigunim have lasted for so long and are sung by so many different sorts of people and whose nigunim are part of the nusach of baalei tfiloh the world over, attests to the fact that, shlomo carlbach had some very special z’chus that has allowed his music to stay alive

  13. Those insulting “new” jewish music is humorous! You do realize most of the songs you listen to and don’t have a problem with are 50’s -70’s music repackeged. Maybe mixed with alittle’s also even funnier when you consider klezmer itself was criticized by European rabbis.

  14. for all those out there that think they will have no backing if they stand up for kavod hatoroh here is your proof that klall yisroel admires and respects such people and will give them there full support

  15. All of u don’t understand how stupid u sound if the worst thing p eople were doing was listening to lipa we would be in good shape and this song is actually being mevhabed r chaim