Rabbi Shalom Levine z”l of The Megama Duo


shalom-levineIt is with sadness that we report the passing one week ago of Rabbi Shalom Levine z”l, better known as the surviving half of the duo known as MEGAMA. His partner Moshe Yess was niftar about two years ago.

As thousands of fans worldwide will attest, the signature chemistry that defined Shalom and Moshe was magical. The two met in Yeshiva D’var Yerushalayim in Israel, where Levine, a classically trained viola player, became Yess’s mentor in halacha and eventually his musical partner in the group Megama. Their vision was to communicate the beauty and timeless values of Judaism with a musical style that was a blend of decidedly contemporary Amercian idioms, including folk, R&B, Blues & Rock.

Because this was decades before promotional/marketing ‘tools” like email, viral videos, and social media, Yess and had to rely on something way more visceral to get their ‘brand’ out there – their talent. Their easygoing performance style and friendly charm translated well on stage and resulted in over 3 1/2 years of almost constant touring and recording. One whirlwind tour included 32 shows in 29 cities in 42 days.

Shalom related two weeks ago that what made Megama the success it was was the amazing degree of synchronicity these two stellar talents shared. Yess used to compose the songs himself without Shalom. He then brought the song to Shalom and played it for him. Shalom would listen intently, then play it back to Moshe on his viola usually with one or two changes or tweaks, to which Moshe replied, “Perfect.”

Gershon Veroba posted on Facebook: “I was so lucky to have known Shalom in my lifetime and I’m devastated that our reunion was cut so short. We spent time together in the studio just 3 weeks ago for the upcoming YESS TRIBUTE Double-Album and I’m glad he had a chance to hear it and perform on it. A, a great musician a greater man…I’ll miss him.”

Rabbi Levine was 61.

Yehi zichro boruch.

‘In the video below, The Megama Duo explore Jewish music as they journey through the ages during a show in the ’80s:

{By Yossi Zweig, Matzav.com Newscenter}