Just Be Yourself – Avraham Fried & Zemiros Choir

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A few years ago, Avraham Fried introduced the world to a famous saying from the Kotzker Rebbe ZT”L through a song. The song titled “Ich Bin Ich”, featured this tongue twister in Yiddish, which was a unique and unusual way for the Kotzker Rebbe ZT”L to say, “Just Be Yourself”.
Now with the three weeks upon us, Avraham wanted to take this opportunity and make this amazing message more universal. He chose this time of year when it is more important than ever to remember to be the best “you” and love your fellow friend like they were you.
When tasked with how to turn the original track into acapella for the 3 weeks, Avraham approached Zemiros Choir’s director and arranger Yoily Polatseck to take the reins. Zemiros and Fried have worked together many times over the past ten years, so it’s no wonder they sound so good together. Gershy Schwarcz who recently joined Yoily and his team at the Zemiros Choir, is also a producer and mixing engineer at Edgware Studios in Monsey. Together, both Yoily and Gershy worked tirelessly night and day, and created a phenomenal sound. Yoily with his magical touch was able to add a beautiful and modern vocal twist to the song while still keeping the Yiddish “Taam”.
Being that no real instruments were used in the process of this arrangement, Gershy added his touch both sonically using his engineering skills and vocally together with Yoily, by imitating the instrumentation vocally to perfection.
Now all that was needed was the visual element to really drive home the theme of the song. That is where veteran video producer Menachem Weinstein came in.
He took the simple idea of the song and what Yoily and Gershy created with the vocals, and weaved his magic, creating a vibrant video in which everyone will be reminded to be the best they can be.
#JBY (Just Be Yourself)

Photo Credit: Menachem Mayteles Photography

Composed by: Yitzy Waldner & Avraham Fried
Originally from the album: Ah Mechayeh – 2013
Performed by: Avraham Fried & the Zemiros Choir
Produced & arranged by: Yoily Polatseck
Co-produced, recorded, mixed & mastered by: Gershy Schwarcz @ Edgware Studios – Monsey
Vocal effects by: Yoily Polatseck & Gershy Schwarcz
Avraham Fried’s vocals recorded by: Yossi Tyberg @ Silversonic Studios – Brooklyn

Zemiros Choir members:
Yoily Polatseck
Yoely Friedrich
Duvi Hirsch
Toivy Friedman
Berl Karpen
Shloime Zalmen Perl
Gershy Schwarcz
Asher Roth

Video Produced by: Munch Media
Directed by: Menachem Weinstein
Edited by Menachem Weinstein & Yoily Polatseck
Executive Producer: Yossi Zweig
DP by: Chaim Moskowitz
BTS by: Menachem Mayteles


  1. Many many poskim hold that acapella is not acceptable during sefira ESPECIALLY if it includes an imitation of instrumentation. Hashem want Reb Zusha to be Reb Zusha….. but never to compromise on being a yarei shomayim and an ovaid Hashem. He wants us all to increase or ahavas Yisroel……… but only in ways that are Halachically and Hashkafically permissible and in sync with the increased mourning of this time period. Yes, we need to fix bain adam lachaveiro and maybe we have been desensitized to others and need a shot in the arm and a wake up call. . But this is a time period designated to mourn the loss of Bais Hamikash. There are 2 sides to every answer, but should we not be asking ourselves if this helps our ability to connect with churban or does it help us avoid connection with churban.


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