By Sandy Eller
Singer Benny Friedman is just one of the many artists to volunteer his talents for a new single, entitled Berachamim, being released today. The song, produced and directed by veteran producer Avi Newmark, is being released to benefit Ilan Tocker, a 33 year old father of four and resident of Cedarhurst who suffered a severe brain injury this past summer.
Doctors gave Tocker a ten percent chance of survival, but Tocker’s friends and family joined together, contacting everyone they knew, begging people to storm the gates of heaven with prayers and good deeds, dedicated to Tocker. Within minutes, there were people literally all over the world doing anything they could to find heavenly mercy for Tocker.
Despite the odds, Tocker pulled through and doctors consider him to be a medical miracle. Newmark, a close friend of Tocker’s, was inspired by the compassion shown by friends, relatives and strangers alike and the concept for the song Berachamim was conceived as he sat in the ICU waiting room, waiting for a miracle to happen.
Newmark confesses he has never davened so hard in his entire life.
“The power of tefila is not just about opening a siddur and davening,” said Newmark. “It is about each of us using our own strengths, doing what we can to find zechus and hopefully find favor in Hashem’s eyes. People didn’t just daven for Ilan with their mouths. They davened with their entire being, in the actions that they did. Clearly the rachamim that Hashem showed Ilan was a reflection of all the rachamim that people showed for Ilan.”
Over the past three months, not only have countless people continued to daven for Tocker, but numerous fundraisers have been held in the Five Towns area, including an Arba Minim sale, a ping pong tournament, a basketball tournament and a Chanukah fundraiser featuring actor/comedian Elon Gold is being held on Chanukah. Proceeds from all these events are going to The Ilan Tocker Foundation, which was created to defray the staggering medical costs the Tocker family is now facing.
Berachamim, which was composed by Ari Goldwag, features the talents of some of the music industry’s finest including Benny Friedman, Ari Goldwag, Yitzy Spinner, Ian Freitor, Aryeh Kunstler, Gal Gershovsky and Sruly Meyer. The song is available for 99 cent download on Mostly Music and iTunes with all proceeds going to benefit The Ilan Tocker Foundation.
Continuing to defy the odds, Tocker is back home in Cedarhurst and was in Shul this past Shabbos where he received his first aliyah since his injury occurred. While he still faces many long months of therapy, doctors are optimistic that he will make a full recovery.