By COLlive reporter
The prolific musician, composer and arranger Yitzy Bald has been responsible for some of the most popular songs in the Jewish world. They range from dance tunes played at simchas and slower heartfelt melodies – each offering faith and inspiration.
He has now drawn on a painful childhood memory to bring strength to young children who may be in the same situation he once found himself in.
As a student in elementary school, Bald was consistently bullied by classmates.
“This was at a time when bullying was not so recognized for how terrible it really is,” he said. “These bullies were so mean. They would lie about me and get me in trouble.”
Bald, who is today a school teacher himself, remembers being called to the principal’s office and being accused of doing things he’s never done. One example was shutting the lights while kids were playing in the gym, causing a safety hazard and blaming it on him.
“They would make fun of me, isolate me from the rest of the class, and use countless, other hurtful tactics, to literally, destroy me,” he said. “After fifth grade, I begged my parents to take me out of school.”
His parents indeed took him out and enrolled him in Yeshiva Torah Vodaath, a boys school in the Kensington neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. It was there that he experienced another childhood – one in which he made lifelong friends and had teachers helping him have self-confidence and self-esteem.
“The school administration’s attitude, from top to bottom, was one of positivity, and one that promoted the self-growth of each student and appreciated the talents and creativity of every boy. It was there that I thrived in every way, both physically and spiritually,” he says.
The Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Avrohom Pam OBM encouraged Bald to go into the Judaic Studies teaching profession while continuing with his musical talents.
“He told me not to stop my musical endeavors,” Bald says. “On the contrary, he built me up in every way to utilize all my talents and gifts to increase the honor of heaven and bring joy to people throughout the world.”
Now, as the producer of the New York Boys Choir, Bald composed an anti-bullying song. When he contacted Nissim Black about collaborating, the Jewish rapper immediately agreed. “I too was bullied as a kid!” he replied. “The message resonates within me so strongly… I gotta do this with you!”
The result is a pop song titled “Bring It On” which was sung by soloists of the New York Boys Choir with musical arrangements by Doni Gross of DEG Productions.
Bald says he wasn’t motivated by revenge. Rather, as an educational opportunity to prevent bullying which he says harms both the bullied as well as the bully.
“To this day, when some of these bullies see me in the street, they can’t even look me in the face, knowing of the damage they inflicted upon me,” Bald says. “Let us all fight to eradicate this terrible disease by instituting a zero-tolerance for bullying!”
Choir Produced & Directed by: Yitzy Bald
Music Production: Doni Gross
Film Production: Yossi Zweig
Photos: Moshe Gershbaum
Starring: New York Boys Choir soloists – Shmuel Haber, Ezriel Hirsch, Naftali Hoffner, Nachi Kaufman, & Eliezer Rosenfeld
Background Vocals: Aryeh Kunstler
Recorded at: DEG Studios Brooklyn NY
Mixed and Mastered by: Doni Gross
They say your stuff is not enough, they dig you in the ground
Unlucky fate, you’re not so great, they tell you get out now
You ain’t no pro, you’ve got to go, and find a different line
Don’t waste our time, not worth a dime, just leave it all behind
Bring it on, I won’t get down, I’m standing tall and fighting
Push me hard, I don’t give up, my fire igniting
(Bring it on, yeah bring it on, yeah bring it on)
RAP (Ft. Nissim Black)
You can be strong, You can hold on, gotta stand up, tell him bring it on
You don’t have to back down we’re gonna make a stand
This is the beginning of ascent young man
I believe in you, believe in yourself, You have a worth, and Hashem will help
Gotta know that in your mind everything’s a test,
You’re King David face Goliath
The world was made for you, no need for fears, you will make it through
Leave it all behind, just aim for truth,
you’re the real star, so we came for you
No bully nobody that can break you, be a gibor, like Hashem made you
Dig deep down, with everything it takes you, gotta fight fears
Because you are full of greatness.