Moshe Aaron (Morris Arthur) Yess (1945–January 8, 2011) O.B.M. was a world renowned Orthodox Jewish musician, composer and entertainer from Montreal, Canada. A member of the Chabad community in Montreal, Yess was a regular performer at Chabad House events and shows, together with international Jewish music festivals, Chabad Telethons and the annual A Time for Music concert.

Musical career

In the 1960s, Yess shared stages with David Crosby, Jefferson Airplane & The Association. As a solo performer he played Las Vegas, Reno, and other hot spots. In 1978 he moved from Hollywood, California to Jerusalem, Israel, where he enrolled in D'var Yerushalayim Yeshiva. There he met Rabbi Shalom Levine, who became his mentor in Halacha and his musical partner in Megama. They spoke about harnessing American-style music to communicate the beauty and values of Judaism. Thus was Megama (Hebrew for "direction") born.

Hit Songs

One of Yess's biggest hit songs was "My Zaidy," in which the speaker remembers his grandfather, who was his last link to Judaism. "My Zaidy" -- "zaidy" is the Yiddish word for grandpa -- touched several generations of American and Canadian Jews. Other hits by Megama included "Ain't Gonna Work on Saturday" and "Not Ashamed," and one of their successful children's shows was called "Judeo Rodeo."

Yess collaborated with Abie Rotenberg to produce the children's audio series called The Marvelous Midos Machine composed of three volumes, with all original material.

In the 1990s, Yess started a rock band called Burnt Offering with the blessing of The Lubavitcher Rebbe. The band's mission was to spread the message to the world to engage in acts of goodness and kindness.

Yess retired from music in his later years when his health began to decline.

Moshe Yess died of cancer on January 8, 2011, in Cottonwood, Arizona. He was 65 years old.

 

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