Letter from an old fan

I grew up in Chicago in the 1970's and 1980's.  In 1986, someone gave me a cassette tape of Kabbalah as a birthday present.  I remember really enjoying the album and thinking how different it was from any other Jewish music I had heard at that time.  As a music fan, I enjoyed rock and pop, like The Police, Paul McCartney, etc.
I recently stumbled across your website by accident (I was looking up "Shlock Rock" on Wikipedia and your name was highlighted so I clicked on it) and was so impressed with all that you've done in music.  I was even happier to see that I could download all of my favorite Kabbalah songs to my Ipod.  It has been years since I have heard these songs and they sound even better to me now than they did back then.
I really admire your talent and determination and just wanted to say thank you for all of your hard work and great music.  You probably have more fans out there than you know and your site was a really great find.  Thanks again.
P.S.--I loved the video of the YU performance in 1986.  There was so much energy from the band.  


Review of Moshe Skier: Rock of Sages


...Rock of Sages is a total joy. Every track just keeps me bouncing along. There's a user-friendly quality to Skier's voice and delivery. He's the guy next door who has a lovely voice that doesn't over-power but just slides into your soul and soothes you...

...As I was listening to the CD, I kept thinking to myself: Moshe is sort of like early Beatles, innocent, lovely, totally unpretentious. It's music that makes you smile, music that makes you want to hold someone's hand, and best of all it's Jewish music with none of the soul-crushing ay-yay-yay that is endemic to so many Jewish CD's.

In real life, Moshe Skier is a physician. His music has a healing quality that is hard to miss.

I love every single cut on this CD, and you know what, I might even sit down and play it when the strike is over and I start working on my next screenplay.

You can order Rock of Sages here. Highly recommended.

--Robert J. Avrech, Seraphic Secret



Jerusalem Post

Grassroots rock against the grain


The Moshe Skier Band
Live in Chicago
Lag B'Omer 2004

Illinois-based Jewish hard rocker Moshe Skier has surfaced and resurfaced in various incarnations over the years.

He released two discs as a part of the 1980s group Kabbalah, but Jewish music consumers weren't quite ready for a really hard-rockin' guitar band. Skier then resurfaced with a mid-Nineties album called Rock of Sages and a band of his own.

Recently, the Moshe Skier Band underwent another revamping, becoming a proper mid-western arena-rock-style power trio, with Skier's solid bass and vocals being joined by Mendel Appel's thrashing guitar and vocals and Dan Lawitts' rumbling percussion.

And like all wise rock upstarts seeking to build careers through fan buzz rather than label hype, the latest version of The Moshe Skier Band has put its efforts into a ripping live show instead of studio work.

As a result, the band has no album for sale, but its web site ( is overflowing with high-quality free content for downloading. Highly recommended is a full concert from May 8, 2004, at Chicago's The Note. This show was part of a multi-band Lag B'Omer showcase in which Skier opened for Yossi "the Jewish Jimi" Piamenta.

"Sh'ma Yisroel," "Shoshanas Yaakov" and Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach's Psalm 28 sound like Neil Young and Crazy Horse tunes, only sped up and with far flashier guitar soloing.

The band is clearly enjoying itself at this concert, performing a Diaspora Yeshiva Band cover and teasing the audience with Joe Walsh riffs as well as a "Freebird" semi-rockout. Hints of Z.Z. Top, Jeff Beck and the Kinks also creep in here and there.

Like many audience recordings, the sound quality of Lag B'Omer 2004 is extremely listenable, but not the most solid. But thankfully the high energy hard rock is good enough to overshadow the flaws.

Ben Jacobson can be reached at


February 7, 2004 - Young Israel of West Rogers Park

Now, onto Moshe Skier. That band really rocked. I wasn't bitter in the least that I wasn't at the mis-advertised, "Moshv Band [sic]" show in Skokie for teens. I was kinda hoping to get an advertised "free mp3 player."

His band was: Moshe on acoustic guitar or bass, Mendel Appel on lead guitar and Dan Lawitts on drums. Moshe and Mendel both did vocals. They were very tight. Mendel was fluid on the lead guitar and made it scream when he needed to. They made the whole show look effortless. I also appreciate Moshe taking my audience suggestions (I only spoke when he asked) to play "Minyan Man" and to play song in the hard rock style instead of acoustic. The highlight for me was when they played a Lubavitch "Tzama." Not the "Hey Johnny" one, but the slow one with the "aydaidais." They did it over a blues jam, the kind of thing which I usually hate. But this time it had the right kind of soul that made it work. Yasher koach, guys. It was beautiful. Thanks for coming down.

Bottom line: Very few people attended the show. Don't miss the Moshe Skier Band next time they come to town. They are a great, live act.


May 8, 2004 - The Note, Chicago

...let me tell you that I was not let down. These guys rocked hard. Yossi Piamenta came out of the side room when these guys started to play. After listening to them for a couple minutes, he looked at me and said, "These guys are good." At the end of the set, right after the unbelievable Carlebach/Jeff Beck jam, the question came up, "can we do one more?" Yossi was standing right in front, and he was into hearing another one before his set.

The band, as a whole, performed great. They were much more intense in this club setting. Last time, at the shul, it was a lot more laid back. It felt like they were in your living room, just telling stories and singing songs. This time, they were there to rock. Every song gripped me and would not let go. The Moshe Skier Band played one good song after another...

...I have to say, that the star of last night's show was Mendel Appel. I don't think anyone came to that venue prepared to hear such an awesome display of guitar prowess (at least not from him). Living in Chicago, I have never really had the opportunity to go to a nice rock venue and witness a man with nice black pants, a nice white, button-down shirt, and a huge black velvet kippah rock so hard.

Go to their website. Get on their mailing list. Go see the Moshe Skier Band.

Set List:
  1. Ashrei
  2. Shoshanas Yaakov
  3. Sh'ma Yisroel
  4. Yonah
  5. Light Up
  6. Hafachta
  7. Ani Ma'amin
  8. Shiru Lo
  9. Tzama
  10. Kol Ha'olam Kulo
  11. Shlomo Carlebach/Jeff Beck Jam
  12. Yismechu

Agudas Achim - Chabad December 2000

SECOND ANNUAL CHANUKAH CONCERT ROCKED! - On December 9, the Social Hall at CAAC was packed as Moshe Skier and his band performed at the Second Annual (Pre) Chanukah Concert. This unique Wisconsin event was organized by CAAC, the Hillel Foundation, and BBYO. Teenagers and adults from throughout the region's Jewish communities attended this exciting and excellent performance. After the introduction by Rabbi Rapoport, and the lighting of the Menorah, the lights were dimmed and the spotlight shined on the band. The crowd roared with applause song after song, and then joined in the singing and clapping, until the entire audience rose to their feet and danced. The concert went on until almost midnight. An unforgettable evening of music and celebration.


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