BDE: Reb Michoel Schnitzler, z”l, The Neshumah Flam Has Been Extinguished
UPDATE: The levaya will take place Sunday morning 10:00 a.m. at Har Shulem Cemetery located at Hillside Avenue in Airmont.
As Klal Yisroel prepared to welcome the holy Shabbos, the news spread like wildfire that Reb Michoel Schnitzler—a legend and artist who dedicated decades of his life to performing Jewish music—had left this world after a sudden heart attack.
The ‘Neshumah Flam’ (as a number of his albums were named) had been extinguished.
The news shocked music fans throughout the Jewish community for whom Michoel’s music has been a steady soundtrack in the background of their lives for decades. The voice that has brought so much joy, so much comfort, and brought forth so many deep and beautiful lyrics would no longer sing.
Michoel was born to Reb Zisha and Golda Schnitzler in the summer of 1961. His grandfather was Rav Shraga Shmuel Schnitzler, the Tchaba Ruv, a close confidante of the Divrei Yoel of Satmar, zt”l.
“Michoel was one of the pioneers of chasunah singing in the Heimishe world,” recalled Yumi Lowy. “When we were children in the 80’s, he was the singer who sang at the weddings of all our relatives—and, in addition to his incredible talent and ability to bring joy, it was his humility and accessibility, and genuine love for every Yid that left such an impression. When boys would come up to him to discuss songs, he would so genuinely relate to them and laugh with them.”
This sentiment is echoed by countless people who knew Michoel.
Chaim Brown, who grew up near Michoel in Sea Gate, remembers his incredible smile. “Anyone who knew Michoel will recall that smile; no matter what he went through in life, he had a smile for everyone. He knew that he has a responsibility—as a known personality—to bring joy to others, and this was his life’s mission,” Chaim recalled. “From his decades in the music business, there is no one who has a bad word to say about him.”
And then there was his supreme talent, emotion, and heart—in which he was unrivaled.
Over the span of close to twenty-five years, Michoel produced 17 albums. Seventeen masterpieces.
Michoel sang from the depths of his enormous heart on so many themes that related to Yiddishkeit and to our life on this world. Working together with talented composers and lyricists who saw in his voice and heart the most fitting vehicle through which to bring these compositions to the public.
Tens of thousands of Yidden were brought joy and inspiration through Michoel’s albums and live performances. He also had a special place in his large heart for cholei Yisroel and those with special needs and gave away countless hours to bringing them joy.
The loss of this artist is being felt everywhere.
The levaya will take place in Monsey on Sunday morning, where thousands of friends, relatives, and admirers are expected to pay tribute to a beloved figure who has so impacted so many lives with his music and his personality.
Yehi zichro baruch.