Rabbi Jeremy Gimpel is the co-founder of The Land of Israel Network and a founding partner of The Arugot Farm, a new farm and retreat center in the Judean mountains. He's worked in media, journalism, and has even dabbled in politics. As if those accomplishments aren't enough, he now also produces music albums based on King David's psalms.
Gimpel said that he turned to music about four years ago when he began to feel disconnected while praying in synagogue and was striving to feeling real meaning while praying. He took his guitar and drove out to the Arugot Farm in the Judean mountains. He drove to the mountains every morning for almost two years and sang the first section of the morning prayers (Pesukei D'Zimra), which are comprised of the words King David wrote in Psalms (Tehillim).
Later, Gimpel discovered that the Agurot Farm is located in the Zif mountains where David escaped when he was hiding from King Saul before he became king. According to Jewish sources, David wrote most of the Psalms while hiding in these mountains.
"All of a sudden, the Tefilah (prayer) of my music became that much more special to me," Gimpel said. "Finally, after nearly three years of playing the guitar, singing to Hashem (God) alone on a mountain, I decided that I wanted to share these songs with the world. Yet I never expected it to be received with the excitement and enthusiasm which it has been."
Gimpel added that his songs are being seen all over the world. After the United States and Israel, his videos are most watched in Germany and Japan! "I love the idea that Kind David is still teaching the world how to pray," Gimpel said.
"As I was in this process, I started to really learn about Tefillah (prayer). I took the Seder Hatefilah (order of prayer) seriously. Prophets and sages created the order, like a map, navigating us toward an encounter with G-d. I started looking at the laws of Tefillah more closely. It’s hard to explain but as my Tefilah became stronger my days became better and I started living a more focused, happier, and more productive life. When I started my day with a more purposeful prayer, my days became infinitely-richer and more blessed. I just felt gratitude for G-d more in my life."
Gimpel was so inspired by his new insight into prayer and the Psalms that he wrote a book on prayer entitled The Ancient Judean Way to Start Your Day. "This book was written for those who, like me, are hungry not only to learn about prayer but to experientially taste the goodness of G-d," Gimpel said.
"I feel blessed to be living in the Land of Israel in the mountains of Judea. I was given this gift of light and my hopes are to walk in the light and share the light from the Judean Mountains as much and as far as I can."