Jan 10, 2011
Musician Moshe Yess, 65, OBM

Legendary musician Moshe Yess passed away Motzoei Shabbos in Arizona after an illness. "He taught us how to compose music," known composer Yossi Green told COLlive.com.

By Yehuda Ceitlin, COLlive Editor

Moshe Yess, a beloved performer and musician who has entertained audiences around the world, passed away Motzoei Shabbos, considered Shvat 4, 5771.

He was 65 and suffered from 'yene machla.'

He was hospitalized earlier this year at University Medical Center (UMC) in Tucson, Arizona, and was visited by local Chabad Shluchim, before he underwent recovery treatment.

Yess, known for the song 'Zaide Made us Laugh,' lived in Montreal, Canada, for many years after he became a Baal Teshuva and made a living singing and teaching.

He was a member of the Chabad community there and was a regular performer at Chabad House events and shows along with general music festivals and the annual HASC concert.

In addition to performing, Yess produced with Abie Rotenberg animated music videos for children at a time when few were available. Among them were Roburg, Middos Machine and Amazing Torah Bike (they are available for purchase at MostlyMusic.com)

"We used to sing and compose in the early days, but it was Moshe Yess who taught us how to do it professionally," known composer Yossi Green of New York told COLlive.com in a recent interview.

In fact, a group on Facebook crowned him "the Real King of Jewish Music" noting that "we all know deep down in our hearts that the only truly good Jewish music is the music of Moshe Yess." The group has 40 members.

VIDEO: "Zaidy" by Moshe Yess

He retired from his music career in recent years.

"He was a Jewish music legend that will live on through his amazing work and inspiration," said California based entertainer and actor Mendy Pellin, who tried in 2007 to convince Yess to hold a tribute to his career but was unsuccessful.

"He had a unique personality of being very funny, yet very intense," Pellin told COLlive.com. "He was the same person on stage, in conversation, in private and public. People thought he lost it the last 10 years, but that was part of his journey wanting to be 100% living the truth."

The Yess family told COLlive.com that their father is being flown from Phoenix to Montreal, but is being delayed due to bad weather in Atlanta.

They said there is not expected to be a levaya and will be just heading to burial in the local Jewish cemetery.

Yess is survived by his children Ze'ev Yess, Naftali Yess, Rivkah Yess, Devorah Smajar, Shoshana Shaffer and Yossi Yess, all live in Montreal.

They can be reached at yessfamily@gmail.com

Baruch Dayan Haemes.

Most Read Most Comments

Opinions and Comments
a good yid
(1/10/2011 3:07:33 PM)
So sad to hear!
He was such an amazing talent and sincere person. What a gift to the Jewish world!

Boruch Dayan Ha-emes,
(1/10/2011 3:14:14 PM)
Like #1 said, a good yid!

The world will miss him!

There were few and no one like him.
(1/10/2011 3:19:07 PM)
"Me and my Beis Moshiach Magazine"
"Who will be the Zaidy of my children"
(1/10/2011 3:21:38 PM)
Haven't heard from him playing live for a number of years.
No wonder, no one knew what was going on? All I can say is I have enjoyed many warm happy kumzitses with him singing at Toronto Shabbatons...... back in the early 70s
(1/10/2011 3:24:24 PM)
many songs about jewish pride
may His neshama go to Gan Eden
(1/10/2011 3:24:53 PM)
like his song said:
(1/10/2011 3:25:28 PM)
wow what a gr8 guy he was
i remember when i was a kid in camp (chayolei) and he came to play he was just great
(1/10/2011 3:25:32 PM)
azkir al hatzion
what a meshichist!!! he was!!! he will truly truly be missed.
(1/10/2011 3:27:43 PM)
Baruch dayan haemes. I love his songs!!! He made HaRabi Shlita song
(1/10/2011 3:28:46 PM)
azkir al hatzion
what a meshichist!!! he was!!! he will truly truly be missed.
(1/10/2011 3:34:59 PM)
Old Detroiter
Many years ago he performed for Chabad of Detroit as part of Megama - they were great and their music was great. His family should be proud of him as a Chassid and as a musician. Boruch Dayan Emes.
(1/10/2011 3:45:12 PM)
1 of a kind
Baruch Dayan Haemes.
(1/10/2011 3:45:25 PM)
real king
I he was, without a question, not only the real king of jewish music, but also the only real talent on the scene. He was not mearly an impersonator, as most presumed kings of today's music are. He was doing his own thing.
(1/10/2011 3:45:35 PM)
How sad.
Here is a link of him singing Zaidy.

(1/10/2011 3:47:08 PM)
moshe yess a"h fan
jewish music legend gone.
(1/10/2011 3:48:27 PM)
A legend
BDE Very sad to hear the news. :(

(1/10/2011 4:04:43 PM)
his songs penetrated to the heart we will miss u
(1/10/2011 4:06:20 PM)
PC camper
There's gonna be a ressurection!! I fondly remember his concerts at Pardas Chana!
(1/10/2011 4:14:41 PM)
when is the levaya?
(1/10/2011 4:16:39 PM)
he will be missed
he will be missed
(1/10/2011 4:17:52 PM)
An amazing neshama
A REAL talent on the scene!
Moshe, you were the best!

Rest well, you left many hearts and souls here on Earth warm and closer to Hashem.

What more can you ask for?

you are very dear to all of us.
(1/10/2011 4:21:16 PM)
The KING!!
We all know deep down in our hearts that the only truly good Jewish music is the music of Moshe Yess!
(1/10/2011 4:23:09 PM)
Baruch Dayan Haemet
The jewish music/entertainment world has lost a fine exceptional artist. Moshe was real talent. A musical genius!!!
We will miss him! He lives on through his children and musical work, loved by many!
(1/10/2011 4:24:14 PM)
please explain this quote
"People thought he lost it the last 10 years, but that was part of his journey wanting to be 100% living the truth."
(1/10/2011 4:48:53 PM)
The truth
Well, now he'll finnaly know the truth about what's going re Gimmel Taamuz and all that...

G-d bless him
(1/10/2011 4:56:32 PM)
most my childhood musical influences was from Moshe Yess.How very sad,May his family be comforted and know how many people benefited and got enjoyment from his G-d given talent.
(1/10/2011 5:29:00 PM)
i never met him; and yet im so sad. so young. so talented. so great.
(1/10/2011 6:04:05 PM)
baruch dayan emes
same as #25

moshiach now!
(1/10/2011 6:26:43 PM)
Good Memories
Moshe Yess as part of the Megama Duo was the music I really enjoyed and related to in my youth over 30 years ago.
Hamokom Yenachem Eschem ...His talent and inspiration will be missed!!
(1/10/2011 6:34:58 PM)
Tremendous Legacy
We grew up with Moshe Yess - My kids love the Zaidy song, all the tapes - Marvelous Midos Machine, etc. His songs will live on and with them, his spirit.
(1/10/2011 6:58:50 PM)
ill miss you dearly!!
no no no!! i was just listening to his music the other day!!! i loved it so much! reminded me of my childhood!!!
ad mosi!!
(1/10/2011 7:10:27 PM)
Aah, the memories!
Thanks for posting that link, it brought back so many memories! Who is the violinist?
(1/10/2011 7:13:15 PM)
Boruch Dayan Emess
May we all be reunited together with the Rebbe MH"M with the complete and final redemption immediately!
(1/10/2011 7:13:39 PM)
A precious soul
Baruch Dayan Emes. How sad. My condolences to the family. May Hashem wipe away your tears....
(1/10/2011 7:15:24 PM)
he was my fav singer
(1/10/2011 7:51:50 PM)
The Best Song!
The Angel Song by Moshe Yess, it's on youtube.
It's his greatest song!
(1/10/2011 7:54:10 PM)
Where has he been the last 10 years?
this is all I could find
may he have a lichtiger gan eden
(1/10/2011 8:33:14 PM)
Baruch Daya Emes
I was just at a melave malka this past motzei shabbos and dovid stein was singing his song. He did a great job on the song though I doubt he knew what was going on at that very moment because he didn't mention anything at the show. Still kind of spooky........

(1/10/2011 8:56:49 PM)
music of the soul
When i was in Ukraine as a staff member in a camp, we played "and zaidy made us laugh” over the speakers, there was a boy who didnt even understand english that asked to hear the song over and over and he said it sounds like such a special song, Moshe Yess was definitely a high nehsama, and he was the most talented jewish composer yet, may his neshama be uplifted by all the neshomos he touched and moved to do teshuva
(1/10/2011 9:04:07 PM)
Moshe Yess told the truth about so many realities in life. He sometimes said it with alot of humour and other times you could cry. He has impacted my life through his truly emesdik tunes for 30 plusyears. His line "Who will be the Zaidy of our children?" truly inspired me to be what I am today.. Moshe you will live on in my mind and heart. I thank you for encouraging me to make my own CD and helping me with it many years ago.G-d Bless You and all the Yess Family
(1/10/2011 9:22:44 PM)
hashem we can't take it any more! where is moshiach?
(1/10/2011 9:37:37 PM)
A powerful neshama...
I first heard him sing with Megama in Yerushalayim in 5741 and was electrified -- he bridged the cultural gap for me as a BT as did no other musical performer. In its own way, this was no less important to my spiritual growth than finding the right Torah and Chassidus teachers and mashpiyim. An amazing neshama and an amazing talent. He was there for my kids, as well, with his great children's tapes. May he have a lichtige Gan Eden and be a Gute Better for all of us down here. I'm just imagining the delight of dancing to his guitar music with Moshiach in Yerushalayim -- may it be immediately! My heart goes out to his children. I know he was a loving father.
(1/10/2011 9:45:39 PM)
wow so sad
i really love him!!!!
A man which was so unique and left such an inspiring impression just by watching him!
(1/10/2011 10:11:33 PM)
oy vey
Im sad tnight.Vehachai yitein el liboi. A pious jew who touched the souls of many. The Rebbeh looked out for him and now we can look out for his "children
(1/10/2011 10:36:29 PM)
Zaidy made us laugh
Zaidy made us sing. Now Zaidy is gone who will be the zaidies of our children? who will make us laugh & smile?/ Ad Mosai!!! enough why are you taking the good ones & leaving the bad???
(1/10/2011 10:55:23 PM)
Just wanted his family to know
His music helped me become frum. I went to one of his concerts, My kitchen wasn't kosher yet. I made the decision that night to do the kitchen and the rest is history.
(1/10/2011 11:22:37 PM)
so sad Baruch Dayan Haemess
Today I mourn a friend
A very gifted and talented person
A person that had a profound influence on me
And on my music
I must say that he was the first person that wowed me with his music
And it’s thanks to him that I started playing guitar
I remember listening to his first album Megama (over and over again)
Yes, I had the record ……
His tunes, his lyrics, his guitar playing
I couldn’t get enough of it
He simply blew me away
And as I grew, personally and musically
I started to cross paths with Moshe
We played together at a concert here and there
And it was always a thrill for me
And though I was much younger than him
And his musicianship light years ahead of mine
We developed a relationship
Moshe was a deep thinker
A gifted balladeer
A great storyteller
And a phenomenal musician
And since music is the pen of the soul
We can just imagine how big his soul was

As a tribute to Moshe Yess, I will learn some Mishnayos for him
Chaim Fogelman
(1/10/2011 11:41:16 PM)
very sad news
: (

(1/10/2011 11:44:05 PM)
say yes to moshe yess!!!!!
:-((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((( bde , moshiach now!!
(1/10/2011 11:54:51 PM)
There is only one song that makes me cry every time I sing it. "Who will be the Zaidy, if not me"?
(1/11/2011 12:23:04 AM)
miss him
please share your stories and fond memories at the memorial blog, mosheyess.blogspot.com
(1/11/2011 12:44:55 AM)
Oh zaidy... oh my zaidy...

I remember moshe yes ZT'L in morristown labor day 1989...? and I was just 4 years old?

Gevaldig! We will miss you! May you be meilitz yosher for us.. up there in gan eden with your guitar playing in the melachim's choir
(1/11/2011 2:41:33 AM)
i was in chader menachem in la and i remember he came to play his songs it was butyfull so thaks
(1/11/2011 3:22:01 AM)
a great part of my childhood
His concerts are such a great memory from my childhood!
(1/11/2011 4:41:16 AM)
Perhaps Soul to Soul compile a video montage of his music and show it at the concert.
(1/11/2011 5:56:42 AM)
Moshe Yess
"The reason jewish people have big noses to keep them in five books of moses", Moshe Yess
(1/11/2011 8:28:35 AM)
still crying
his songs inspired us all, i am 30 years old and still cry when i hear his stunnig song 'my zaidie' i thought he wrote it about my zaidie . my his family find strength in all of this BTW what ever happened to his partner Sholom levine
(1/11/2011 9:34:49 AM)
Thank you all for your kind words.
It is very comforting to know that he is deeply missed and will always be remembered. May we have no more suffering and only hear good news from now on.


On behalf of the Yess family.
(1/11/2011 10:06:31 AM)
Who was responsible for bringing this yid back to yidishkeit??
(1/11/2011 10:32:44 AM)
This is hard...
I remember some of Moshe yess's concerts in chabas houses and camps 15-20 years ago, i lways loved his music, truth be told, I haven't heard his music. When I saw the news of his death I was sad, I told my wife about it and she hadn't heard of Moshe yess, I played her "my zayde" and she said "turn it off, I'm gonna cry"

(1/11/2011 11:12:56 AM)
and thats the day music died...... :'(
(1/11/2011 11:24:37 AM)
bd"e from a montrealer.
My heart goes out to the yess family. No more sorrow!
(1/11/2011 12:16:30 PM)
London admirer
It hurt to read of Moshe Yess passing away. It was many many years ago that he came to England to perform at a concert and I as a young girl was so impressed with him.

He came over as such a nice person - so sincere - sensitive and Emessdik

He had a beautiful diction and his guitar playing skills were amazing. And he had a wonderful sense of humour.

He knew the Emess and was not afraid to say it.

I feel so sad.
(1/11/2011 12:28:07 PM)
Muso's opinion
Awesome Musician and entertainer, Sorry to hear!!!
(1/11/2011 2:06:38 PM)
so so sad
my young students listen to his tapes all the time. These are true classics ,full of yiras shamaim and ahvas yisroel.
which kid doesnt know the tune and words of mdvar sheker tirchach or who spilled the baby's milk.....

Baruch dayan emes.
(1/11/2011 4:29:12 PM)
former montrealer
so sad!
(1/11/2011 6:58:01 PM)
i love watching that song!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(1/11/2011 7:55:19 PM)
and zaidy made us laugh, and zaidy made us sing, and zaidy made us kiddush friday night! and zaidy, oh my zaidy how i loved him so! and [zaidy used to teach me wrong from right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(1/11/2011 10:14:08 PM)
Please Help
Does anyone know his full Hebrew name and his mothers?
(1/11/2011 11:05:33 PM)
We have lost a treasure;(
He had such a talent for music! I love his music! We need Moshiach now!
(1/12/2011 12:55:35 AM)
another London admirer
I also heard him at a concert, maybe in Kenton, I think that I went because he had performed in my school-JFS, and I had enjoyed it alot.I even bought his tape, still have it. Must have been 30 years ago- thaat kind of soul music wasn't known in E ngand then. I never heard his songs played on the radio, maybe coz they are in English. Sorry to have heard of him again only because he passed away.
(1/12/2011 1:41:24 AM)
Full hebrew name
Moshe Aaron ben Chaya
(1/12/2011 8:43:21 AM)
i sit here with tears in my eyes, as I absorb how a yid who is an Ish Emes, who uses his amazing talents to serve the Bashefer, and who walked through life with hatznah leches and ahavas yisroel, leaves a trail of people who he impacted for the good. It should be a lesson to us, that a kind word or a smile, or a small favor or a large one, will leave an indelible roishem on the recipient and on the world. May he be a meilitz yoisher for his family, and for all those who follow in his footsteps. Yehi Zichro Baruch.
(1/12/2011 9:51:53 AM)
grew up with his magama and kids tapes and concerts ...
chayim nitzchiyim now!!!
his music is immortal though...till we have him back with moshiach now!
(1/12/2011 9:52:48 AM)
Ze'ev So sorry to hear the very sad news!
The Silberhafts
Johannesburg South Africa
(1/12/2011 12:09:48 PM)
BDE. Our hearts go out to his family
Moshe's full name is moshe aharon ben zev - first letters forming the word 'mai-oz'. a word that Moshe Rabbeinu used when seeing the troubles of his people in golus. In this weeks Parshah, It was by krias yam-suf that Moshe R used the same word 'Az' (yashir) but this time singing the Geulah. moshe yess loved music, performing and believed in our Rebbe's words. We pray for his next performance of song 'oz yoshir'.
(1/12/2011 2:50:09 PM)
Rabbi Chaim Jacobs
Your father was a special man and a special and talented musician. He brought a real Kiddush Hashem and reached and touched hearts of thousands of people to make them at least think about doing Teshuva. He was never greedy and always charged us a nominal fee for his services.

Some found him extreme about Moshiach but in reality he was a true chosid because he never sold himself for what he believed in. He was sincere and truthful about his beliefs.

He was close to our family entertaining at three concerts and at our son's Bar Mitzva. We will never forget his love and warmth for all Jews.

May he beseech Hashem to send Moshiach and redeem us from this dark and painful Golus.

May Hashem send you true nechoma.
May we be able to write to each other on happy occasions in the future

Chaim and Sora Jacobs and family
Glasgow Scotland

(1/12/2011 9:16:49 PM)
My son got married in February, 2008. I wanted to sing "That's My Boy" at his Sheva Brochos but was unclear on all the lyrics. I spent some time looking for the lyrics on line with no success. I finally managed to find R' Moshe's e-mail address and e-mailed him a request to let me know if I had the lyrics to one of the verses correct. I still have all the e-mails. In only 5 MINUTES he responded with the correction to what I had! This, to a perfect stranger! 2 weeks later it occurred to me that I had the opportunity to verify ALL the lyrics. So I wrote them out in an e-mail and sent them to him with a request to check them out. Again, in only 5 MINUTES he responded with one correction! Punchline - I played the keyboard and sang the song at the Sheva Brochos. I am not sure if there was a dry eye in the house.

I can't find my Megama cassette tape from the 70's. It must have worn out from all the play it got.

To the family: Hamokom yenachem eschem bisoch avalay Tzion v"yerushalayim. May you know no further sorrow. May you be comforted by the fact that your father ob"m touched so many lives for the good.

Izzy Zuber
Boston, MA
(1/13/2011 11:04:57 AM)
I remember when i was like 6 and my mother explained the song to us.. when I told her moshe yes was niftar she was like "no!!"

oy vay we rarely appriciate the living...

and zaidy... oh my zaidy..

those words comforted me when my zaidy's were niftar..
(1/14/2011 4:09:28 AM)
a fan
checkout rabbiyess.com
(1/14/2011 11:59:41 AM)
He was a Legend
Boruch Dayan Emes
(1/16/2011 9:44:45 PM)
Moshe, oh, our Moshe...
We never seem to give enough thought or hakoras hatov to what we have until we no longer have it. Reb Moshe, you were one of Hashem's special gifts to the Jewish world of music, especially the English speaking world. Your genuine soulfulness and musical professionalism should set a standard for every aspiring frum musician to work towards. Yours was real music, not just endless repetition of the same few words set to a monotonous tune.Above all,your music conveyed a profound understanding of the lack of direction plaguing the contemporary Jewish world, and directed us ever so beautifully to where we could learn "right from wrong." Without doubt, tthat zchus has opened the doors of Gan Eden to you with the malachim of music waiting to greet you.Their gain is our loss.
(1/17/2011 10:31:46 PM)
A Profound Jewish Soul
Thank you for being a part of my life, Rabbi Yess!
Baruch in Ch Hill
(1/19/2011 9:04:16 AM)
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