Episode #9: Meir Kay

Hosted by Nissim Black

July 12, 2021 00:31:45

The internet sensation joins Nissim to talk about going on the offensive with love, traveling the world, and how we can rebuild communities and bring people together in 2021.

The Deal with Nissim Black is produced by The Joshua Network.

Episode Transcript

Introduction [00:00:11] 

This is The Deal with Nissim Black.

 

Nissim Black [00:00:23] 

Hey, everybody, what’s going on? Welcome back to The Deal with Nissim Black, a.k.a. G0DSMAN, a.k.a. Hitler’s Worst Nightmare, a.k.a. Sammy Davis cousin, a.k.a. Yehuda Blackabee. I was born in Seattle to hip hop parents. I got in trouble as a kid, but I was able to make a major life turn around. I was a Muslim in my younger years, I became a Christian in my teens, only to discover that my soul was Jewish all along. So I grabbed my wife and my kids and we picked up and we moved to Israel where I am today. This podcast, The Deal, is a place where we discuss The Deal, The Deal on everything. And I’m very, very happy that all of you guys have been joining. If you haven’t heard the other episodes yet, please go back and check out everything. One is not a sequel to the other. These are all very unique individuals that I have the opportunity to interview. So please check out all the episodes, you know, sign up and make sure you’re listening out for the next one. So today we’re here with Meir Kalmanson. He’s better known as Meir Kay. He’s an Internet sensation dedicated to spreading kindness and love all throughout the world. He has 1.5 Million followers on Facebook and his videos have been viewed more than 350 million times on all platforms. And most importantly, he is proudly and unabashedly Jewish. Meir, thank you for joining me today, really do appreciate it.

 

Meir Kay [00:01:56] 

Nissim, it’s good to be here. What an intro. Fill in the energy. It’s an honor.

 

Nissim Black [00:02:01] 

Now, always, always with you. We have, like, this weird energy. We had this moment. We’re in L.A. like, remember that? Texting each other.

 

Meir Kay [00:02:09] 

Oh, that was nuts!

 

Nissim Black [00:02:10] 

Like we ran into each other mid-text, like, you know what I mean. Was like one of those things, like our Neshamos were just like, beep beep beep beep.

 

Meir Kay [00:02:18] 

It was a godsend. It was bound to happen. Exactly. I was trying to hustle you down. I heard you’re in L.A. I was visiting.

 

Nissim Black [00:02:24] 

It was crazy.

 

Meir Kay [00:02:24] 

And on a random street in Los Angeles, we bumped into each other and we had a moment together, which from then on just took off.

 

Nissim Black [00:02:30] 

Took off man, took off. So let me ask this. So you are a man who is known for your social experiments, I will say. And you just did a big one last month. And you stood blindfolded on the streets of New York and you asked people to give you a hug.

 

Meir Kay [00:02:45] 

Yes.

 

Nissim Black [00:02:46] 

To show that, you know, they believed in peace and love and they stood against hate. So how did this experiment come about for you? And do you think you accomplished whatever you wanted to accomplish?

 

Meir Kay [00:02:56] 

Great. Yeah. So, I mean, for weeks prior to my social experiment, going out on the street and giving these blindfolded hugs, a lot of tension’s been rising and building in the Middle East between Israel and Palestine and all this hype. And there was the rockets taking place. And it wasn’t just there. Right. It spilled over to the rest of the world. Antisemitism just shot up.

 

Nissim Black [00:03:15] 

Right.

 

Meir Kay [00:03:15] 

And people are being attacked as Jews just because they were Jewish with no connection, no dialog about Israel, their viewpoint. It was just Jewish, attack. And it was frightening.

 

Nissim Black [00:03:24] 

Right.

 

Meir Kay [00:03:24] 

And there was a lot going on the buzz, on the news and on people’s news feeds. And I knew I just needed to voice something. And I try to always voice it through a positive or some sort of meaningful, uplifting way. And I didn’t want to just be another voice like defending. I wanted to show like, no, I don’t want to be on the defense. I would be on the offense. I want to show everybody’s writing the stories about who, what Jews are, who they are, what they stand for. Like, no, I’m Jewish, I stand for peace. I stand for kindness. I stand for respect and communication. That’s how we’re going to get through anything. So having that in mind, I did come across a social experiment that was similar to this that took place back in 2016 for another topic. I was like, oh, this is, sort of my mind’s always buzzing, always taking information. So my mind just sort of connected, okay, this is happening now. I had this idea, it just sort of came together beautifully. I was in New York City filming a music video and I was just back in my old stomping grounds. I live in L.A. now. I was like, this is perfect. So I just went to Union Square. I wrote the sign that said, pretty much, I’m Jewish. I stand for peace. You know, I stand for love. Do you want to go and stand with me and hug me in that regard? And I did that.

 

Nissim Black [00:04:25] 

That’s crazy. You feel like you got out of it what you want to get?

 

Meir Kay [00:04:28] 

So I, wow, I mean, I couldn’t expect it to go the way it went viral. I mean, I think it’s in some ways the most viral video. I have a video has 260 million views. But like, in some ways I feel like this had a much bigger impact in a very real and deep way. So much healing. A lot of my videos the responses are like, oh, that made me laugh, or that made me smile. That made me think about what you were talking about. This video? People just cried. People just, their hearts opened up and they were just.

 

Nissim Black [00:04:55] 

Wow.

 

Meir Kay [00:04:56] 

Whether they’re Jewish, not Jewish, so mean, so much dialog with Muslims from around the world. Palestinians wrote out and like there was minimal hate, of course, that’ll happen. But a lot of them were just respectful, respectful interest. They wanted to know what was up? Like Meir, what’s going on in the Middle East? What’s happening, what does this mean? And like people had a new framework about what a Jewish person stands for and what and what they don’t see. So it was incredible. Did it accomplish? It accomplished a whole lot more than I expected. IS there more work to be done? A hundred percent.

 

Nissim Black [00:05:23] 

Right.

 

Meir Kay [00:05:23] 

But a video like that and the way the celebrities were sharing it, celebrities who perhaps would never have shared something that is so touchy or controversial. This was all about love and connectivity. And so the impact was deep.

 

Nissim Black [00:05:33] 

And that’s amazing. So there’s a few different things like just thinking about that, just the impact that you have and your representation of doing something much more peaceful, as opposed to like being on the defense, like you said, not to be on the defense, to be on the offense. Right. Yeah. Which is something very, very big by Chabad Chassidus and the Rebbe. Right. And you have a background with Chabad. I would consider you, you consider yourself Chabad. How has Chabad helped you become the person that you are today? Because when you said, not to be on the defense but to be on the offense, that definitely made me think about the Rebbe. The Rebbe put Chabad Chassidus on offense, you know.

 

Meir Kay [00:06:07] 

Yeah.

 

Nissim Black [00:06:08] 

And I say that because you see a lot of different groups, even me. I’m a Breslover. Right. And a lot of other groups are much more involved in defense in terms of, you know, parameters of holiness, of trying to seclude themselves from more of the rest of society, where Chabad is like, no, we’re going out there. You know, special ops like, you know. So do you think, like, that motivates you in the way that you work, in the way that you come up with these ideas and how you go and execute them?

 

Meir Kay [00:06:34] 

Yeah, I mean, a hundred percent. There’s a massive amount of impact that I have, the way I operate comes to the way I been brought up. My parents, my grandparents, great grandparents, all Chabad, all come from that lineage. So it’s very much deep within my psyche. How do I approach people, Judaism, the world? We’re not necessarily, like, afraid of it or don’t want to engage with it. The Rebbe was all about, like you mentioned, like yo, go in their, knees deep, front lines, wrap that person up in tefillin, no matter what he did before or after, we judge him in this very moment. Or we don’t judge him at all, actually. We just, here he is, someone who is Jewish, has a soul. Let’s wrap him up.

 

Nissim Black [00:07:08] 

Right.

 

Meir Kay [00:07:09] 

Whether they’re Jewish or not, Seven Noahide Laws. The Rebbe was all about it. So there’s always was a level of respect, no matter who what where the person was coming from, which for me, I relate to very much. You know, I’m a humanist. I love people. And I would never want, you know, growing up Jewish, let alone even Orthodox. There is this, there is always, I’ve had anti-Semitism thrown at me when I was on shlichus, when I was out doing outreach in Europe and even in the States, in some rural areas. So I know what it feels like to be just attacked, physically and verbally, just because I’m Jewish. So I would never want that to be done to anybody else. So it’s, so growing up Chabad, it was the philosophy of like outreach, of respect, of just taking the person as they are, as they show up. Leave the rest to God, but as a human to human, who are you? What’s up? You’re my brother or you’re my sister, let’s do something together. Let’s bring some light to this world. I sort of have taken that philosophy and ran with it. And made it Meir Kay style.

 

Nissim Black [00:08:04] 

That’s amazing.

 

Meir Kay [00:08:05] 

And so, yeah. So it’s all about being on the offense. And not allowing people, and also listen, I’ve been doing videos for a while now. I’ve worked with the media in different regards and PR and I’ve had it once or twice where people have taken your words and they build their own story or they put onto you what they want people to see of you. But no, pick up the pen yourself. We have a voice. If we don’t share our voice, that’s the opposite of what it means to be human. We have this ability to express ourselves, to feel. So if we’re not doing that and not giving people the ability to see who we are and what our opinions are, then we’re really denying ourselves a massive part of creation.

 

Nissim Black [00:08:40] 

Right. No, it’s amazing because even if you think about, as you were saying before, how many dialogs you were able to have with many people that were Muslim and all these other people. There’s so much confusion behind everything in the world at large about what’s going on over here. But then just amongst the people, because, you know, I’m here every day. I live in Israel. I see Palestinian people all the time. We have positive interactions all the time. You understand what I mean? You know, it’s almost like there’s always, people have to suffer for the politics and governments and people that are in power who wish to do this and do that. And people get a bad rap when really I think the everyday person really just wants peace, you know what I mean? In the first place, which may be the reason why the video in itself, and your approach resonated with so many different people.

 

Meir Kay [00:09:28] 

Yeah, I mean, I think we have more in common than, with each other that the media or Big Brother wants us to think. I mean, we are. We do want those things. We want peace. We want respect. We want unity. We want community. You know, that’s all we really want. We, that’s so, the average person does not want to be in war, does not want to have a dispute. And I think we were reminded that. I think there was so much tension building up for so many weeks. People forgot! People were so scared.

 

Nissim Black [00:09:50] 

Right.

 

Meir Kay [00:09:50] 

Besides that pandemic, being already taken apart from each other, on top of that, there was like now this tension, people are like afraid, oh, my God, what’s it mean to be human? What’s it mean to interact? Like does everybody hate each other? Like, no, it’s not black and white. There’s so much gray area. That’s where we live in. And so to break down those walls and to, like, show up and be vulnerable and say, hey, here I am. What now? Is a bit of an extreme case. And I was scared to go out there. I was hoping to get some security even in the background. I wasn’t able to, to get some of my friends who were like, you know, ex-Tzava. But I went out there and, you know, God was there by my side. And honestly, it reminded me. Like, I’m all about people. I believe in the kindness of people. But even then, I was a little scared. And the moment I got that first hug, I was like, right, you know, this is what it, right. Of course. Of course there’s good people out there.

 

Nissim Black [00:10:31] 

Wow.

 

Meir Kay [00:10:32] 

Of course. Like, how did I forget that? This is what it means to be human, this what it means to show up for peace and love and camaraderie.

 

Nissim Black [00:10:37] 

That’s crazy. Switching gears a little bit, so you, which I know about this myself, you probably a little bit more than me, but you travel a lot, right? So, and you’ve filmed yourself in some crazy places. You even have a video series where you backpacked across South America. So, like, where is the most unbelievable place you’ve ever been to? And who was someone maybe that you met on your travels that really inspired you?

 

Meir Kay [00:11:04] 

Oh, wow. Great question, Nissim, man. Oh, I like seeing this side of you, on the podcast host. What a conversationalist you are. Oh, man. Traveling. I do love to travel. And thankfully, as the world opens up now, I plan to do some more. So it’s hard, and it’s different categories. When it comes to like raw nature, I love New Zealand. When it came to adventure, I loved Bolivia. I climbed one of the tallest mountains, 6000 meters. Like touring over twenty thousand feet.

 

Nissim Black [00:11:34] 

Wow.

 

Meir Kay [00:11:35] 

That was an amazing feat over three days. I loved the Far East, you know, I love India. And that seemed like the most furthest part away from my reality of growing up in the US. Like it was just like, what, we’re on the same world and same country? Like, holy crap, an elephant just walked by, like what the heck’s going on here? So it was pretty, pretty nuts and pretty wild, so I would say that was a colorful, vibrant place that brought a lot of, just all the things, nature, adventure, deep conversations, a lot of greatness to there. And then other than that, while on those journeys, I mean, I met some amazing human beings. I mean, what’s coming to mind right now is everybody has their own spark. But like, it’s cool. I just, because this happened last week, a friend of mine reached out, we haven’t spoken to him in a couple of years. We went backpacking in South America on a two-week trip through the mountains. And it was like me and seven Israelis. Long story short, we joked around about how, you know, we’re all younger back then and like five years ago. And when “I get married Meir, I want you to be my rabbi.” You know, I have smicha. And, long story short, he reached out to me on LinkedIn last week, he was like, Meir, I’m getting married. I met the American girl. You’re coming down to Israel to be the rabbi. So, like, that’s so cool! That’s like, it’s cool how that, like that, how that happens. You never know what will come from meeting certain people.

 

Nissim Black [00:12:49] 

Wow. Wow. That is amazing. All right. So that’s a bit of inspiration.

 

Meir Kay [00:12:54] 

Yeah.

 

Nissim Black [00:12:54] 

That is definitely a bit of inspiration. I’d love to get back out. I mean, my travels, I didn’t get to see much of Brazil when I was there. So you get to actually go traveling. When I’m traveling, I go, I’m going to go work, you know, like.

 

Meir Kay [00:13:05] 

Right.

 

Nissim Black [00:13:06] 

You know, I get to.

 

Meir Kay [00:13:07] 

There’s work and play.

 

Nissim Black [00:13:08] 

Right, it’s work and play. I mean, I think the most beautiful part is I get to meet beautiful people in a, just wonderful, interesting people while I’m gone. So I really enjoy that. I have had the to some degree, I made somewhat of a rule for myself not to enjoy myself too much while I’m out, because then it’s very hard for me to not come back and tell my wife, oh, Hon, I went here, I went there. Like I’ve been to South Africa, like I’m going to say three or four times or something like that. I’ve never been on a safari. I’ve been offered everything else because then like, if I can’t take my wife and my kids with me, I know I’m going to hear about this. You know, I just, it’s very hard for me to come back and be like, OK, you know, so I know, Hon I went, I did the concert, I did, you know, but I would go out and meet. I try not to go sightsee too much, but it was hard to get away from those waves at Cape Town. I just I thought, wow, wow, wow. That was one of the places I’ve been to. It was just like.

 

Meir Kay [00:13:59] 

Incredible.

 

Nissim Black [00:13:59] 

Crazy, crazy. Table mountain. Wow. Wow.

 

Meir Kay [00:14:02] 

I’ve heard. I’ve never been in South Africa. It’s on the top of the bucket list. But it’s, you know, it’s funny you mention that because for me, I’ve some places in the world that’s untouchable. I’ve had options to go to South Africa, but I was like, you know, I want to wait till I’m like, have my partner. I want to go there with somebody. It’s weird, right? As like, hey, you know what? I’m not going to do it till, you know, till I meet that person. I want to share that experience.

 

Nissim Black [00:14:22]

No, no, it’s true. It’s true. Gibraltar also, you got to go to Gibraltar. Gibraltar is just also beautiful if you haven’t been there yet. That’s where the Yam Hagadol is. You know, where the Atlantic and the, and the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, they meet. Oh, my goodness. Breathtaking. So we got to go backpacking. South America.

 

Meir Kay [00:14:39] 

Done. Let’s make it happen.

 

Nissim Black [00:14:40] 

Looking forward. So like you said earlier, like you’re saying your goal is to spread joy, spread positivity, inspiration to others. That’s just really your path. That’s the way you do things. Considering now and this year in isolation has been hard for everybody. How do we come out of it and reconnect right now? How can we rebuild our communities and spread the joy and the positivity again?

 

Meir Kay [00:15:03] 

Yeah, I mean, this year definitely brought a lot of distance and solitude to many. I think a lot of it, a lot of beauty about it, is that I know for myself, I was challenged by that because I was like, hey, wait a second, I can’t be out on the streets. I can be connected with people in a physical sense, like they won’t feel my energy. And it challenged me to like, and it challenged I think many of us get used to the Zoom and the, and those types of virtual interactions, which in many ways was beautiful because we reconnected with people that perhaps we wouldn’t have seen that often or spoken to. But now that the world is back and healing and we’re coming back into person, I think the first thing is to be gentle with yourself and ease back into it. And especially for those, I’m an extrovert, and I still get like some social anxiety going back to some parties, you know. I mean, like, it’s been, it’s been a minute! So, like, be gentle with yourself and allow yourself to feel what feels good and to ease back into it as you want to. I would say also is like, you know, I think with this pause, it allowed people, it allow me to like realize where do I want to spend my time and how do, and what type of people do I want to spend it with? So be more mindful about that is I think is important to like, you know, you sort of hit the restart button. Why go back to a place where you were? I mean, life is always moving forward. So like, hey, what’s feeding me energy? Being more conscious of that, seeing what gives you more life into your system.

 

Nissim Black [00:16:16] 

Right.

 

Meir Kay [00:16:17] 

But then ultimately be a leader. I would say, like, you know, if you want something to get done, do it. Like arrange that thing. You want to like, if you love pottery, bring people together. You want to make a cookout, throw a barbecue, host a picnic? Like step up. If something is not being done or if you want to start bringing your friends together, put yourself out there. Let them be, you know, let people know, hey, I would love to see you guys. And what a better time, what an easy segue that is because like, when was the last time we all hung out together? So I would say, like, if it’s not being done already in your friend group or it’s not being done the way you want it, step up, be that person and make it happen.

 

Nissim Black [00:16:47] 

Right. No, that’s huge. And I think also, too, and what you’re saying. Because there’s two sides of it. Right, there’s the people, some people have anxiety, right, the health anxiety, the whole situation of Corona. I’ve seen a lot of people who are still very tiptoeing, especially there in America, over in like Israel it was like if they didn’t, like, stop it, you know what I’m saying, the locals would have probably just overthrown the whole entire thing if it didn’t like.

 

Meir Kay [00:17:11] 

Oh, day one.

 

Nissim Black [00:17:12] 

People were just getting way too fed up, you know. But like, you know, I was recently in America also, too. And I walked into, like, I think a Whole Foods. And everybody had on masks. Some people had on two masks. You know, I was flying one time and I don’t know how I’ve seen this, but I’ve seen a couple on my way to Cancun and they had two masks on, goggles and the face screen on their face. So you know, I’m like, and I’m thinking like how are people ever going to recover after that, you know? So you have the health side and then you have the flip side, like you said, the social anxiety. I forgot what it was like to be around people.

 

Meir Kay [00:17:45] 

Yeah. Yeah, right.

 

Nissim Black [00:17:46] 

It is huge. But that’s what you said. Its a good word, to be a leader. Step up and just, and to be the person to make it happen. So I really appreciate that. Out of all the videos that you have done, because you’ve done a lot of videos and they have touched many people, not only your own videos, you actually direct videos for other artists. So which has been your favorite to make?

 

Meir Kay [00:18:07] 

Oh, man, I love, that’s hard. You’re making me choose my babies right now, I mean. I love videos, I mean, that give me creative freedom and able to, like, push my limits when it comes to creativity. I enjoy the social experiments. I love the ones where I’m on the street. I’m in my element. And it’s just raw and real. I’m just like meeting people and interacting with them or building scenarios where they step into and it brings them closer to themself or to other people or challenges themselves in positive ways. I love that kind of stuff. And like right now, I’m in development to like create a show that has a lot of that element, God willing. So, like, I’m really excited for that. But that being said, there’s also this whole directing/acting side to myself, behind the camera, which I love music videos. I love that because it’s just fun. It’s vibrant. Even if it’s like a slow type of song, it’s still, there’s so much a creative room to, like, build worlds or to move somebody because you’re not just doing something visual, its doing audio, its music and visuals, and it all comes together. And it also gives me the ability to work with some awesome people. And social experiments we shoot just a small team, myself, maybe one or two other people. On music videos, it takes a village to create something special. So like I’m able to like, either bring on good friends of mine or work with new people who are creative and like, work with the artist. And so I just love like going to work, but it feels like play. And just like together making something so, so much, that’s so fun, something meaningful that will just last forever and touch potentially millions of people.

 

Nissim Black [00:19:34] 

It’s crazy. So I can understand that. Very rewarding work, I would say. But people don’t understand how much work goes into it. Right. Like, you know, you’re there 10 hours, 12 hours, you know what I’m saying? And that’s if you’re doing an all-day shoot. You, okay, if you break it up even into two days of seven-hour, one day seven hours, another day five, like it’s so much to get like two or three minutes.

 

Meir Kay [00:19:56] 

Oh, yeah. And if you think about it also, right, like you’re showing up that day. There’s like two months possibly of planning it out.

 

Nissim Black [00:20:02] 

Right. Right.

 

Meir Kay [00:20:03] 

And that day is two full days and then you have the editing process. But yeah, like I just filmed a music video here in L.A. last weekend. We had like a kid on set and he was, it was his second, the first time being on set and he was blown away. Like through a kid’s eyes, point of view. Like what? We have to do it again and again? You have to get different angles, and ups and downs and lighting and moving around.

 

Nissim Black [00:20:21] 

Right.

 

Meir Kay [00:20:22] 

So, yeah, it’s a labor of love. And I think the magic about it is that if the viewer doesn’t see the amount of work that goes into it, you know you did a good job. If it looks easy, looks flawless, them the job is done.

 

Nissim Black [00:20:35] 

Right. You have so many different roles. I was trying to explain to my wife. My wife is very out of the loop in terms of who I am. All the musicians and Jewish celebrities and different things like that. She only knows from me. Right, or because of my work, or my kids love to play, you know, music in the house. So she, you know, and she and the kids find it out from the other kids or whatever. You know, I’ve said a few different times in interviews. I didn’t even have Internet in my house before 2020 and like seven, eight years or something like that.

 

Meir Kay [00:21:06] 

Wow.

 

Nissim Black [00:21:07] 

So, you know, I tried to explain to her, she’s like, okay, who’s Meir Kay? And I’m like, you don’t know Meir Kay? She was like, Yeah, but what does he do? Is he a singer? Is he a what? And I was like, that’s a great question for Meir Kay. Who is Meir Kay? The thing is, like you’re a personality, how do you consider yourself, you know, besides just Meir Kay, the Jewish celebrity?

 

Meir Kay [00:21:29] 

Yeah. Yeah. Even that title is like limiting. But like I, or just one facet, you know.

 

Nissim Black [00:21:35] 

Right.

 

Meir Kay [00:21:35] 

You know, I think I would like to say I’m a lamplighter, as the Rebbe used to put it, you know, and so like I’m a lamplighter, man. I’m soul and a body, and I’m a creative guy. So I just use different methods to spread that light. It could be through a book, my kid’s book, a kid’s book about optimism. It could be a podcast, could be my videos I put online. It could be my public speaking. And maybe there’ll be other forms of creativity that I’ll be able to share light and love and show up in that way. So maybe for me, if I had an agent and he was like, yo, we got to like bring it down to two sentences, elevator pitch, so the world knows who you are. You know, that’s what you need. Right now I’m a free agent. And so, like, I just I just play and show up the way I want. And I think from a very young age, people tried to put me in a box and say, or dress this way, speak this way, do this way. I just resisted it. It wasn’t a place of rebellion. I just, it just wasn’t me.

 

Nissim Black [00:22:23] 

Healthy rebellion’s okay!

 

Meir Kay [00:22:24] 

Yeah.

 

Nissim Black [00:22:24] 

I’d call that a healthy rebellion. So a healthy rebellion is like Avraham Avinu, Abraham. Right. Who stood on one side of the world and the rest of the world stood on the other. And he was called an Ivri, one who crosses over, one who’s on the other side, or whatever. So I always tell people that in order to grow and to truly be successful, you have to reach places where you are on the other side of everybody else, right?

 

Meir Kay [00:22:48] 

Yeah. I mean, it’s funny that you mention Avraham, Abraham, because first of all, it’s in my name. My first name is Avraham Meir. So I feel very much connected to and this more recently came up for me, but like, connected to Avraham, particularly. Like you said, A, he thought for himself. He was a thinker. The rest of the world thought one way. He was like, no, this doesn’t make sense. He questioned. And then finally he went to source, and he realized the one true God. What I loved about Avraham as well is that he smashed the idols of his father. Sometimes even in our own way of being, we’re grown up in a certain way of thinking and not in a wrong way, because our fathers learn from their fathers, but to like sort of smash the idols of what we were conditioned to believe and to and to question. You know, sometimes I feel like this day and age kids are shut down with their questions. You can’t ask that! It’s out of fear. You can’t. Oh, you can’t question God. Oh, my God. You question God? You have doubts? And we shut that down. If you don’t give space for that, if you can’t have a dialog, is God not big enough for our doubts? Is God not big enough for that kind of conversation? So that’s, I think what Avraham did was beautiful, is that he smashed the idols of what, he questioned. He looked. And from the outside perhaps people were like, how dare you question? But like, no, he wanted to go to the truth. And I think it’s our obligation to go about and to go to source. All our forefathers questioned and went on their own journey. Our journey is not meant to be like the journey of the person to our left or to the right of us. Only by doing that will you find God, will you find the God for yourself. Right.

 

Nissim Black [00:24:16] 

That’s why we say “the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob.” It doesn’t say “the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,” because each one had their own special and unique relationship with God. And they all made Him their own. That’s a very, very beautiful thing. So what is it for you right now that you could say, this is the way that my Judaism is affecting me, day-to-day, in everything that I do?

 

Meir Kay [00:24:39] 

I mean, on a very real level, it’s faith. It’s faith in Hashem. It’s Emunah, I’m working on, right now I’m in the trenches of Emunah and Bitachon, and like, and building that relationship with Hashem, with God, with my God. And that plays into a very day-to-day dialog, where I’m like taking breaks throughout the day, through davening, through prayer, through meditation and like building it. And so I’m like, I’m stopping, and more than three times a day. And it’s really pushing me. Hitbodedut, if you want to use that word, you know, like really just.

 

Nissim Black [00:25:08] 

Of course I want to use that word!

 

Meir Kay [00:25:09] 

Yeah, exactly. There you go. Breslov. Grow into that. Give it to you. Yeah. But it’s real man. Like I, in this, in that regard I don’t think I was really brought up with that. It’s not really, it’s not really brought up where, at least in my upbringing. So that was new for me when I started learning more about Breslov or being around that, it was a beautiful thing. I thought it was strange at the beginning. I’m like, what? But then it’s so real. I lean on that. So and I’m so grateful to be able to have that in my life and so that really is a really big north star for me, and it comes up in conversation. So when I’m working with people who are Jewish or not, you know, automatically I’m past small talk. I can’t do that anymore. I really can’t. I don’t know how to. You know, I’ll be two seconds into trying to into some sort of social party and I’m like, okay, what are you working on in your life right now? What’s challenging, what’s going on in your life? Tell it to me. You know, like, it’s like, no wonder why people like hitting the bar more often after they speak to me, opening up the childhood trauma. But it’s, it’s you know what? I need realness in my life. I need to attach myself and surround myself with that kind of thing. And so by me engaging with this on a day-to-day basis, it comes up in my conversation. And so that also brings up conversation with people perhaps who wouldn’t have thought that or think that or talk about that. And it’s just beautiful because we’re just bringing, like spirituality, God, our backgrounds into the conversation. I think from there beautiful things happen when we get to know the person on a much deeper level. They get to know you more. You talk about what things are important to you and you share your message in a very real way.

 

Nissim Black [00:26:32] 

That’s amazing. That’s amazing. Meir, I really appreciate it. You brought much inspiration today.

 

Meir Kay [00:26:37] 

Thank you. Good to be hanging with you, Nissim. Good to see you.

 

Nissim Black [00:26:40] 

Thank you. Thank you.

 

Meir Kay [00:26:41] 

You’re welcome.

 

Nissim Black [00:26:52] 

Again, another amazing episode with another amazing person who, you know, calls himself a lamplighter, which if anybody knows Meir and has had the experience to just be around him, you see that that. That’s who he is. That’s what he lives. Everyone wants him to host events or other shows or their concert. They just want a piece of Meir because they know that he’s going to bring the fire, he’s going to bring the energy. And I’ve been privileged to see this firsthand. And he obviously definitely, definitely inspired me. And, you know, even as we mentioned in this last video, it has obviously inspired millions of others to want peace and to look at it, look at the world, I guess, from a different perspective. So that was an amazing conversation. Again, you know The Deal. And as always, I love to leave you guys with a song. So I think the song this week is going to be my song “Only One”. We talked about, Abraham during this, and Abraham was able to understand that in his own way, that God was the only one. And in turn, Abraham had the opportunity to be the only one in his generation to really recognize God. So I think this song is appropriate for now. Until next time, be strong and only go from strength to strength.

 

Music:

“Only One” by Nissim Black plays 

 

Nissim Black [00:29:46]

Thank you so much for listening to The Deal with me, Nissim Black. It’s a production of the Joshua Network. Our executive producer is Josh Kross, a producer is Gilad Brounstein. Please follow the show on Instagram and Twitter @TheDealwithNB and subscribe and read the show on Apple podcast Spotify. And wherever you get your podcast content, please share this with your friends so that they can get this raw and riveting stuff from me. Yours truly, G0DSMAN.

 

 

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