One of the most gifted and inspired composers of Hassidic niggunim Rabbi Ben Tzion Shknker has passed away this morning at the age of 91.
Music has played an integral part of Shenker’s life since he was very young, including making a record at the age of 13, while performing on his own radio show and singing in a boy’s choir.
Shenker has composed roughly 500 songs in his lifetime, including “Eishes Chayil” (completed in 1953), “Mizmor L’David, Hashem ro’i” (composed in 1946), and “Yasis Alayich” (composed in 1965). In addition, he has published several records of the music of Modzitz – a Polish Chassidus – including the very first chassidic record in the United States, “Modzitzer Melave Malke,” released in 1956.
Recently dubbed “the greatest living figure of chassidic music” by NPR Radio.
Shenker served as prayer leader in a Brooklyn Modzitzer synagogue for five decades.
His funeral will be held today at the Shomrei Hadas Chapels in Borough Park at 1:00 PM this afternoon.