By day, Rabbi Eli Goldsmith is a Customer Service Executive at a well known e-vapor company. By night, he is known as the Midnight Rabbi.
Music Obsessed Youth
Rabbi Goldsmith explains that music was part of his childhood. “I grew up in England, a typical northwestern secular London Jew with a not so typical family business.” Rabbi Goldsmith’s family is a top class promoter and merchandiser in the entertainment world.
As a kid, young Goldsmith had access to VIP royal boxes and backstage treatment to the biggest artists and shows on earth. He was famously involved in Live Aid and other high profile concerts. “Sitting with the stars made a huge impression about the power of music for a searching generation,” recalls Rabbi Goldsmith.
He began to learn the guitar and was writing his own songs by age 14. Rabbi Goldsmith says that he grew up “music obsessed” and won a talent contest with a band known as Common Ground. However, the emptiness of secular life was growing within him, and the search for a more meaningful life brought young Goldsmith to the Holy Land.
Connecting and Reconnecting
In Israel, young Goldsmith’s newfound spirituality acted to reawaken his past talents. “Music was a powerful tool to open my heart to the more spiritual places within, and bridge this world to a more spiritual place beyond”, he recalls.
Young Goldsmith was fortunate to create his first and only music album called ‘Together’. He recorded and produced the album in Jerusalem with Jeff Horovitz, and it’s currently available for free listening on SoundCloud, under the name Midnight Rabbi.
Beyond his own album, Rabbi Goldsmith conducted many a kumzitz in yeshivah, and eventually set up “The Unity of the Bands” concerts, involving more than 12 yeshivah programs with plenty of inspired musical individuals.
Kind donations went towards a music studio where many yeshivah students were able to record and practice their talents. However, after about four years of concerts, the yeshivah world was not supportive enough to keep up the momentum.
Rabbi Goldsmith realized that the time had come to switch from inspiring others with music to focusing on individuals who were already inspired in the existing music world.
The lofty power of music is one of Rabbi Goldsmith’s deepest beliefs. He describes music as “a way to open people up to the soul, with togetherness and depth of expression”. At the same time, however, he sees that music as a profession is often synonymous with struggling for money. “I did consider large charity events but found the industry very monopolized here in Israel.”
Ever hopeful, Rabbi Goldsmith still dreams of combining the musical talent in the Holy Land with some sort of streamed global event to unite all of the Jewish people everywhere.
The Midnight Rabbi
The Midnight Rabbi — it’s quite a name. It was chosen by Rabbi Goldsmith’s students, who returned from a night spent partying in town to find the Rabbi up and ready to learn. After finding Rabbi Goldsmith awake and eager to learn at midnight, a student created an email account officially naming him the “Midnight Rabbi”.
Rabbi Goldsmith shares, “I was up all night for about 4 or 5 years with students at different programs, venturing into town and making events in Shorashim late into the night on Hillel Street in Jerusalem.” Rabbi Goldsmith worked with many bands and talented, inspired individuals in the Holy Land, including Yosef Karduner, Shtar, Lazer Lloyd, the Solomon brothers, Shyne, Y-love, Shmuelik, Ari Lesser, Zusha, Nissim, the Portnoy brothers, and many others.
Working with famous entertainers comes naturally to Rabbi Goldsmith. Having grown up around his father’s entertainment friends, such as WWF superstar Hulk Hogan. “Hulk always calls my father ‘my holy brother,’” recounts Rabbi Goldsmith. What Rabbi Goldsmith loves about his father is his ability to draw out the best in everyone he works with.
In one famous story with WWF wrestler “Macho Man” Randy Savage (see photo), Rabbi Goldsmith’s father helped “Macho Man” reveal that he is Jewish during a WWF tour of Israel in the 1980’s. The famous wrestler went on to fly in his Jewish mother so they could continue to tour the Holy Land together! These type of stories made an impact on Rabbi Goldsmith and influence how he connects to fellow Jews today.
Yet, to really reach the online generation, Rabbi Goldsmith needed to reorganize things. He decided to create an online presence entitled “the Midnight Rabbi Inspires”. Visitors to his blog can find inspiring music, videos, and blog posts from The Midnight Rabbi himself.
Today Rabbi Goldsmith works at a growing e-vapor company, an opportunity that he calls “a gift of Divine Providence”. He notes that “the Customer Service position gives me a great opportunity to serve people and work in a highly professional team setting.” On the job, Rabbi Goldsmith enjoys learning the new technology-focused service, being trained and updated for corporate business, and continuing to round his growing skill set.
Adding to his skill set includes helping his wife begin her own exercise revolution for observant Jewish women. The program is called Vitality—Body and Soul. Naturally, Rabbi Goldsmith provides the music and DJ’s accompaniment for their exercises. His unique music vitalizes “guf v’nefesh”.
Keeping Life Balanced
One of Rabbi Goldsmith’s guiding principles is balance, which he says brings a person vitality. “Vitality is the key. Keeping life balanced. Surrounding myself with inspirational Rabbonim and speakers, and some helpful apps too.” Rabbi Moshe Weinberger’s free shiurim, and Torahanytime.com rabbis, including Rabbi YY Jacobson are his daily inspirational juice.
The Tolna Rebbe of Jerusalem is Rabbi Goldsmith’s personal spiritual guide. Rabbi Goldsmith says, “He keeps me balanced and focused on the true goals, living the Rotzon Hashem (Will of G-d), Shalom Bayis (happy homes), and Chinnuch (children’s education)!”
Two of Rabbi Goldsmiths most inspiring non-Jewish leaders are Stephen Covey and Tony Robbins. Rabbi Goldsmith took Stephen Covey’s classic work, “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” and created his own model, “The 10 Habits of Truly Effective Jews.” He published the book in his company for the staff.
Rabbi Goldsmith combines the worldly wisdom of these authors with Torah values that come from the world of Tzadikkim to motivate and inspire his workplace. He comments that “The soul of the Jew is beyond words and can turn all the darkness of this world into light. We have the power to inspire people wherever we go. The mission is eternal and people at work feel the motivation and positivity this genuine outlook brings.”
But like everyone else, there have been good days and bad ones in Rabbi Goldsmith’s very full life. “Lack of Emunah (faith in G-d), tiredness, and lack of goals hold us all back”, he admits.
Rabbi Goldsmith advises people to go inwards and draw the G-dly soul into everything they do. He says that this helps to refocus on the values that matter most, such as building a stronger family, and sincere prayer to G-d for the strength and Divine help to move ahead. “The key is,” shares Rabbi Goldsmith, “with good focus, friends, and solid family togetherness we never give up on pursuing our goals.”
Today and Tomorrow
These days, Rabbi Goldsmith is available to chat at almost all times, while pumping out the latest Jewish talent and inspirational role models. He speaks weekly on the emunahchannel.com.
Rabbi Goldsmith strongly feels that today’s generation is uniquely positioned for true, honest reflection. “It’s in the air,” he says, “the searching souls of our generation are finding the light! I am happy to help anyone who wants to be helped find the path of truth…It’s all Divinely inspired with love and connections, if we can just dig deeper!”
The discovery of deep, meaningful living is a core human search. Perhaps a lesson that everyone can learn form his is that within every person is a song to be written and sung.