Only a Breath Away

by Steve Klaper / Caitlin M.G. Klaper

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There’s so much to be grateful for that it’s sometimes hard to figure out exactly where to start. It’s easy to take for granted all that we can imagine, all that’s within the realm of possibility, all that we can achieve, and we start to think that these achievements belong to us – that what we accomplish is done merely through our own hard work and our own special talents.

I pick up a phone and, with a few pushed buttons, I can speak almost instantly with someone in Jerusalem. I can sit in a video conference room and have a face-to-face meeting with people in China and Brazil and England, all at once. How is it possible? How is it that I get to accomplish such wonders? Well, it’s because people far wiser than me figured out how to lay fiber optic cable under the ocean and put satellites in orbit that carry electronic pulses that somehow coalesce into meaningful sounds and images. An amazing system at my fingertips – it makes me a miracle worker, every day.

I pray to God, to the Ribbono shel Olam – the Master of the Universe – I have the chutzpah to think that because I sing a few songs, say a few prayers, meditate a little – that I can address the Divine and that it reaches to the heights – to the depths… how is this possible?

Eloheinu v’Elohei avoteinu v’imoteinu -- My God and God of my fathers and mothers – we recite in our prayers. It’s because people before us put up the satellites. Abraham laid the first fiber optic cable to God. Moses led a ragtag ensemble for 40 years – 40 years of hit-and-miss wandering in the desert – to get to Sinai and send up the first satellite. The groundwork was done for us, the lines of communication were laid by people not so sophisticated as us, not so clever and deep – but who cared with all their hearts and focused with all their lives.

I thank them all, for giving me the opportunity to create moments and to reach for clarity, and I thank Hakadosh Baruch Hu, the Holy One of Blessing, for allowing me to walk this miraculous path every day and, once in a while, to actually become aware that I’m walking it.

Steve Klaper, June 2009


released October 1, 2009

Steve Klaper 
Vocals, guitars, mandola, harmonica, bowls
Caitlin M.G. Klaper 
Randy Leipnik 
Keyboards, bass, kalimba, koto
Rune Palland Percussion
Matthew Rautio
 Vocals (Fountain of Love, Hashkiveinu)



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Jewish Troubadour Oak Park, Michigan

Hazzan Steve Klaper is a Jewish troubadour -- a spiritual storyteller, minstrel and teacher. An ordained Cantor, Maggid and teacher of Torah, Steve draws upon his Orthodox Jewish roots and over 40 years experience as a professional musician, infusing traditional Jewish teachings with melodies, sacred tales and wisdom from a variety of traditions -- ancient teachings that feel somehow familiar. ... more

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Track Name: Modim
Modim anachnu lach

She’ata hu Adonai Eloheinu
Tzur chayeinu, magein yisheinu

ata hu l’dor vador
Shalom rav al Yisrael amcha,
tasim l’olam

Ki ata, ki ata, hu melech adon

L’chol ha shalom
Track Name: Shalom Rav
Shalom rav, al Yisrael amcha, tasim l’olam

Ki ata, hu melech adon, l’chol haShalom

Grant us peace from above

and we’ll make peace here below

May we be the blessing

That completes this world – Shalom

V’tov b’einecha

L’vareich et amcha Yisrael

b’chol eit, uv’chol sha’a, bishlomecha
Track Name: V'shamru
V’shamru v’nei Yisrael et haShabbat

La’asot et haShabbat,
l’dorotam b’rit olam

Beini uvein b’nei Yisrael ot hi l’olam

Ki sheishet yamim asah Adonai

Et haShamayim v’et haAretz
U’vayom hash’vee-ee, Shavat vayinafash
Track Name: Hashkiveinu
Hashkiveinu Adonai, Eloheinu l’shalom,

V’hamideinu malkeinu, l’chayim

Help us, O Lord, to lie down here in peace,

And awaken us to life tomorrow,

Shelter us always and everywhere

And bless us with life, 
bless us with life and peace.

Ufros aleinu, sukkat sh’lomecha

V’takneinu b’eitza tova mil’fanecha

Ushmor tzeiteinu, uvo’einu

L’chayim ul’shalom, mei’ata v’ad olam
Track Name: Mi Chamocha Rag
Mi chamocha ba’eilim Adonai

Mi kamocha nedar bakodesh

Nora t’hilot oseh feleh

Mal’chut’cha ra-u vanecha

bokeia yam lifnei Moshe

Zeh eili anu v’amru
Adonai yimloch l’olam va’ed

V’ne’emar ki fadah Adonai et Ya’akov,

ug’alo m’yad chazak mimenu

Baruch Ata Adonai, go’al Yisrael

Shira chadasha shib’chu g’ulim

L’shimcha al s’fat hayom

Yachad kulam hodu v’himlichu v’amru

Adonai yimloch l’olam va-ed
Track Name: Adonai S'fatai Tiftach
Adonai s’fatai tiftach

Ufee yagid t’hilatecha

Open my lips, O Eternal my God

And my mouth will tell of Your glory

Open my lips, O Eternal One

Let me sing praise…
Track Name: B'sefer Chayim
B’sefer chayim, 
b’racha v’shalom, 
ufarnasah tova
Nizacheir v’nikateiv l’fanecha

Anachnu v’chol amcha beit Yisrael
l’chayim tovim ul’shalom
Baruch ata Adonai, oseh haShalom
Track Name: P'tach Lanu Sha'ar
P’tach lanu sha’ar, b’eit n’ilat sha’ar, 

Ki fana yom

Hayom yifneh, haShemesh yavo v’yifneh

navo’ah sh’arecha

Ana, Eil na, sa na, s’lach na, m’chal na

Chamal na, rachem na, kapeir na
k’vosh chet v’avon

O keep open for us Your gate of mercy,

At the time of the closing of the gate,

Now that the day is waning.

The day is passing; The sun is setting;

O let us enter Your gate at last.
Track Name: Ein Keloheinu
Ein keloheinu, ein kadoneinu

Ein k’malkeinu, ein k’moshieinu

Mi cheloheinu, mi chadoneinu

Mi ch’malkeinu, mi ch’moshieinu

Nodeh leloheinu, nodeh l’adoneinu

Nodeh l’malkeinu, nodeh l’moshieinu

Baruch eloheinu, baruch adoneinu

Baruch malkeinu, baruch moshieinu

Atah hu eloheinu, atah hu adoneinu

Ata hu malkeinu, atah hu moshieinu
Track Name: Nishmat
Nishmat kol chai, t’vareich et shimcha

Yah Eloheinu

May the soul of all life Look to You, 
Holy One

May the spirit of all flesh 
bless Your Name

May we rise up to praise You 
forever and ever

O Lord our God, Adonai Eloheinu…
Track Name: Fountain of Love
Fountain of love, my Souce is in Thee,

Loving Thy will, my Spirit is free.
Beautiful day, when all of us see,

The Hope of the world is Love.
Track Name: Only a Breath Away
So this is where we are

This is what it’s come to

Beyond all the noise
Beyond the illusions we love
Now that the time has arrived

Nothing to do, nothing to say

“Hush, my love, I’m only a breath away,

Can’t you see that 
I’m only a breath away.”

Try to change the world

Try to just survive it,

Ain’t it exhausting
All of this trying to be?
Now that the time has arrived

Nothing to do, nothing to say

“Hush, my love, I’m only a breath away,

Can’t you see that 
I’m only a breath away.”

Not the roaring wind

Nor the mountain’s rumble

Nothing that burns

No voice that demands to be heard
Now that the time has arrived

Nothing to do, nothing to say

“Hush, my love, I’m only a breath away,

Can’t you see that 
I’m only a breath away.”