Itzhak Perlman's Broken String: Making Hopeful Music with What You Have

Sometimes the most beautiful music comes from the least likely places.

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Comments (10)

(7) Avi, July 19, 2021 2:59 AM

Never happened

It’s a great story and maybe could have happened but it didn't happen with him. My father met him once and started to ask him if the story was true. Before my father had the chance to finish his question, Itzhak Perlman cut him off and said it never happened. But the lesson learned is great

(6) BARBARA BROFMAN, July 17, 2021 5:01 AM


(5) Phillip Kelly, July 16, 2021 1:43 PM

Thank you

What a marvelous man and story. I am a engineer by training but musician at heart. (I studied classical music for 10 years from my life-long mentor and friend Dr Mack Israel—I am certainly not in the class of Mr Pearlman.) I was visiting friends one evening and they knew that I was a musician. My friend, Mr Frank, asked if I would play something on the guitar. I said I sure. Well, Mr Frank brought out a left-handed guitar with a missing G-String—I am right handed. I did not want to disappoint him. I had just begun learning mandolin an remembered that a mandolin was tuned upside down to the bottom 4 strings of a guitar. I turned the guitar and my mind upside down and managed to play a couple of songs for the folks, albeit not that well. To them I was a musical genius and Mr Frank told everyone he met afterwards what a marvelous musician I was—that I could play a guitar left-handed, upside down etc.. Many times it is the effort and intent that we give and with which we do things, as well as not giving up. Pride, Passion, and Perseverance define us!

(4) Paula Van Gelder, July 16, 2021 3:32 AM

Unfortunately this lovely story is probably not true. Check out snopes.

This is a beautiful story, which has been repeated many times. Unfortunately, it does not seem to be true.
I think it's important to point this out since people trust the accuracy of your site. They might feel that if one story is not accurate, that might be true of other material as well.

(3) Anonymous, July 15, 2021 3:05 PM


is is possible to be able to have this audio transcribed this so it can be read to an audience?

(2) Erika kish, July 15, 2021 6:47 AM


A inspiring story ,how to keep going ,never give up trust in God keep going Thank you Rabbi very kindly

(1) Anonymous, July 14, 2021 11:02 AM


Unfortunately people love to make up stories so 15 years ago I investigated the story and found that it probaly isn't true.
If you have proof I would be glad to know

Rabbi Sytner, July 14, 2021 1:02 PM

The lesson

Thanks so much for the comment, even if the story is an urban myth, Judaism is all into parables, and the most important thing here its to learn valuable lessons for lives, and become the best People we can be.
Thank you!

Gary, July 16, 2021 8:11 PM

Difference between a parable and this story

While parables have been an integral part of the Jewish tradition, and many other traditions as well, in illustrating valuable spiritual life lessons, they usually feature anonymous character types, e.g. "there once was a King who had a son ...", not specific individuals and supposed incidents that happened to them. I tend to agree with the other commenters who have problems with this type of story, i.e. when the story is shown not to have happened, whatever possible value it may have had is lessened by the resulting natural skepticism of the trustworthiness of the site that issued it. Why risk that when a little fact-checking and the choice of another story could illustrate the point just as well?

Miriam, July 15, 2021 1:19 PM

while inspiring, it never happened

In a concert Yitzhak Perlman gave a few years ago in Los Angeles, he confirmed this never happened. The message is nevertheless an important one. Perhaps a different story, whether true or allegorical, can depict this message.


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