Rephael Mendel Perkel lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is a singer-songwriter-musician whose unique style brings together Chassidic Jewish music, Afro rhythms and other eclectic music influences in a contemporary blend.
All this is infused with his passion for spirituality, Kabbalah and the expansion of consciousness as key pathways to personal and thus to global transformation.
Rephael started playing guitar in 1962 at age 12 and underwent classical training on the flute in his early twenties. In the early ’70s he formed a highly original trio called Audacle which staged frequent performances on the Wits University campus in Johannesburg.
In 1977 Rephael discovered the spiritual dimensions of Judaism through Chabad. His subsequent immersion in Chassidus and Torah observance have deeply informed his life, his music and his vocation as a healer and personal development coach ever since.
In the ’80s he formed Nitzutz – South Africa’s first dedicated Chassidic simchah band. He accompanied the famous Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach and featured as musical director in several of his concert visits to South Africa. He gratefully acknowledges Reb Shlomo as a significant influence in his life, both musically and spiritually.
More recently he worked abroad, leading a Jewish wedding band in Sydney, Australia.
In 2002 Rephael formed the band Neshima, recorded an album and did a four-week concert tour throughout Israel in the summer of that year.
In 2005 Rephael produced a solo album, “New Journey”, featuring a mix of original compositions and Chabad Chassidic nigunim. More recently he has released three singles – original compositions – towards an upcoming album. Rephael’s music is available across the popular digital platforms (search Rephael Perkel and Ray Perkel).
Rephael has performed live in various concerts over the years. In September 2006, he co-produced and performed in the landmark One Heart Concert in Johannesburg which brought African and Jewish musicians together in a celebration of unity within cultural diversity.
Rephael continues to play a role in community gatherings with a focus on music and Torah wisdom as a context for spiritual upliftment and inspiration.
Rephael has a passion for nature and enjoys hiking in the wilderness. He facilitates regular study groups in Chassidic wisdom and also works with individual clients internationally as a holistic therapist and personal development coach. He is married to artist Miriam Perkel; they have six children and a growing complement of grandchildren.
- Session Title: Celestial prophecies received by the Baal Shem Tov from Moshiach for our time.
The Baal Shem Tov, founder of the Chassidic movement, wrote in a published letter to his brother-in-law, that on Rosh HaShanah 5507 (1746) he undertook a soul ascension to the higher worlds and entered the chamber of Moshiach. When he asked him the perennial burning question, “When is the Master coming?” the words he heard from the Moshiach were profound predictions of the evolution of consciousness and the transformation of humanity that evidently we are beginning to witness today.