Hasidic rapper Nissim Black opens up about his creative process, spirituality and COVID recovery
Nissim Black is passionately, assuredly, confidently in love with God.
Not in love with Judaism, though he’s fastidious in prayer and observance. Not in love with spirituality, though most mornings, you can find him meditating in the Israeli hills after sunrise. Not in love with ritual, though he’s a devoted Hasidic Jew.
No, Nissim Black is in love with the creator of the universe, with whom he has an intimate and fierce connection. He’s faced no shortage of adversity, experienced myriad modes of connection with the divine. Yet he’s unapologetically who he is, doing what he loves — rapping — with the undeniable gifts — perceiving and conveying clear-eyed truth — he’s been endowed with.
Days after his 34th birthday, on which he released “The Hava Song,” the Jewish Telegraphic Agency spoke to Black at length about his music, his faith and his communities.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity. The word Hashem, literally meaning “the name,” is a Hebrew word for God commonly used by Orthodox Jews in everyday speech.