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Mordechai Werdyger is an American Hasidic Jewish singer and songwriter popular in the Orthodox Jewish community. As the son of famous Cantor David Werdyger he is known by his stage name Mordechai Ben David (Hebrew: מרדכי בן דוד‎, lit. 'Mordechai, son of David') or its initials, MBD. He is known as the "King of Jewish Music" and has released over 30 albums while performing worldwide. He has headlined the popular HASC and Ohel charity concerts for almost two decades.
Mordechai Ben David may be considered a pioneer of contemporary Hasidic song. He started his musical career in the early 1970s, a time when Hazzanut was the main source of recorded music in Jewish Orthodox circles, with very few solo singer performers. Two notable singers who preceded Werdyger were Bentzion Shenker and Shlomo Carlebach, who had started a genre rooted in Hasidic and American folk song in the early 1960s.

Mordechai Ben David based his career on his father David's acclaim, choosing Mordechai Ben David (Mordechai the Son of David) as his stage name. In contrast to his father, who recorded classic Hasidic niggunim(songs) with cantorial vocals and classical instruments, Ben David blended traditional Hasidic singing with modern and popular music techniques. He was encouraged in this endeavor by Rabbi Chaim Zanvl Abramowitz, the Ribnitzer Rebbe.[2] He soon became known as an innovator and rose quickly to become a musical superstar to Orthodox Jews worldwide.

Ben David's music is considered "soul touching" and "spiritually uplifting", with most of the lyrics based on Hebrew prayer, Biblical passages, and religious poetry, known as Zemirot. Other songs, composed in English, Yiddish, and Modern Hebrew, carry religious themes such as the sanctity of Shabbat and the yearning for Mashiach. His recordings include traditional Hasidic melodies of Eastern European folk-style alongside more modern jazz, pop, and rock music.

Throughout his career, Werdyger has worked with many composers and arrangers, most notably Yisroel Lamm and Moshe (Mona) Rosenblum, as well as Suki Berry, Moshe Laufer and Yossi Green, Boruch Chait and Abie Rotenberg. He himself has composed many songs that he has recorded. He has also collaborated side by side with well known musicians including Yaron Gershovsky (director of the Manhattan Transfer), Daniel Freiberg and Ken Burgess.

Over the years, Mordechai appeared as a guest soloist on a number of albums recorded by his father, the late Cantor David Werdyger. Later years he appeared on albums produced and sung by his son Yeedle Werdyger, and brother Mendy Werdyger, both of whom are known singers in their own rights. He has appeared on a number of "All Star Cast" albums produced by Suki & Ding.

MBD's style has been an inspiration to many Jewish singers over the past decades; following his genre are famous headline singers such as Avraham Fried, Lipa Schmeltzer, and Yaakov Shwekey, as well as some of the younger stars like Benny Friedman, Simcha Leiner, Levy Falkowitz and Shmueli Ungar. Together with well-known producer Sheya Mendlowitz, Mordechai produced the first solo recording album of singer Avraham Fried entitled "No Jew Will Be Left Behind" (with songs composed by Yossi Green and the Zimriah Orchestra arranged by Marty Lewinter) in 1981. During that same year, Sheya was involved with the production of two of Mordechai's releases, "Mordechai Ben David Live" (his first live album) and "Memories", written in memory of Mordechai's mother, and featuring songs composed by Yerachmiel Begun (of Toronto and Miami Boys Choir fame). In fact during the following few years, Sheya & Mordechai jointly produced a number of hit albums together including "Mostly Horas" (1987), his own album "MBD & Friends" (1987), "Yisroel Lamm & The Philharmonic Experience" (1988), and "25 Years of Jewish Music" (1988). In addition, Sheya went on to produce both Mordechai's "Simen Tov -Keitzad" (one of the first ever Jewish music "single" releases) (1989) and "The Double Album" (1990).

Music and politics
Some of Werdyger's songs have carried political messages.

In 1984 and 1985, MBD's songs "Hold On" and "Let My People Go" focused on the Jewish refusenik plight behind the Soviet Iron Curtain. While "Hold On" expresses hope, "Let My People Go" specifically calls for "support and pressure" to free Anatoly Natan Sharansky and Ida Nudel from Soviet captivity.

1994's "Yerushalayim We Will Never Leave You", recorded in Hebrew and English, protested the intent of dividing Jerusalem under the Oslo I Accord.

MBD released a single track in 1996, named "Chevron Always And Forever" (heb. חברון מאז ולתמיד), protesting proposed Israeli concessions over Hebron under the Oslo II Interim Agreement.

Discography
Mordechai Ben David Werdyger Sings Original Chassidic Nigunim (1973)
Hineni (1974)
Neshama Soul (1975)
I'd Rather Pray and Sing (1977)
Vechol Maminim - Songs of Rosh Hashana (1978)
Moshiach Is Coming Soon (1980)
Memories (1981)
Mordechai Ben David Live (1981)
Ich Hob Gevart (I Have Waited) (1982)
Just One Shabbos (1982)
Around the Year Vol. 1 (1983)
Hold On (1984)
Let My People Go (1985)
Jerusalem Not For Sale (1986)
MBD and Friends (1987)
Jerusalem Our Home - Lekovod Yom Tov (1988)
Siman Tov and Keitzad (Singles) (1989)
The Double Album (1990)
Solid MBD (1990)
Moshiach, Moshiach, Moshiach (1992)
Live in Jerusalem (1991)
Tomid BeSimcha - Always Happy (1994)
Special Moments (1994)
Once Upon a Niggun (1996)
Chevron Forever (single)(1996)
Ein Od Milvado (1997)
The English Collection (1998)
We Are One (1999)
Maaminim (2001)
Kumzits (2003)
Nachamu Ami (2004)
Oorah (single) (2005)
Efshar Letaken (2006)
Yiddish Collection (2007)
Anovim Anovim (single) (2008)
Oorah (single) (2008)
Levado - Mishpacha (single) (2008)
Kulam Ahuvim (2009)
Platinum Collection (2009)
Kisufim (2011)
Omdos Hoyu (single) (2012)
Yachad Shivtei Yisrael (single) (2012)
Afofuni (single) (2013)
Nekom (single) (2015)
Tzeaka (2017)
Kdei Rabi Shimon (Single) (2019)

In addition, MBD appears on many albums including
Jewish Education Program Vol. 4 (1979)
Jerusalem (1983)
Father & Sons Biglal Avos (1984)
Torah (1985)
Simcha (1984)
Hallel (1987)
25 Years Of Jewish Music (1988)
The Bentching Tape (1993)
Yeedle, Together (1993)
3 Generations (1994)
Yeedle, Laasos Retzon Avicha (1995)
Best Of The Best 1 (1997)
Solid Gold Volume 1 (1997)
Solid Gold Volume 2 (1998)
Lev Vanefesh II (1998)
Mona 3 (1998)
Solid Gold Volume 3 (1999)
Hamishorririm (1999)
Ken Burgess, I'll Never Walk Alone In The Desert (2000)
All Star Collection (2000)
The Vocal Version (2001)
Best Of The Best 2 (2002)
Yeedle, IV (2002)
Mona, Mona 4 (2003)
Sheves Achim, Shabbos In Mezibuz (2004)
Ken Burgess, Melech (2005)
Brand New (2005)
Shabbos With The Werdygers 1 (2006)
Yeedle, Lev Echad (2008)
Hameorerim (2008)
The 8th Note (2008)
Shabbos With The Werdygers 2 (2010)
Lipa Schmeltzer, Meimka Dlipa: From the Depth of My Heart (2010)
Miami Boys Choir, Light Up the Nights & Greatest Dance Hits (2010)
Big Time - Alter Heim - Then & Now (2011)[20]
Yeedle, A Verdige Yid (2013)
Shir (2014)
Shir 2 (2016)

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