Rabbi BK Performs on ‘The Masked Singer’ Inspiring World Unity

Kayla Nickfardjam, Co-Editor-In-Chief

“Ya da dai dai…. Ya da dai dai….” 

While this may merely seem like a random assortment of short syllables to the average person, chances are, nearly every Milken student can immediately identify this as the beginning of Niggun. Back when you had to wear pants to attend school, Niggunim were an iconic fixture of life at Milken. The cheerful chanting could be heard multiple times a week, whether it be during Oneg or at the end of a Jewish Studies class.  

This past week, an unlikely character graced the stage of the hit reality competition show, The Masked Singer, where celebrities anonymously sing in mascot suits until they are eliminated and their identities are revealed. The furry tiger (not to be confused with a Furry) donned a Patagonia sweater, kippah, and held out a bowl of Hershey Kisses before breaking out into a passionate Niggun. Perhaps even more surprising than the standing ovation the performance received was the performer himself: Rabbi Bernat Kunin. 

A few months prior, when a student gave their senior sermon on the unifying aspect of Niggunim, Rabbi BK, the only person listening, felt profoundly inspired. He believed that he could harness the power of the Niggun to unite a world plagued by divisiveness and that is exactly what he set out to do. 

BK soon sacrificed his daily reading of the holy scripture, Martin Buber’s “I and Thou” and pitched the idea to the producers at Fox. While they were initially skeptical about casting a regular person over a celebrity, they felt undeniably moved by the strange song and his claim about its ability to bring people together. “In this polarized day and age, many people won’t even speak to each other, but we can all speak Niggun,” the Rabbi said. 

At first, Rabbi BK’s raspy rendition of a classic Niggun was met with raised eyebrows and laughs. But soon enough, both the judges and socially-distanced audience members became enraptured by the performance and began singing along and jumping to the rhythm, causing a magnitude 3.0 earthquake in nearby West Hollywood. “That was absolutely captivating,” said judge and very relevant musician, Robin Thicke. 

“I am so glad that you all enjoyed it! I wanted to convey the message that no matter the language you speak, your background, your religion, or your creed, we can all join in on a joyful Niggun,” said BK. 

Due to his humble nature, Rabbi BK did not tell anyone about his new gig, which made it even more shocking when he decided to reveal himself. “I practically spit out my water when he revealed himself and I saw it was my Jewish Studies teacher,” said senior Shannon Rad. 

Shannon wasn’t the only Milken student who was surprised. Milken’s voicemail box is still full with excited messages from community members notifying the administration of the event. 

The video went viral on Youtube garnering 36 million views overnight and inspiring a movement of partnership and peace around the world. Only two days after it has aired, Joe Biden and Donald Trump have met to work out their differences, Israeli and Palestinian authorities began talks of a peace deal, and Kim and Kanye have put a pause on their divorce. 

Rabbi BK is overwhelmed with joy at the response his performance has achieved and hopes that this will now inspire more students to unmute and join in on the Niggun at the end of his Honors Advanced Jewish Thought class!