Rabbi Hagay Batzri was born in Jerusalem into a family of rabbis and cantors. He is descended from the Ben Ish Chai and from Rabbi Yehuda Ftaya, and his father heads the supreme rabbinical court of Israel. In 1997 he received his rabbinical smicha from Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, Chief Rabbi for the State of Israel.
Rabbi Batzri enjoys teaching what he calls practical kabbalah, the kabbalistic reasons and explanations behind Jewish laws, concepts, and practices. He balances his study of Jewish mysticism and his rabbinical duties with concert performances in the United States, Israel, and other countries.
His performances feature a unique, eclectic musical technique that blends chazanut with international influences and has a worldwide following. Internet music videos featuring Rabbi Batzri in song and prayer have generated hundreds of thousands of hits.
For live events, he is a much sought-after cantor who is lauded for his soulful tenor voice and engaging stage presence. He has performed, among other venues, at UCLA with the world-renowned Yuval Ron Ensemble. His musical philosophy is simple and beautiful: “Music crosses all boundaries and unifies us.” For Rabbi Batzri, creating music is a way of expressing gratitude and appreciation for all we have. When we make music, we embrace life and all living creatures.