Heartbreaking: Rabbi Composed Lyrics Written by Young Woman Killed In Car Accident (VIDEO)

Photo of Danielle Sonnenfeld, z”l, 10, playing piano
Rabbi Yoav Malka, a rabbi in a Jerusalem yeshivah, and Danielle Sonnenfeld, a young woman killed in a tragic car accident three years ago, never met. Yet, according to the rabbi, the stirring words that the girl composed when she was only eleven forged a deep spiritual encounter between the two that resulted in a poignant melody and magnificent musical production in Danielle’s memory.

“I remember the first time I glimpsed these words. I was overcome with emotion, as if the lyrics had descended from heaven. It was like a cloak of radiance surrounded the words,” relates Malka.

Rabbi Malka, a teacher at Machon Meir in Jerusalem, first saw the poem approximately a year ago in a pamphlet of artistic compositions and drawings by Danielle. The pamphlet was published by the Sonnenfeld family to mark Danielle’s first yartzeit and disseminated among family, friends, and acquaintances.

“It’s all from Danielle,” he expresses. “Her spirituality warmed and inspired me. I’m very grateful to be able to spread her light, and I hope that any positive affect will be in her merit and memory.”

Photo of Rabbi Yoav Malka


With Malka’s encouragement, Idan Yitzhakian, a singer, composer, and alumnus of Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, was recruited to the task of composing the melody and performing together with Reuven Hayun of OoV Music Studio in Givatayim who played, mixed, and produced the song. Malka also contacted Danielle’s father, Mr. Elio Moti Sonnenfeld, to help produce and publish the video clip. The final clip includes a drawing that Danielle drew when she was 12 years old, with the landscape graphically edited in order to better depict the lyrics of the song, “Little moments of joy/That restore energy and verve/ For one little moment, all fear and pain are forgotten/All we want is to run, jump, shout, and sing!”

Last year, the words of Little Moments of Joy by Danielle, z”l, were painted onto the lobby wall of the Oncology Department of Schneider Children’s Hospital, where Danielle devoted heart and soul to the young patients until the day she was killed.

Danielle’s father, Elio Moti Sonnenfeld, shares, “This song poignantly captures what Danielle meant to these children and their families. She gave them all ‘little moments of joy’ during a very bitter chapter in their lives.”

Photo of Idan Yitzhakian, credit to Reuven Hayun

After his daughter’s passing, Elio Moti Sonnenfeld established the Danielle Sonnenfeld Foundation in her memory. The Foundation has launched and contributes generously to dozens of institutions, projects and programs in the realms of education, medicine, and social welfare.

Sonnenfeld adds, “This poem that she wrote and accompanying drawing clearly manifest Danielle’s spiritual greatness which was evident from a very young age. Her extraordinary character was expressed, among others, in her beautiful drawings, songs and poetry that convey the deep understanding and insights of a girl who from an exceedingly young age exhibited remarkable strength of character.”