Stories behind the Chasidic
Songs that Inspire Jews
Published and Copyright 1994, by:
Jason Aronson Inc.
* * *
Each person expresses himself on three levels--thought, speech and deed.
When a chasid carries out his Rebbe's directives he unites with the
When he learns Chasidus, he unites with the Rebbe's facet of speech.
But when he sings the Rebbe's niggun he becomes united with the highest
of the three levels--the Rebbe's thoughts.------------------Sefer
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
The Table of Contents contains links to the text. Click on an entry
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2. The Lullaby
In which we learn that a man is not taken away before he has heard what he
has come to hear and before he has said what he has come to say.
3 The Music of Return
This is what the haunting niggunim--the deep calling unto the deep--are
4 The Singing Tzadik
How one rebbe turned secular songs into sacred niggunim and made
Hungarian Jews dance for joy.
5 Song on Fire
The inside scoop on how and where the Ziditchover Rebbe heard his "theme
song" niggun from the angels in heaven.
6 Song of the Dead: A Happy Story
A rebbe and his niggun that will be here--at least until the coming
of the messiah.
7 Bringing the Glad Song Home
In which a niggun is at the very heart of the fall and rise of Belzer
8 How a Niggun Came Marching
A rebbe recognizes a long-lost Temple song.
9 Bam, Bam, Bam
The Jewish way to greet the Messiah.
10 The Rizhiner Connection
In which the lesson a rabbi learned in his childhood made him immortal
11 David without the Slingshot
In which the niggun "Kel Molei Rachamim" saves the life of Cantor
David Werdyger in a Nazi concentration camp.
12 I Am a Niggun
About a niggun made of flesh and bones, having a Jewish soul,
with the power to open the gates of heaven.
13 The Story of the Boxes
How songs keep fooling the yeitzer hora every time.
14 For the Love of a Niggun
In which a rebbe's niggun mekarevs a long-lost Jew.
15 The Mysteries of a Niggun
In which a rebbe undergoes a leg amputation with just a song in his heart
16 Jail House Rock
How the "Shpoler Zeide's Niggun" continues to rescue Jews in jail
17 Leonard Bernstein Unbound
In which the "Niggun Shamil" moves conductor Leonard Bernstein
so powerfully to put on tefillin not once but twice!
18 The Songs that Almost Weren't
In which a "musical diary" niggun records a rebbe's flight and
hardships escaping the Nazis during World War II.
19 A Fair Exchange
How one Jew captured the Russian army with one hand tied behind his back
as he wrote a niggun with the other.
20 Embers midst the Ruins
In which the Bluzhever Rebbe uses the niggun "Veye' esoyu" to
survive concentration camp and certain death.
21 Travels of Two Niggunim
An amazing thing happens as two niggunim are sung one night.
22 Rebbe Hoppin'
Why the "ice cream" yeshivah almost melted because of a
23 The Dreamer Who Never Sleeps
How a dreamer of the day--in other words, a realist-always acts his dream
with open eyes, to make it possible.
24 The French Don't Have a Word for It
Why France has never been the same after a chasidic rebbe adopted "the
Marseillaise" as a niggun.
25 Jerusalem on Her Mind
In which a sad little girl and a cantor find all the gold of Jerusalem
in a faraway place.
26 The Night a Jew Sang for His Supper in the Kremlin
How a niggun helped bring the Kremlin house down and brought Torah
home to thousands of Jews.
27 A Twice-Told Story
What happened when an artist heard a niggun--twice.
28 The Purpose of Life
In which the Baal Shem Tov binds an inept Jew to the world of music,
and thereby hangs a purposeful tale.
29 Reb Yid
In which the Ropshitzer Rebbe restores an errant soul to its rightful place
just in time for Simchas Torah.
30 The Journey
In which two men crossed their own Red Sea, counseled Empress Maria Theresa
of the Holy Roman Empire, and altered the course of Jewish history in Europe.
In which the sweetest singer since King David departed this world, and
how his sons learned the Torah from every limb of their tateh's body,
and from his songs.
32 The Jew Hater
In which Levi Yitzchok of Berditchev sings a song and turns a hateful man
33 The Beloved Disciple
A righteous Gentile finally hears the right music for him.
34 You Are What You Sing
In which a niggun reveals the true identity of a Jew, and another
Jew learns to sing.
35 Out of the Mouth of a Babe
How whistling once hastened prayers to heaven.
36 Fortunate Is the Man
In which we see how the power of a niggun lights up the past--and
37 The Voice-Over
A Parable in which a man and his niggun save the day.
38 The Prince Who Became a Jew
A parable wrapped up in a song reveals the delights of a mitzvah.
A Final Word: My Swan Song, Kosher, Of Course
Appendix A: Outstanding chasidic Rebbes Mentioned in This Book.
Appendix B: Discography of Chasidic Music.
Appendix C: Glossary.