Monday, November 17, 2008

Niggun's by email

Hi folks, sorry I've been scarce lately. Some work and home activities have kept me quiet. Hopefully I'll be back up to speed this week. To get things moving again, I want to let folks know about a niggunim mailing list that I joined recently. The list, managed by Yosef Ben Shlomo Hakohen of the Jerusalem-based Hazon study-program, is a periodic email containing a recorded niggun and some commentary. One of Yosef's recent emails begins like this...
"I am sharing with you a soulful nigun about our souls. This nigun was composed by Rav Yitzchak Hutner, a leading sage who headed the Chaim Berlin Yeshiva in Brooklyn, New York. He composed this nigun in honor of the wedding of his disciple, Rav Shlomo Freifeld. The nigun and the words of this song are on an old record produced by the Chaim Berlin Yeshiva, titled, “Torah Lives and Sings!”

The nigun is to the opening words of the ancient Hebrew prayer about the neshamah soul – that we chant each morning. The following is an English translation: “My God, the soul You placed within me is pure. You created it; You fashioned it; You breathed it into me. You safeguard it within me, and eventually You will take it from me and restore it to me in the future that is to come.”
It concludes with this niggun [click to download].

As I've discussed before, the singing of niggunim is an important part of and introduction to traditional, particularly Chassidic, Jewish spiritual life. I'm excited to have Yosef's in my inbox on a regular basis. If you're interested, you can get more information at the Hazon website including info on their other Torah learning materials and mailing list. You can also contact Yosef at: chazon8 @

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