Friday, May 27, 2011

The Chavlog, a niggunim video blog

Shabbat shalom everyone.

I'm really looking forward to Shabbat this week. The crazy storms across the midwest caused me to spend a lot of unnecessary time hanging out at airports (3 failed attempts to get to Huntsville, Al), but that's a minor inconvenience compared to the destruction in Missouri. I think we all need a break.

I'm really excited about this week's 'get in the Shabbos grove' video. As you all know, I love niggunim. For anyone not introduce to them yet, niggunim (the plural of niggun) are wordless or mostly wordless Chassidic songs, typically of a spiritual bent. And they make great drinking songs. But you didn't hear that from me.

Yesterday I ran across a new project from Mendel "the Sheichet." I last checked in with Mendel back in 2008 in a post about his Pittsburgh based Chassidic heavy metal band, Teihu. Right now he's doing a fascinating video blog about niggunim for, a Chassidic community news website.

Chavlog #8: The 63rd Niggun from on Vimeo.

What's fantastic this is that Mendel puts a lot of effort into explaining the history and context of each niggun before singing it. From a Chassidic perspective, this is critical to understanding and properly approaching the niggun. They're not just melodies, each one is a spiritual statement.

The whole series is posted on Vimeo. Enjoy! and Shabbat shalom.

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