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Niggun : Stories Behind the Chasidic Songs That Inspire Jews - Mordechai Staiman


Stories Behind the Chasidic Songs That Inspire Jews

Hardcover Published: 28th February 1994
ISBN: 9781568210476
Number Of Pages: 293

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It has been said that the quickest way to God's innermost ear is through niggunim - Jewish tunes chanted or sung as prayers. Thousands of niggunim have been composed over the centuries, and they remain an active part of Jewish life today. Sung in the synagogue, around the Shabbos table, at farbrengenchasidic get-togethers - at work, in solitude, to express joy or sorrow, niggunim allow Jews to find that which is hidden deep within their souls, to connect with God and their own spiritually without the use of words.
In Niggun: Stories behind the Chasidic Songs that Inspire Jews, Mordechai Staiman relates thirty-eight tales in which niggunim affect the lives of Jews. The stories range from those about great chasidic rebbes of the past, such as "The Purpose of Life," in which the Baal Shem Tov binds a Jew to the world of music to help him find his way; through those from recent history, such as "David without the Slingshot" and "Embers midst the Ruins," where niggunim helped to save people from certain death at the hands of the Nazis, and "Jerusalem on Her Mind," about Soviet-Jewish emigres; to contemporary situations, as in "Jail House Rock," in which the singing of a niggun helps to bring holiday magic to Jewish prisoners on Riker's Island in New York City, and "Leonard Bernstein Unbound," in which the great conductor is so moved by a tune that he is prompted to wrap tefillin for the first time.
This wonderfully moving collection contains stories of faith, of miracles and transformations, and of daily life, all connected through the beauty of niggunim. According to the author, the stories, or "prayers," as he calls them, contained in Niggun will teach us about our deep, rich, Jewish heritage, helping us to reclaim our inheritance and share in the Jewish legacy.

Introduction: What's a Niggun?
The Road through Safed Leads Everywherep. 5
The Lullabyp. 11
The Music of Returnp. 17
The Singing Tzadikp. 23
Song on Firep. 29
Song of the Dead: A Happy Storyp. 33
Bringing the Glad Song Homep. 39
How a Niggun Came Marching Homep. 51
Bam, Bam, Bamp. 55
The Rizhiner Connectionp. 59
David without the Slingshotp. 65
I Am a Niggunp. 71
The Story of the Boxesp. 77
For the Love of a Niggunp. 85
The Mysteries of a Niggunp. 91
Jail House Rockp. 99
Leonard Bernstein Unboundp. 105
The Songs that Almost Weren'tp. 113
A Fair Exchangep. 121
Embers midst the Ruinsp. 129
Travels of Two Niggunimp. 133
Rebbe Hoppin'p. 137
The Dreamer Who Never Sleepsp. 145
The French Don't Have a Word for Itp. 153
Jerusalem on Her Mindp. 159
The Night a Jew Sang for His Supper in the Kremlinp. 163
A Twice-Told Storyp. 169
The Purpose of Lifep. 175
Reb Yidp. 183
The Journeyp. 193
Tatehp. 201
The Jew Haterp. 209
The Beloved Disciplep. 213
You Are What You Singp. 225
Out of the Mouth of a Babep. 227
Fortunate Is the Manp. 229
The Voice-Overp. 239
The Prince Who Became a Jewp. 243
A Final Word: My Swan Song, Kosher, Of Coursep. 249
Appendix A: Outstanding Chasidic Rebbes Mentioned in This Bookp. 253
Appendix B: Discography of Chasidic Musicp. 255
Notesp. 265
Glossaryp. 281
Indexp. 289
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781568210476
ISBN-10: 1568210477
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 293
Published: 28th February 1994
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.82  x 2.79
Weight (kg): 0.63