Sunday, November 06, 2005
He was the author of the following sefarim: Chovos HaTalmidim [“A Student’s Obligation”]; Hachsharas HaAvreichim [Preparation for Mature Students]; Mavo HaShearim [An Introduction to the Gates (of Chassidus)]; Tzav v’Ziruz [“To Heal the Soul”]; Bnei Machshava Tova ["Conscious Community"]; and Derech HaMelech [The King’s Path]. But perhaps his most well-known sefer is Aish Kodesh – A Sacred Fire, which was written in the Warsaw Ghetto from 1940 to 1942. Fully aware of what was to befall them, the Rebbe gave discourses on almost every Shabbos and Yom Tov [holiday], wherein he encouraged his faithful to have faith in Hashem, to be strong, and if necessary, to give their lives for Hashem and his Torah – to die al Kiddush Hashem.
The Rebbe had a musical side as well: “His musical talents already appeared in his youth – he was entranced by the ‘music’ of Creation and expressed it both in word and in tune. The works he eventually wrote were not just Chassidic classics, but are classics of poetic prose.”
“Even in the simple sense, he was a music composer: he composed original niggunim for Shabbat and Yom Tov, and family gatherings. Then, when the Shabbat or Yom Tov was over, he himself would play the tunes on the fiddle. Those present would sing along with him, while he made sure that they did not err even in a single note.” [To Heal the Soul, p. xiv]
THE PIASECZNO REBBE ON NEGINA:
“A person sometimes needs to make ladders for himself, with which to ascend to Heaven. A niggun is one of these ladders, especially when sung joyously after the joy of a mitzva, with a broken [humble?] heart.
“Everyone has a portion in the Olam HaNiggun – the World of Melody. Therefore, when a tune is played or sung, one needs arouse his portion in the World of Melody that’s within him. If not, and one merely sings a tune made by someone else, it is like swallowing someone else’s saliva.” [Tzav v’Ziruz, part 36].
[I've updated the Rizhiner post from Friday - check it out!]