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Monday, December 26, 2005


To our visitors from Havel Havalim: thanks for stopping by. Please be sure to check out our archives before leaving. Besides the music of Modzitz, Carlebach and Twerski, we've featured the music of Yaakov Avinu, as well as Rav Yitzchak Hutner, Rav Kook, and Rabbi Nachman Bulman, to name but a few. Enjoy!

The Maccabees purifying the Temple on Chanuka - from the Temple Institute website
“Rebbe Nachman says that everything [in Creation] has its own niggun. Every land, every tree, every flower, every person… But there are two niggunim that a person, halevai [if only] he would merit hearing.

“Of course, what do you think, when G-d created the world and said, ‘Let there be light,’ do you think he said it like a policemen gives an order, ‘LET THERE BE LIGHT!!!’ ? Of course not. He sang it!

"When a person sees Light without its niggun, he hardly sees anything. Yes, he sees something, but he doesn’t see the Ohr ki Tov, the goodness in the Light. But if a person merits hearing the tune with which Hashem created Light – that, of course, is the ‘hidden light [Ohr HaGanuz].’

“And everybody knows that the Light of Chanuka is the Ohr HaGanuz, about which it says, ‘And Hashem saw the Light, that it was good.’ Why is it that on Chanuka we see the goodness in the Light?

“Because on Chanuka there are two things: the kindling of the lights, and the Hallel and Hoda’ah [praise and thanksgiving] – songs and commendation. And what songs do we sing on Chanuka? We sing two niggunim – the niggun of ‘Yehi Ohr’…and the niggun of the World to Come, for this too was hidden in the Hidden Light. The true Light, the Light that is Infinite, unending…”
-- [Reb Shlomo Carlebach on Chanuka, Cheshvan 1993].


The Hebrew University in Jerusalem’s library has a website where one can find samplings of various niggunim from its archives.

For Chanuka, one can find five different versions of candle-lightings, including this one from Reb Shlomo Carlebach. This features an actual candle-lighting that he did in 1979 at the Wise Auditorium in Jerusalem. After he makes the blessings over the candles, he sings “HaNerot Halalu” to his famous “Meloch” [aka Shochen Ad] tune, accompanied by musical instruments and the audience.

Then there are five versions of Maoz Tzur, including this
of the Boyaner Chassidim singing “Yevanim Nikbatzu Alai at a Tish on Zos Chanuka [last day of Chanuka] in Jerusalem in 1987.

There are also songs in Yiddish, Turkish, and from various Edot HaMizrach [Sefardi] and Ashkenazi communities.

In addition, on this page
you can find links to niggunim for the various holidays, including Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Sukkos, Simchas Torah, Purim and Pesach. Among these I found a Vishnitz Shoshanas Yaakov for Purim, and the Chabad nusach for Tefillas Geshem from Shmini Atzeres.
Hat tip: The Tarbut [culture] column of B'Sheva, the newspaper of Arutz 7. Their English website is here. Thank you, Mendy Greenfeld!

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