Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Question & Answer With Yoni Lipshutz of Simply Tsfat - Rabenu's Niggun

A Simple Jew asks:

The recording of "Rabenu's Niggun " on your CD "New Beginnings" brought tears to my eyes the first time I listened to it. Your violin playing for this niggun touches my neshoma in a very deep place like no other niggun does. Just recently I listened to it again and tears welled up in my eyes and I found myself crying once again.

What is it about that niggun that makes it so powerful?

Yoni Lipshutz of Simply Tsfat responds:

I don't know what to answer regarding Rabbenu's niggun. I hear that the connection is deep. Here are some dis-jointed thoughts:

We sing the niggun at most Breslover weddings and always at the 3rd meal on Shabbos before Rav Kenig, shlita, of Tsfat gives over a teaching, usually from Lekutai Mohoran. This is one of only a few niggunim directly attributed to the Rebbe himself. Rabbi Nachman (some say also the Koztker Rebbe) say that there is nothing more whole than a Yid with a broken heart. Perhaps when you listen to it, you are receiving a shefa, a divine influx from above, an accumulation of all those weddings and 3rd meals, a direct connection to what ever the Rebbe himself connected to when he brought it down.

Our mother Rachel was not buried in Hevron with all the Avot (fathers) and Imaot (mothers) of the Jewish nation, but rather on the way to Galus. Why? When the Yidden davened by all the Avot and Imaot, HaShem did not listen to their prayers or even to the prayers of the Avot and Imaot! Only when they davened by Rachel and Rachel cried to HaShem, did HaShem say that in her merit He would end the Galus. What was her merit? In Hebrew, she was "mivater", she "gave in" and stepped aside for her sister Leah. So too, when we ourselves "give in" and make someone else's suffering a priority above our own, do we merit Geula. So, keep those tears flowing, and while they are, ask HaShem with great yearning and simcha for an end to the golus and for shlaimus for ALL Am Yisroel!!

Simply Tsfat
(Photograph courtesy of Simply


At June 21, 2006 at 7:04:00 AM EDT, Blogger yitz said...

Rabbi Nachman (some say also the Koztker Rebbe) say that there is nothing more whole than a Yid with a broken heart.

ASJ, can you please ask R. Yoni where Rebbe Nachman says this? It is well-known that this was said by the Rebbe Menachem Mendel of Kotzk.

If you are a Breslover Chassid, then it is appropriate to refer to this tune as "Rabbeinu's Niggun." But if you're a Sudykover, Vishnitzer or Modzitzer [etc.] Chassid, it is more appropriate to refer to it as "Rebbe Nachman's niggun."

In Modzitz, there are hundreds of heart-rending niggunim. It's worthwhile coming to Bnei Brak to check them out...or at least, acquiring a few disks of theirs!

At June 21, 2006 at 7:50:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interestingly, part of Bartok's Rhapsody No. 1 for violin and piano (also the version for violin and orchestra) contains a tune much like part of this niggun. Bartok went around eastern Europe collecting folk tunes; I wonder if he ran into chassidim singing the niggun.

Could you ask Yoni Lipshutz to comment?

At June 21, 2006 at 7:53:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Yitz & Bob Miller: Perhaps Yoni will respond to your question once he sees your comment. I sent him the link this morning.

Yitz: I refer to it as "Rabeinu's Niggun" because that is what it is titled on the CD. As for the niggunim of Modzitz, what CD do you think is best and best representative of Modzitzer niggunim?

At June 21, 2006 at 10:01:00 AM EDT, Blogger yitz said...

I look forward to Yoni's response.

I recommend the 4-CD set, "Modzitz Chai." If you want to start with only one, then number 4 - "Niggunim she'kulam Ohavim," has an amazing variety of niggunim that are all great!!!

At June 21, 2006 at 10:04:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

This one, right?.

At June 21, 2006 at 10:39:00 AM EDT, Blogger yitz said...

ASJ: Yes, that's the one!

I just noticed this:

Do you know anything about it, and where I might find the video clip they refer to? (I'll check Google video).

At June 21, 2006 at 10:42:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Yitz: I will be sure to pick up a copy sometime soon :)

As for the Shabbos in Mezbibuz CD, I too saw it advertised, but do not know anything else about it.

At June 21, 2006 at 2:03:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yitz! Rabenu HaKadosh refers a lot of times to the broken heart. I dont know exactly if he said that there is nothing more whole than a Yid with a broken heart, i think it was the Kotzer, but in Sichos HaRan ("Rabbi Nachman Wisdom")#41, #42 and #45 you will see what rabenu said about a broken heart. Aien Sham.

ASJ, today, im irtze H' i going to creat a blog (whit your styles, Tora, guedolim pics and other things), any advice?

From Argentina, ilán gadi.

At June 21, 2006 at 2:42:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Ilan: Send me the link when it is up. I will be sure to provide a link to it.

At June 21, 2006 at 9:41:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Original minhog of Breslover Chasidim is to sing Rebbe's nigun without words (especially on sholosh seudoys and before a maymor). Some sing with words, but real beauty of the nigun is apparent when sung without.

Such wordless nigunim (dveykus nigunim) are an important part of chasidus and avoydo as taught by Baal Shem Tov and his talmidim. Dveykus nigunim are without words because they are higher than words (speach) and express what words can't express.

This particular nigun Reb Avrohom Shternhartz ztz"l brought to Eretz Yisroel, and said that he received a mesoyro about it from Tcheriner Rov zy"o.

At June 21, 2006 at 11:51:00 PM EDT, Blogger ggg said... im whit the new blog.
if anyone have some idea or advice, just tell me.
Kol tuv.

At June 22, 2006 at 3:33:00 AM EDT, Blogger yitz said...

A yid:
At the Shalosh Seudos I sometimes attend here in my neighborhood in Yerushalayim, R. Moshe Beininstock sings Rebbe Nachman's niggun to "Yetzaveh Tzur Chasdo," then they sing two more niggunim, before learning from Likkutei Moharan.
My son, who has been to Breslov Shalosh Seudos in many locations [Bnei Brak, Tzfat, etc.] tells me that as far as he can remember, all of them sing it to "Yetzaveh."

At June 22, 2006 at 6:25:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

A Yid & Yitz: I appreciate the background information on this niggun.

Ilan: I just added a link.

At June 22, 2006 at 2:36:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yitz: As I said, original tradition is to sing it davka without words. Not every one is keeping it though. However all talmidim (and talmidey talmidim) of Reb Avrohom Shternahrtz ztz"l (who brought this nigun) are very particular to to it so (without words). For example listen how it is sung in Tzfas by Reb Luzer Kenig, or in "Oyr Avrohom" shul by Reb Nachman Burshteyn in Yerusholaim.

At June 22, 2006 at 2:42:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In Breslov many mesoyros were lost because of some strange lack of interest to them from the part of breslovers in Eretz Yisroel, and some hefkeyrus on the other hand. My personal experience is, that only talmidim of Reb Avrohom Shternhartz ztz"l were very careful to preserve real Breslover mesoyro, because he himself was, and because he was yochid be-doyroy as baal hamesoyro in Breslover Chasidus.

At June 22, 2006 at 4:54:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reb Levi Yitzchok Bender z"l first combined the "Rebbe's Niggun" with the words of "Yetzaveh" in Yerushalayim in the 1950s, I believe. Some say that he did so because he had not heard this niggun when he came to Uman from his native Poland during his teenage years, and questioned Reb Avraham's mesorah from the Tcheriner Rov.

Yet, as "A Yid" stated, Reb Avraham's mesorahs are impeccable and most Breslevers today accept that this is an authentic deveykus niggun of the Rebbe, Reb Nachman, zt"l. These Breslevers includes the Kenig family and the Tzefas Breslev community, the Burshtein family of Yerushalayim and those associated with the Ohr Avraham Shul, the Shapira family of Yerushalayim, Reb Moshe Kramer's family and talmidim, Reb Chaim Kramer's family and talmidim, Reb Michel Dorfman and Reb Nasan Maimon's families and talmidim, and many more. However, some talmidim of Reb Levi Yitzchok z"l still question it and therefore sing it to the words of "Yetzaveh." (I guess all holy things have to be surrounded by a certain amount of bilbulim...)

At June 22, 2006 at 7:01:00 PM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Space Cadet: It has been a long time since you have been around these parts. We are all waiting for another guest posting.

From the comment above, it is clear to all how much you have to offer!

At June 27, 2006 at 8:05:00 PM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

a quick note- Simply Tsfat is currently on tour in the US. Check their website for dates and location.

That said, Yoni- if you're reading this, I'm going to miss you guys- I just had surgery-, but you can borrow my husband for whatever dates you want. I'm making sure he practices ;-)

-your American bass player's wife

At November 16, 2006 at 11:30:00 AM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm interested in the question about Bartok. Did anyone receive an answer. I was wondering if anyone knew of any connection between Bartok's music and the Nigunim or any of the Jewish Rumanian/Hungarian/Ukrainian music?


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