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Better known by his acquired moniker, the Baal Shem Tov master or holder of a good name, viz. The importance of a good name has a long history in Jewish thought, dating to antiquity and to Scripture. But the crown of a good name exceeds them all. Joseph H. Beer as expanding upon R. Only in the case of a bearer of a good name do we find outward honor combined with inner worth.
Instead, he surprised the informer by calmly observing that this meant only that he had a good reputation. If an imposter therefore wanted to emulate him, even to the point of impersonation, and thereby offer some benefit to Jews by helping them, so be it: What was the harm? For further discussion about the Baal Shem Tov, his influence, and his followers who established the various Hassidic dynasties and courts and their sometimes divergent directions, see in the introduction to Volume 6. Let [viz.
Subdue our inclination so that we may serve You; and bend our will to turn to You. And in other related liturgical passages God is said not to desire the punishment or death of the sinner, but rather that he return from his wrong ways and repent. It is significant that the confessions and pleas for pardon are recited communally, in a public forum, and in the plural. This has been interpreted as indicative of the responsibility each individual has not only for his own conduct but also for the society of which he is a part.
That principle, of course, is not unique to Judaism or to Judaic jurisprudence, and from legal perspectives it is well encapsulated by the Latin maxim en silentio concordia est in silence there is acquiescence. Whether this amounts to a coincidence may be moot. But we do know that many of the rabbis of antiquity, dating at least to the early centuries of the Common Era, had some awareness of Greek and Roman culture, customs, and thought inasmuch as they were surrounded by the Greco-Roman world.
Divine forgiveness for the latter is deemed possible only if the offender sincerely seeks conciliation from the injured party prior to the close of Yom Kippur Yoma It is not sufficient merely to offer material compensation when applicable or appropriate; actual heartfelt forgiveness must be asked even if compensation has been accepted and received.
If, however, an injured party refuses to grant forgiveness after a third request that he has no reason to suspect is less than genuine, he is, according to Moses Maimonides and the continuum of rabbinic tradition, considered cruel. Nor should he forgive grudgingly or pro forma. Among the rich Hassidic folklore related to viddui is the interaction on Yom Kippur between the fabled rebbeand rabbi R. Levi Yitzhak of Berditchev and an impoverished illiterate tailor in the congregation who was unable to read or even recite the words.
Levi Yitzhak would not permit the shofar to be sounded to signal the end of the fast until he was assured that everyone in the synagogue had asked—and therefore ipso facto received—forgiveness. So when R. Levi Yitzhak told him. You held the card. You should have held out for a much better deal—full redemption of the Jewish people; you might have saved the world.
The mass confession stamps that idea at the heart of Yom Kippur. The viddui mode is basically akin to major, with a narrow range of pitches apart from ornaments or embellishments.
The second movement, Nigun [Heb. Its title refers in a general way to the emotional power and mystical fervor of Hassidic song, although the nign, admittedly the most common Hassidic musical association, is only one of the Hassidic song forms or types.
It was specifically Hassidim who first assigned to song a new, transformative musical power capable of operating with and independently of liturgical expression according to prescribed words or occasions. Beginning in the first half of the 18th century with the teachings and examples of the Baal Shem Tov and his followers Hassidim , song was placed on a series of ever-deepening and ascending but Judaically untested planes of spiritual experience.
It was a Hassidic innovation to employ sacred song in a way that would transcend its traditional aesthetic role of hiddur mitzvah—the beautification of the performance of a commandment, such as required prayer—to become not so much a mere partner in liturgical declamation as a self-contained means of spiritual elevation toward a state of oneness with the Divine essence.
And the most effective vehicle for attainment of spiritual ecstasy is believed to lie in the realm of song. The belief that inherent in song is the power to elevate the soul dates to the very birth of the Hassidic movement and was further developed and expanded by successive rebbes and masters in various writings, as well as by personal example.
The early Hassidic masters who succeeded the Baal Shem Tov recognized and wrestled with the conundrum that although words can serve on some levels to crystallize thoughts and ideas, they can also present an impediment to deeper thoughts and feelings—especially in contexts of striving toward mystical union, in which the very reduction of thoughts to words can be spiritually limiting.
Analogies might be drawn to levels of high art in Western culture. Musicologists, ethnomusicologists, and scholars of Hassidism have discerned in the aggregate repertoire of Hassidic niggunim several distinct categories and types. For a discussion of these differentiations and the musical features that drive them, as well as a brief historical account of the niggun and its study, see in the introduction to Volume 6.
Simhat torah celebrates the completion of the annual cycle of public viz. Simhat torah is infused in all rites of Jewish worship with rejoicing over the gift of the Torah and its teachings. Hassidim naturally added their own dimension of particularly joyous niggunim, which, beginning and often proliferating largely in America in the second half of the 20th century, have also been adopted for this purpose by non-Hassidic—including Reform—congregations that might formerly have shunned the music of Hassidim.
Those who might expect in the Baal Shem Suite some simple array of quotations of actual Hassidic melodies, even if artistically developed, will be disappointed in the substantive originality of its material. For this is no fluffy so-called encore piece built on statements of familiar Hassidic tunes, but an exploration—by turns soulful and virtuosic—of the underlying spirit of Hassidic devotion and commitment. Don't miss our latest releases, podcasts, announcements and giveaways throughout the year!
Stay up to date with our newsletter. Tracks Liner Notes Credits. Tracks Play Track Time I. Vidui II. Niggun III. By: Neil W. Albums 1. Available on:. Related Tags Hassidic-Chassidic orchestral suite Volume 11 Subscribe Don't miss our latest releases, podcasts, announcements and giveaways throughout the year!
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Baal Shem, B.47 (Bloch, Ernest)
I will be trying it out with a pianist soon, and i might upload a video, as we are not allowed to videotape the competition. I am confused about the Nigun: what was the meaning of the piece? Sir Arnold Steinhardt thinks of it as a cry to god, as a piece recalling Jewish suffering, therefore playing it lamentingly, and sweetly with passion. Ivry Gitlis thinks of it as a showpiece: I am personally taking it sort of like Mr.
Baal Shem (for Violin Solo and Orchestra)
Bloch Nigun Question