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Music, Pesach, and Chassidism

03/23/2023 03:29:25 PM


Rabbi Chaya Gusfield

Judaism has many genres of spiritual and liturgical music. One of my favorite genre is Chassidic melodies, sometimes put to words and sometimes just melodies. Written by Chassidic teachers from the last 200–300 years, these melodies were passed down from teacher to student. One of the reasons I am so drawn to Chassidic melodies is because they tell a story. But we don’t always know what the origin story was. We only know how we experience it. And often we experience it differently each time we encounter it.

Recently, I was reintroduced to a melody attributed to the Baal Shem Tov (the Besht). My rabbi friend sent it to me so we might sing it as we prepare for Pesach. Not necessarily for the seder, but to help us get in the mood for the seder. (Some of us also prepare by doing extra cleaning and choosing not to eat chametz during the eight days of Pesach.)

I share this youtube video with you (below) to enjoy as you begin your own preparation for Pesach. In addition to listening to music, I also prepare by searching for the perfect recipe. But I almost always choose to cook the same thing every year: a killer flourless chocolate cake and a charoset in the shape of the pyramids with toasted almonds. This year I am adding hummus with a new foolproof recipe.

Whether you prepare for Pesach by cooking, researching haggadot, creating your own, or finding the right wine, may you enjoy this season as we hope for the arrival of Spring. Chag Sameach!

Karev Yom Song:


Artwork by Rabbi Chaya Gusfield

Sat, July 20 2024 14 Tammuz 5784