Baal Shem Tov, or Besht — the founder of Chasidism —
A Breslov Chanukah Nigun
A nigun taken from Ma'oz Tzur, as sung by Berkeley's Richard Kaplan on his CD, "The Kabbalah of Chanukah".
Each verse of Ma'oz Tzur is about a different empire that the Jewish people has had to stand against. This nigun comes from the verse about Yevanim, the Syrian-Greek * empire. The words are: Uminotar kankanim na'aseh nes lashoshanim—"and from what was left of the [oil] jars, a miracle was performed for the 'roses'." Roses is an image for the people of Israel.
* After Alexander's death his generals split up the empire into four parts, and ancient Israel, to its misfortune, fell under the Seleucids, who ruled from Syria and who were the most intolerant. The Ptolemaic empire was ruled from Egypt, and Israel was caught in between. For the sake of the Maccabean rebellion this turned out to be a blessing, since Egypt also wanted to see Israel break away from Syria.
To find out more, including how to order this CD, click on the image.
Design in progress © Rabbi David Mevorach Seidenberg 2006