The Baal Shem Tov, or Besht —  the founder of Chasidism — 
met the soul of the Messiah during an ascent to heaven. 
The Besht asked him, "When will the Master come?" 
The Messiah answered, "When your wellsprings break forth to the outside!" 
(from a letter written by the Besht to his brother-in-law about one of his soul ascents) 

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Adam yesodo me-afar mp3

This profound melody comes from Yossie Gottesman, who learned it from his father (Yisrael Ya'akov Yoikel, who resided in Dynow 1931-1939) as "the Dynower nigun". The words: Adam yesodo mei-afar v'sofo l'afar ~ "A person's foundation (substance) is dirt (dust) and his end is to become dirt", from the Musaf repetition on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

When I sang "Adam yesodo" at Ohalah, Reb Zalman said his grandfather had composed it! Reb Zalman also sang words to the second half of the nigun: k'cheres nishbar, k'chatsir yavesh, k'tsits novel, k'tsel over, khe'anan kalah, k'ruach noshavet, k'avak pore'ach, k'chalom ya'uf—"like a broken shard, dried out grass, a withered bloom, a pasing shadow, a cloud consumed, a floating breeze, flying dust, a fleeting dream" (from the same part of the liturgy) to the second half of the nigun. The tune could and would be sung without words (i.e. as a nigun) or could be sung to fit other liturgical phrases, especially for the Yamim Nora'im.

Download "Adam Yesodo"

Recorded at Centerpoint (formerly Netanya Ullman's) yoga studio in Manhattan.



Design in progress © Rabbi David Mevorach Seidenberg 2006