Baal Shem Tov, or Besht — the founder of Chasidism —
Debbie Friedman—Shalom Aleikhem
Here is the sheet music and a rough recording of an unpublished tune for Shalom Aleikhem by Debbi Friedman, a"h. The tune also works well with L'kha Dodi.
Reb Shlomo once claimed that of all the hundreds of tunes he had written. only two were truly "rebbishe nigunim"—i.e. on the level of the rebbes of the past. Musically Reb Shlomo is refering to the old-world musical idiom of the deveikes or yearning nigun. Those two songs were, he said, the Krakauer nigun and Yah Ribon. This nigun may be one of the most rebbishe nigunim Debbie Friedman has written.
Here is a beautiful new Debbie Friedman Shalom Aleichem, which was sent to me via friends from a recording of her last summer in California.
Her singing of it, and the tune itself, are so beautiful. She takes us right through the sorrow and pain to beseech the attending angels, the malachei hasharet, for moshiach and redemption, ge'ulah. Also in a kind of signature, she sings a new fourth and closing verse with the word "Shuv'chem l'shalom" and not the standard Ashkenazi "Tzeit'chem l'shalom" ("Go in peace") or the usual Sephardic 4th verse which is "Shiv't'chem l'shalom" ("Rest in peace"). Debbie's voice soars and beseeches the word "Shuv'chem" - Return! Return all you angels, make complete healing. She also is telling us to return - shuv'chem, for peace.
Debbie, you will come back to us again and again, as you pull us again and again so strongly in song, in spirit and in renewal.
In 1969, a newly ordained rabbi visiting Camp Harlan I felt the powerful gift of that 18 year old genius who was a madrich into the spaces between the words of prayer. I recorded all of Debbie's music - it was transcribed into manuscript and became the basis for her first publications. Now to hear this Shalom Aleichem, to hear Debby as if beyond the gulf of the grave, connects to that all-night recording session so long ago and to all of the blessing that Debby has been.// Fred Pomerantz
Posted by: Rabbi Fred Pomerantz at January 16, 2011 4:01 AM
Thanks for posting this. I have downloaded it and would be happy to pay for it if the family decides to publish it. Debbie was songleader at OSRUI in 1972 Chalutzim when I was a camper. She showed me the power and delight of connecting to Judiasm and prayer through song and music. I am now a Cantorial Soloist for a congregation in Chicago. Thanks Debbie.
Posted by: Judith Golden at January 16, 2011 11:03 PM
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