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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Debbie Friedman—Shalom Aleikhem

Here is the sheet music and a rough recording of an unpublished tune for Shalom Aleikhem by Debbie Friedman, a"h. The tune also works well with L'kha Dodi.

 Get the sheet music

This nigun may be one of the most "rebbishe nigunim" (in the emotional register of the old-world deveikes or yearning nigun) that Debbie Friedman has written.

From Rabbi Riqi Kosovske:

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 Debbie 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 Debbie 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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