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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Meditation song for Chanukah

It's a custom to meditate on the light of the menorah and it's also a custom to sing while meditating. Most of the usual Chanukah songs won't quite get you there—they are written for children after all.

The nigun I learned to use for this comes to me from the great-granddaughter of the Skolyer Rebbe, and is attributed by some to the Besht (Baal Shem Tov). She learned this deveikes nigun from her grandmother, who would sing the entire prayer of Ana Bekhoach to this nigun sitting in front of the menorah while watching the Chanukah candles burn. Doing the whole prayer ends up being a pretty long meditation, since the Skolyer tradition is to repeat each word seven times, making a total of 42 stanzas.

This recording goes through the first line alone. (It also happens to be the first recording I did for Neohasid, hence, quite rough sounding.) You can also listen to two other renditions on the Ana Bekhoach page. Print out the prayer here.

Note: QuickTime has trouble playing this file until it's completely downloaded. If the Skolyer Ana Bekhoach doesn't start automatically download it here.



Design in progress © Rabbi David Mevorach Seidenberg 2006