• A Little Music for Lag B’omer

    The famous Niggun of the Rebbe Maharash, “Ein Tzvei Drai Feer”, or the “Nigun Ein Sof”, and now-a-days known as “Lichatchila Ariber”, is well-known. However, It is not as well-known, the story behind this Niggun:

    In Sefer Hatoldos of the Rebbe Maharash (pg. 21), it is related that the Rebbe Maharash was once reading a Sefer called Hoin Oshir (printed in 5491/1731, written by the famous Italian Kabalist, Rabbi Emanuel Chai Riki, the author of Mishnas Chasidim, Maaseh Choishev, etc.). In the back of the Sefer, there appears a page of music notation for a song composed by the author. The Rebbe Maharash read this page, and then announced that the Niggun he read here inspired him to sing/compose another Niggun. He then sang the above-mentioned “Lichatchila Ariber” Niggun. This story, as well as the page of sheet music and the page of lyrics, is included in Sefer Haniggunim Vol. 2 (pg. 12 and 13). Sefer Haniggunim points out that the sheet music actually consists of two songs, and it is unclear to which song the Rebbe Maharash was referring.

    As it is a little tricky to figure out these melodies from reading the notes, and for the benefit of all those who might be interested, both songs are presented here. Although both songs have lyrics, it appears from the wording in Sefer Hatoldos that it was the music alone that inspired “Lichatchila Ariber”. Hence, only the music of the songs are therefore presented in these recordings (played by Daniel Green. And although the sheet music only consists of melody, chord accompaniment was added).

    * Lag Ba’omer comes after the Rebbe Rashab’s birthday on Beis Iyar, “Tiferes Shebitiferes”. In fact, this term and spiritual concept is relevant to Lag Ba’omer as well, as Lag Ba’omer is also “Tiferes Shebitiferes”, when counting from Malchus Shebimalchus on the first day of Sefira, working one’s way upward).

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