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October 4, 2015 / 21 Tishri, 5776
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Yes, But What is He Playing?

Yes, But What is He Playing?

Photo Credit: Yossi Zeliger/FLASH90

Here’s the Kretshnif Rebbe playing the violin for his Chassidim.

I know he’s having a good time. He looks content and inspired. But are his listeners enjoying themselves?

Why are they standing up? Are they expecting the music to be divinely inspired and therefore one must take it in with the respect expressed by standing down, rather than the comfort of sitting down?

And what is the Rebbe playing? You’d think it’s a Chassidic niggun, something very Giora Feidman, but isn’t that just too cliché?

Let me ask you, with their limited exposure to the outside culture, would the Chassidim even recognize ii if their Rebbe played some pop tune?

I was thinking, what if he’s playing “Yesterday,” by Lennon–McCartney?

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away / Now it looks as though they’re here to stay / Oh, I believe in yesterday

נעכטן, אַלע מיין קאָפּדרייעניש געווען אַזוי ווייַט אַוועק / איצט עס קוקט ווי כאָטש זיי ניטאָ דאָ צו בלייַבן / אָה, איך גלויבן אין נעכטן

Maybe not…

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.

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