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Four Stanzas You Don’t Just Sing

Riki Goldstein

“This is not a niggun that you just sing!” he exclaimed

Wednesday, October 17, 2018


av Yaakov Yitzchok Ruderman ztz”l was the son of the rav in the Belarus village of Daǔhinava. Although the family had some Chabad ties, he learned in Slabodka and developed into a Litvishe rosh yeshivah and gadol. When Rav Ruderman was elderly and infirm, visitors would sometimes play music for him. Once, when a guest started to play the Baal HaTanya’s “Arba Bavos” niggun, the Rosh Yeshivah motioned for him to stop immediately. “This is not a niggun that you just sing!” he exclaimed. “Do you know the meaning of this niggun?!” As Chabad chassidim know well, this exalted niggun is sung with great reverence at chuppahs and at the end of certain Yom Tov gatherings. Rav Ruderman did not want it sung merely to keep him company. (Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 731)

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