Beri Weber’s Last Minute Decision

Every artist wants his album to be as perfect as can be but sometimes he has to take a gamble. Is the song he’s deliberating over going to soar or flop? Is the intro going to hook the guys or be a sleeper? How do you know if you made the right choice?

The most popular song on Beri Weber’s Ben Melech album? “Niggun Lev ” his spirited version of the Chabad niggun “Ay didi duy ay didi duy ay didi lai lai lai Ay didi duy ay didi duy ay didi lai lai lai…”

Actually it was the one that almost wasn’t there added just a week before the album’s scheduled release. “I originally had found it hard to connect to this song and I thought maybe it had too much flavor of the shtetl for others to connect to especially without words. But friends convinced me to get it out there ” Weber says.

This is the backstory: Beri was in Eretz Yisrael driving back to his lodgings in Jerusalem when his rental car broke down. He found himself at the side of the road waiting for a hitch. “My friend was singing back-up to a badchan at someone’s mitzvah tantz and I soon found a hitch to that wedding hall where I could wait for my friend to finish up and go home with him. I heard the badchan sing this niggun and I liked it. It was obviously an old chassidish niggun but we erroneously assumed it belonged to the same chassidus as the badchan. Right before we went to print the covers for Ben Melech I was informed that the song was a Chabad niggun attributed to the Tzemach Tzedek but traditionally sung with a much slower tempo. Whenever I go to a Chabad event they thank me for bringing the Rebbe’s niggun back to life.”

(Originally featured in Mishpacha Issue 686)

Niggun Lev
Beri Weber
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