Jan 23, 2018

Vizhnitz and Hava Nagila

I heard on the radio last night in the name of the Vizhnitzer Rebbe that the tune for the song Hava Nagila was originally a holy hassidic tune that was later appropriated by the Zionists.

I see the Hebrew wikipedia page does say that the tune was originally of Hassidic origin, originating from the Chernobler sect but commonly used in a number of sects including Belz, Chabad, Rozhyn, Karlin and others. It also says the tune is commonly played at the 7th circuit on Simchas Torah and also by some sects at the simchas beis hashoeva. The Vizhnitzer Rebbe told his hassidim in 2015 to sing the tune, without the words, at the simchas beis hashoeva, as it is a holy tune taken by the zionists and it is their responsibility to bring it back to its holy source. It only became a "Zionist" song in 1917 when Avraham Tzvi Edelsohn composed it to celebrate Allenby's arrival in Jerusalem, which many saw at the time as a precursor to the arrival of mashiach.

I never knew this. Fascinating.

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