The Baal Shem Tov, or Besht —  the founder of Chasidism — 
met the soul of the Messiah during an ascent to heaven. 
The Besht asked him, "When will the Master come?" 
The Messiah answered, "When your wellsprings break forth to the outside!" 
(from a letter written by the Besht to his brother-in-law about one of his soul ascents) 

A Stolner Dance Nigun for counting the Omer

Sung on the second night of Pesach after the seder

Stolner Dance Nigun mp3

I first encountered this wonderful nigun at the Stolner shul in Wiliamsburg (Brooklyn). Maybe five hundred or more Chasidim (almost all men, with a few women watching) gather around 2 AM the second night of Pesach. They danced to this nigun for hours, in a beautiful variation of what my chevre in college used to call "the yeshiva shuffle". The dance line snaked around the shul, folding on itself many times and weaving back and forth in order to fit everyone into a single line filling the space. The year I learned this nigun I was at the shul with my host for about an hour—we couldn't stay longer because we still had many hours left in our seder, which ended about 7AM.

This was the nigun that first inspired me to create neohasid.org. I've taught it to friends on Pesach, and danced with them, women and men, on the second night for many years now. Sometimes I get folks to do the dance on other nights of the Omer counting – I don't know whether Stolner Hasidim use the tune on any night besides the first. In 2012, about thirty of us (Jewish and not Jewish) danced for a good 20 minutes at the Boston DNE weekend to this nigun. It was awesome!


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Design in progress © Rabbi David Mevorach Seidenberg 2006