The Mystical Awakening - It is said that Abraham sat in the "opening of the tent" the great master Rabbi Levi Isaac of Berdichev interpreted this to mean that Abraham was always at the beginning, he was never an expert in religion or Godly matters. He was always waking up to the new perceptions of beauty and majesty that the world and his experience of it showed him. This is the essential idea of a "Mystical Awakening." A true Mystic is constantly awakening to new and deeper understandings of experience. In the music of "The Mystical Awakening" I present to you a new way of looking at four Hasidic meditation songs, or nigunim. They bring us into and bring into us a broad sense of experiencing the Divine. Open your mind to them and they will open themselves to you.
1. Awareness of the Infinite - Based on a melody for the Passover prayer "Adir Hu," this song evokes images of daily life in Jewish Eastern Europe. It also evokes the fervor with which the Hasidim approached the Infinite One.
2. Compassionate Light - An old Hasidic song notes that G-d is "compassionate in his rulership.' This melody brings us into the court of the Hasidic Rebbe, the court of Jewish royalty in Eastern Europe. It beckons our imagination to feel an age and mindset where power and corruption did not go together. Where power and compassion ('Rachmanus' in Hebrew/Yiddish) were the same idea.
3. In the Forest - The great agrarian society of the Jews in Eastern Europe is present in this movement. The illumination that can be found in a walk through the forest; in the amazingly fresh and sweet smell of a field. Our experience of these places shows us the Creator and our connection to the infinite. This particular song was taken from a manuscript collected by S. Anski in the early twentieth century (Pre World War I).
4. The Baal Shem Tov's Nign - The Baal Shem Tov taught that simple self expression through music and dance are essential to humanity's spiritual growth. This song comes from him. It embodies, to a degree, his teachings on the importance of the creative arts.