Thursday, October 21, 2004

Burning Issue

Here's Biur Chametz:
'From when is Shma recited in the evening? From the time the priests enter to eat their terumah.' (Berachot 1:1)
Those words are the opening to the first chapter of the Mishna, the Talmudic code of Jewish law. But now they're also the lyrics to a chassidic song I first heard on the radio this morning.
Maybe this isn't new and I've just been out of the loop. I didn't catch the name of the group. From the sound of it, they're Israelis who sing with an Ashkenazi accent. The tune is lively and danceable - though I can't imagine why anyone would dance to such words.
I can't recall ever hearing legal texts sung chassidic-style. Psalms, yes; the Song of Songs, of course; inspirational sayings, naturally. But legal teachings? They must finally be running out of traditional texts to use for lyrics.
He's suggesting other texts for use as song lyrics.Reminds me of the time a friend and I set "ein machnisin mei raglayim ba'azara" to Sonny Rollins' tune "St. Thomas."