Monday, June 28, 2004

Dancin' To The Huppah!

MOChassid writes:
Finally, a word about the badekin. The badekin is a time of incredible hissorurus. It is said that the neshamas of the departed relatives and ancestors of the chassan and kallah come down from shamayim to join them for this holy moment. That is why it is actually more appropriate to play a slow niggun of hissorurus during the badekin rather than the more common upbeat 'Od Yishamah'. I'm not sure how the custom of playing upbeat music at this time evolved. If anyone knows I'd be interesed in hearing it.
According to "Bach" (Rav Yoel Sirkis), the badekin constutes chupa. By this logic, the badekin and chupa should have the same tone.

I'm not convinced that the music needs to be slow. Different communities have their own customs with regard to the music sung/played at a badekin. Lubavitcher Chassidim sing the “Alter Rebbe’s Nigun”. Many other Chassidim use the spirited “Vayehi Vishurun Melech” which is also frequently played when the kalla enters the kabbolas panim. The Sheor Yashuv crowd sings “Adam Harishon’s Nigun” on the way in to the badekin and “Keili Ato” on the way out. And, of course, as MO Chassid notes, many people use “Od Yishoma.”

I’ve also seen a variation wherein the walk into the badekin is to a slow melody while the chassan’s exit is accompanied by a fast, upbeat tune. Sometimes, instead of following a set minhag, some people choose a favorite tune. I played one badekin where the crowd sang Carlebach’s “Hashem Oz.”

People are different and find inspiration in different ways. Some people may be feeling more introspective and want the music to amplify that aspect of the badekin while other may be bursting with simcha and wish the music to emphasize that part of it. I can’t agree with MO Chassid’s assertion that a slower nigun is neccesarily more appropriate. People can either follow the minhag of their own community, or else choose the approach that best works for them.

I've actually found that, in many cases, the families and/or guests (and sometimes the kallah too) find the Sheor Yashuv approach underwhelming, to say the least. The guys may be into it... but they should bear in mind that it takes two to marry and that Kibud Av v'Em is a D'Oraysa.

Incidentally, I've played an out-of-town wedding or two where the guests escorted the chassan to the chuppa while singing the traditional Od Yishoma. The simcha was palpable and the moment was every bit as spiritually charged, albeit differently, as the slow walk to the chuppa we are accustomed to here.