Sholom Secunda’s If Not Higher is a musical dramatization of one of Isaac Leyb Peretz’s most famous short stories, “Oyb nit nokh hekher.” This story also forms. IF NOT HIGHER. And the Rebbe of Nemirov, every Friday morning early at Sliches-time, disappeared, melted into thin air! He was not to be. If Not Higher by I.L. Peretz. Taken from Jewish Short Stories from Eastern Europe and Beyond, a 10 CD set available from our store at.

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For Peretz, Zionism was but one of the various Jewish political movements to which a fortified Jewish culture in its own languages could be a preferable alternative and better serve the Jewish future.

If Not Higher – Milken Archive of Jewish Music

Hughes, Campbell Assistant Engineer: He also edited and coedited numerous Yiddish literary journals and anthologies, often contributing his own writings. As a beneficial by-product, those travels and i.l.;eretz provided him with a new fund of folk and other source materials for future writing, and he gained fresh perspectives on aspects and elements of Jewish societies that had been little transformed by modernity.

Impending judgment hung suspended Mistlike in the air. The Rebbe puts them on.

It was not until that mot published his first prose. Because Secunda wrote the cantata with Tucker specifically in mind, it provides for highly dramatic operatic vocal lines.

If Not Higher, by I. L. Peretz

And the Lithuanian, with amaze, sees the Rebbe take his hatchet and strike the tree. He could argue a text with either thumb, Relishing the nt above the issue. Apart from the material reduction in his living standards from his more comfortable situation as a lawyer, that new life also had its fringe benefits. After that the Lithuanian hears the beds in the house squeak—the people jump out of them—a Jewish higner is spoken now and again—water is poured on the fingers—a door is opened here and there.

Remember me next time? He repeated the third part when the fire had burnt itself out, and he shut the stove doors…. Obviously, the woodcutter-rebbe did not actually expect any repayment, nor would he have accepted any; but by letting his gift appear to be a loan, he has left the indigent woman with her dignity intact. The Lithuanian hears and lies still. Behind the town stands a little wood. And the fire of his joy Spread like a golden dawn Fusing soul to soul into one soul: The Rebbe, long life to him, enters it.


And the Rebbe answers again in the Little-Russian speech:. The choral writing and the orchestration, however, are classical in style. And the rabbi lived in Nemirov A yawn of a shtetl, A speck.

Among the values at the core of that hiher, applicable no less to modern than to traditional sensibilities, were kindness, anonymous charity, concern for the less fortunate, and individual dignity. And without further ado he goes in. Although he continued with Yiddish poetry, the major efforts for which he is best remembered are prose: Who for life and who for death; Who for good and who for ill.

Another in his place would have dozed and slept the time away. It can include a phenomenon known to ethnologists as folklorization, whereby entirely original stories, poems, songs, and instrumental melodies, whose authorship can be identified, are spread nonetheless by oral transmission.

The Lithuanian trembles, but he persists. Peretz went through a period of reassessment during which he appears to have revisited some of his assumptions about stubborn folkways and his attitudes toward folk wisdom, Hassidic sensibilities and values, some Hassidic leadership, and bu Hassidism itself.

Do you or someone you know have stories to share about the importance of Yiddish language and culture in your life? Despite his undiluted distaste for some of the narrowness and abuses embedded in Hassidism, notwithstanding his undiminished commitment to modernity and culture over uncritical religion, he had come by then to recognize that traditional Judaism including its Hassidic paths had given birth to unimpeachable and perpetually relevant moral and ethical values.

Whoever has heard the groaning of the Nemirover Rebbe knows what sorrow for All-Israel, what distress of mind, found voice in every groan. In promoting Jewish culture in place of insular religious life as the prime force of modern Jewish peoplehood and as the ensurer of a viable post-Emancipation Jewish existence, he continued at the same time to identify on certain levels with—and even model some of his ideals on—Polish struggles for national and cultural-national identity and preservation that had served as alternatives to political independence or sovereignty.


Not so a Lithuanian—he learned a whole treatise of the Talmud by heart! Please leave this field empty. The religious circles of its Haskala-infused Jewish population had been, historically, on the side of rationally based opposition to Hassidism.

If Not Higher

In a culturally pluralistic but politically unified Polish society, for example, both Yiddish and Polish—and among well-educated Jewish and non-Jewish circles, perhaps also German and Russian—would coexist, ideally in fruitful and intellectually stimulating synergies. He is also viewed as one of a triumvirate of classical Yiddish writers who laid the cornerstone and ensured the vitality and progress of Yiddish literary culture—the other two of whom were Mendele Moykher Sforim [Sholem Yankev Abramovitch] and Sholem Secunda.

First, the rebbe here fulfills the mitzvot of charity and kindness. They have never been told any such thing, of course, by their rebbe, who keeps his whereabouts a mystery. He altered some of his attitudes, without reversing them altogether. He walks on thirty or forty paces, and then he stops beside a small tree.

So thought the people. The Rebbe lies still, too—the Rebbe, long life to him, upon the bed and the Lithuanian under the bed! The Holy One, they say, Receives with singular love Prayer in the night. Soon, soon the Jews of Nemirov Would stand swaying before their Creator And soon, soon His judgment would be inscribed: Moreover, he came to appreciate some of the moral values and lessons underlying even buried beneath Hassidic practices, lifestyles, and beliefs.

A fearful, Solemn-Day hush broods over the dark streets, broken not unfrequently by a cry of supplication from some little Minyan, or the moan of some sick person behind a window.

Like the expedition, that experience offered yet another array of sources for subject matter, characterizations, and psychological forays that found their way into his work. Join or Renew for