MUSICAL NOTE By Cantor Sherwood Goffin
This powerful melody, which I will be singing today for Mimkomo and Hu Elokenu of the Shabbat Musaf, has a bit of LSS history in it. It was composed by our late neighbor Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach (1925-1994), who revolutionized contemporary Jewish music by composing melodies that were generally simple, yet eminently singable. And most important to those of us who sing and listen to these melodies, they had a special quality that tugged at our heartstrings and reached into the very depths of our soul. The words for this niggun are: "Were the Torah not my delight, I would have perished in my affliction".
In March 1965, when I first came to LSS for my interview for the position of Chazzan, Rabbi Riskin surprisingly suggested that I bring along my guitar (?!!?). After I had sung a bit of Hin'ni from the High Holiday service, he announced to the committee that I would be singing some nigunim with my guitar to show another side of my abilities - an asset rare among chazzanim of that time, for sure! I remember singing "The Little Bird" and then, one of RR's favorite nigunim, "Lulay Soros'cho". Well, rather than offending the committee, my guitar playing actually seems to have impressed them enough so that I was eventually chosen as the first (and only!) Chazzan of this unique shul. This niggun, therefore, holds a special place in my heart. Besides its powerful melody, it was one of the factors that brought me here to serve with honor as your Sh'liach Tzibbur - your representative before the Al-mighty for the past forty two years, Ken Yirbu (May They Increase)!
Daven well and sing along!