Himmel Drimmel

By Leeba Geltzer

Having just come from one of the most leibidig weddings of my life, I had to type up my feelings and emotions and get it down on paper right away. I mean, the excitement! The non-stop dancing, moving, twisting and turning! The sight of so many Yidden dancing together b’achdus was enough surely to melt the most hardened heart. The simcha was palpable and must have brought us to real high levels of kedusha.

From the start, I knew this was going to be one major wedding. As soon as I saw the entertainer, Shaul Tachtis, standing near the band getting ready to really work up the crowd, I knew we were in for a special night of simcha. Shaul makes everybody happy, and if everybody is happy, can anything be bad? Surely not.

The chosson and kallah came in, and the band revved up with a breathtaking intro. It was a sight of pure unmitigated selfless love, seeing the bachurim friends of the chosson – all serious bnei Torah – and the friends of the kallah – fine, sweet, aidel bnos Yisroel – reaching levels of nearly unrestrained excitement for the bride and groom, as the intro got them into the spirit of a true Jewish simcha.

For me, the moment was even more meaningful than it was to most of the other guests. Most wedding guests have no idea where all these beautiful wedding intros originate. The specific one the band played at this wedding, for example, is known in heimishe circles as Ay Ay Ay Shteiger. But given my background in music, I knew that this particular intro was originally played by a rock group called Graveyard Dead, and was a hit song at their many concerts where booze and drugs played a major part of the night.

Knowing that this song used to be played for crowds of wildly screaming and gyrating drugged-up youth engaged in all sorts of horrible behavior, it was especially touching to now see that song would have a chance for some holiness too. Hearing it being used tonight as an intro for the most awesome and special night where a chosson and kallah begin a new life building a true bayis ne’eman b’Yisroel, showed how we Jews know how to use even the worst tumah not for bad things, but for our holiest times.

And that was only the beginning. As the night progressed, the music got steadily more and more leibedig and geshmak. Of course for the first dance the band was relatively tame, to give the rabbis and rebbes a chance to dance and do their thing. But once they had their turn, the oilam demanded that the band give ‘em a good time, and oh how the band responded! And all just for the mitzvah of simchas chosson v’kallah! How truly wonderful!

As the second dance really got into full swing, Shaul was doing one hit number after another. The audience was putty in his hands, and he would not tolerate anyone not being part of this moving form of avodas Hashem. To Shaul, if someone stands on the sidelines without joining, it means that he has not yet inspired each and every wedding guest to the heights of service to Hashem which Shaul’s music demands.

When the crowd was sufficiently in a heightened state of romemus and aliyah, Shaul, in his aidel Torahdig way, really started rocking and rolling to keep everyone moving their bodies in unison and true achdus. Shaul sang his hit song about serving Hashem not only with our souls, but with our bodies as well, so that ours should be a complete all-encompassing avodah.

He sang:

Everybody, get on the floor, lummir tantzin!

Don’t fight your feelings, gib zich arein ingantzen!

Shake shake shukel, shake shake shukel,

Nur far der Aibishter in Himmel.

Shukel deineh kerper! Shukel deineh gif!

Faren Aibishter in Himmel!

Oy, shake shake shukel, shake shake shukel,

Shukel daneh hentalach! Shukel daneh feesalach!

Far der Aibishter in Himmel.

Yoh, di kenst, you can do it very well.

You make the best bruchis in the world I can tell.

So shake shake shukel, shake shake shukel,

Shukel in zug boorich! Shukel in zug boorich!

Tzi der Aibishter in Himmel!

Oy, s’nisht du kahn besereh, tzi shuklen vi bam shmoneh esreh,

Shukel in zug boorich! Shukel in zug boorich!

Tzim Aibishter in Himmel!

Shake shake, shake shake!

Shukel shukel, shukel shukel!

Hentelach tzim ein zeit, feesalach tzim ander zeit,

Faren Aibishter in Himmel!

Der rechte fis arein, der rechte fis arois,

Far der Aibishter in Himmel!

Shving dahn gif aheen, shving dahn gif aher,

Faren Borei Oilam in Himmel!

Oy, shake shake shukel, shake shake shukel,

Shukel faren Bashefer in zug boorich!

As it is every time Shaul sings, the crowd went wild and totally got into the spirit of the song. It brought tears to my eyes seeing so many fine bnei Torah holding hands together and going around the chosson in an ecstasy of avodas Hashem and real Yiddishe simchah. On the ladies side of the mechitzah the sight was equally touching. In the fervor of this dance, there were no boundaries; no different cliques or groups. With the kallah – a symbol of hope and purity – in the middle, the rest of us danced around as one.

There were aidel Yiddishe singles, young married kollel wives, chassidishe ladies in shpitzels, all waving their hands and swinging their hips as Shaul got us to physically express our simchah and our love for ‘der Aibishter in Himmel’.

I thought to myself, “Mi k’amchah Yisroel!” We don’t shake about and move our bodies in empty wild frenzies like the goyim around us. Oh no! We do it only for Hashem! How special that is! Let me see one goy get so involved in a song, to gyrate and wave his hands about solely for his Creator. But here we were – totally b’simchah, so it has to be okay – and doing it, as the song expressly pointed out, ‘Faren Aibishter in Himmel!’ While the goy moves his body for his own pleasure and simply to let loose, we do it for Hashem.

I turned my tear-streaked face upwards (my mascara was a mess, but I could not lose this ais ratzon), and I said to Hashem, “Look down upon Your Nation. See how holy they are. It would never enter the mind of a Jew to do things in the selfish way that the gentiles do them; to act selfishly like the worst of the goyim do; to move for our own selfish pleasure in the way we see the dregs of their society moving; to replicate the self-centered atmosphere and music found at their drunken bars. On the contrary, on the most special of our nights, when a chosson and kallah stand on the threshold of bringing down the Shechina to a new Jewish home; on a day which is like Yom Kippur to the young couple; we choose to do all that they do, but to do it for You Hashem, and for You alone. How can there be sickness or strife, poverty or tzaros? We are doing Your Will Hashem, and we are showing that nothing matters to us more than You and Your Will!”

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