The Official Leibele Waldman Blog

Welcome to the Official Leibele Waldman blog.

Saturday, February 3, 2018


Hadassah (Spira Epstein)

Hadassah, who was born in Jerusalem and whose original name was Hadassah Spira, became interested in Indian dancing at an early age. She studied dance in the United States and abroad, learning a wide range of Indian styles along with Javanese court dance, Japanese dance and modern dance. Her teachers included Ram Gopal and Jack Cole.

Hadassah, a performer of special eloquence, made her professional debut in 1945 and continued to perform Indian, Israeli, Javanese and Balinese dance through the mid-1970's. She appeared at the Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, Mass., four times in the 1950's and 60's and toured India in 1959-60.

Among Hadassah's best-known works was "Shuvi Nafshi" ("Return, Oh My Soul"), based on Psalm 116. Her "Tagore Suite," commissioned by the Tagore Centenary Committee, was performed for the first time in 1961.

In Shuvi Nafshi, the work for which she wanted to be remembered, Hadassah used a certain movement which she had seen employed by the Punjabis, North Indian Muslims and among the Dervishes, as well as in Christian sculpture. She used the Cohannic gesture of blessing—a mudra. She used an ecstatic Sufi movement. She used hand gestures seen in pictures of the Dervishes during the 17th through the 19th centuries. She included the horah, the national dance of Israel, the primary dance step of which is common to other ethnic cultures. The music was a cantorial sung by Cantor Leibele Waldman, who sang in the tradition of Yossele Rosenblatt. She wore a simple costume, moving a stylized version of the tallit, the black and white striped Jewish prayer-shawl.

For a more in depth article on her life, please refer to the Jewish Women's Archive Spira Epstein.

HADASSAH, A TRIBUTE a video commissioned for the Exhibit on Hadassah, Dance Collection, Lincoln Center, New York City; remains in the permanent collection. In the video, Marilynn Danitz performs a dance to Shuvi Nafshi.

In the book entitled, "Converging Movements: Modern Dance and Jewish Culture at the 92nd Street Y" By Naomi M. Jackson, she mentions on page 197 with a photo that, "Hadassah's Shuvi Nafshi (1947) was a dance of ecstasy in prayer based on an excerpt from Psalm 116: Return O my soul. The dance was a deeply spiritual expression in which a woman wearing a prayer shawl costume used spins, palm-to-cheek, and upward reaching gestures in an emotional declaration to G-d."

My father had spoken with Hadassah many times and she was a fan of his music. To listen to Shuvi Nafshi, select the play button below.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Avinu Malkeinu

AVINU  MALKEINU - Our Father, Our King

Friday, September 11, 2015

Audio Update

Audio files are partially restored. They will be uploaded from most recent to oldest.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

L'fichoch Anachnu Chayovim

L'FICHOCH  ANACHNU  CHAYOVIM - Therefore, it is our duty to give thanks to Thee, to praise and glorify Thee, to bless and hallow Thy name, and to offer many thanksgivings to Thee...

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Blog Audio Files

The audio files on the blog are presently not working and therefore we are going to be switching to a new audio streaming provider.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Live Recordings on CD

The High Holiday Live Recordings will soon be available on CD. If you are interested in obtaining copies of the 8-disc set, please e-mail

Monday, February 11, 2013

Hineni Heoni Mimaas - The Hazzan's Prayer

During the High Holy Days, the Hazzan begins the Musaf service with the Hineni prayer (here I am), which is a private prayer.  Serving as the Shaliach Tzibbur (emissary of the congregation), the Hazzan, a man of great humility, pleads with the Almighty that he be worthy to represent the people of his congregation and all the people of Israel.

This prayer is extremely powerful.  Listen closely as the Hazzan prays for the congregation on these Days of Judgment.  The introduction is by Rabbi Irving J. Rosenbaum of the Chicago Loop Synagogue. 

Hineni Heoni Mimaas

Below is a translation of the prayer:

Here I stand, impoverished of deeds, trembling and frightened with the dread of He Who is enthroned upon the praises of Israel.

I have come to stand and supplicate before You for Your people Israel, who have sent me although I am unworthy and unqualified to do so.

Therefore, I beg of you, O G-d of Abraham, G-d of Isaac, and G-d of Jacob, HaShem, HaShem, G-d, Compassionate and Gracious, G-d of Israel, Frightening and Awesome One, grant success to the way upon which I travel, standing to plead for mercy upon myself and upon those who sent me.

Please do not hold them to blame for my sins and do not find them guilty of my iniquities, for I am a careless and willful sinner. Let them not feel humiliated by my willful sins. Let them not be ashamed of me and let me not be ashamed of them. Accept my prayer like the prayers of an experienced elder whose lifetime has been well spent, whose beard is fully grown, whose voice is sweet, and who is friendly with other people.

May you denounce the Satan, that he not impede me. May You regard our omissions with love, and obscure our willful sins with love. May You transform all travail and evil to joy and gladness, to life and peace, for us and for all Israel, who love truth and peace. And may there be no stumbling block in my prayer.

May it be Your will, HaShem, the G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the great, mighty, and awesome G-d, “I Am That I Am,” that all the angels who bring up prayers may present my prayer before Your Throne of Glory; may they spread it out before You for the sake of all the righteous, devout, wholesome, and upright people, and for the sake of the glory of Your great and awesome Name, for You hear the prayer of Your people Israel with compassion.

Blessed are You, who hears prayer.

Thank you to Elisson for the translation []