On the eve of Purim, the Nazis have given the leaders of a Jewish ghetto 24 hours to turn over ten Jews. They are to be hanged to "avenge" the deaths of the sons of Haman, who in the Purim story had threatened to kill all the Jews in ancient Persia. If the leaders refuse, the ghetto will be wiped out. All night their rabbi summons the great rabbis from the past for advice, until the 18th century mystic Baal Shem Tov begins to sing a niggun—a wordless, joyful melody with the power to break the chains of evil. Rediscovered in an obscure volume, Elie Wiesel's heartbreaking narrative poem is about history, immortality, and the power of song, and set here with haunting full-page watercolors by Marc Podwal.
The Tale Of A Niggun
Author: Elie Wiesel. Marc Podwal, illus. Elisha Wiesel, intro.