A Jewish Star singing competition previews its contestants: Mendel Markel of Pittsburgh sings an old Chassidic niggun.
Contender: Mendel Markel, 31, married with 4 children.
Residence: Pittsburgh, PA.
Occupation: Administrative Assistant for Jewish Educational Toys and journalist/writer for JewishMusicReport.com
Musical Aspirations: Truthfully, while I love music and can’t imagine living without it, my primary aspirations currently have more to do with trying to raise my children as Chassidim and Yirei Shomayim.
Reality Check: But if I can here and there sing a niggun on the side and bring a smile to someone’s face or teach them a new niggun, maybe even a sigh to their heart, that’s cream on the top.
Favorite Singer: Being in the Jewish music reporting scene, I come across lots of great music and many amazing artists, but if I was stuck on a desert island and could only take one thing with me, it would hands down be Lubavitch Niggunim by R’ Shmuel Betzalel Althaus.
Favorite Song: It changes all the time, but recently my favorites have been the Kremenchuger niggun, Poltaver Niggun and the less known Poltaver/Nevler’s Boruch Hu Elokeinu (which is my audition).
A Jewish Star: To me a star would be the Yidden who sang these Niggunim to strengthen themselves as they perished in Siberia for their terrible “crimes” or the Yidden who gave their lives al kiddush Hashem in Mumbai.
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