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The Hebrew word niggun (pl. niggunim) has a wide spectrum of meaning, including song, melody, production of sounds on an instrument, minstrelsy, and even cantillation marks. The term has entered Yiddish as nign (pl. nigunim), where it is less broadly formulated and means melody or song. In current usage nign or niggun usually refers to the religious melodies of the Hasidim. In Hasidism the singing of nigunim is a religious act intended to lead to union with God (Yidd. dveykus) and through which Hasidim express their social and religious affiliation.

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Rubin, Joel E., “Niggun”, in: Encyclopedia of Jewish History and Culture Online, Original German Language Edition: Enzyklopädie Jüdischer Geschichte und Kultur. Im Auftrag der Sächsischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig herausgegeben von Dan Diner. © J.B. Metzler, Stuttgart/Springer-Verlag GmbH Deutschland 2011–2017. Consulted online on 29 September 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2468-8894_ejhc_COM_0587>
First published online: 2017
First print edition: 20210312

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