Last semester I taught Eastern European Jewish History and in our last class we looked at the afterlife of this culture. We focused on two aspects of this question: the resurgence of interest in Jewish culture in an Eastern Europe almost devoid of Jews, and the attempts to preserve or adapt this culture outside of Eastern Europe.
One of the oddest aspects of the latter is the adoption by a breakaway group of Breslov hasidim of a Moldovan trance song put out by a boy band called O-Zone. Popularly known as the "Numa Numa song," these hasidim have changed the lyrics to "Rebbe Nachman, Nachman may-Uman, Nachman may-Uman, Rebbe Nachman may-Uman" [Rebbe Nachman from Uman].
Now there is a longstanding hasidic tradition of taking secular or profane melodies and elevating and sanctifying them by giving them a religious meaning. In the old days, it was Ukrainian folk tones, now it's Moldovan electronica. What's even odder is that many of these Breslov hasidim aren't Eastern European at all, but mizrachi (Eastern) Jews who have embraced this offshoot.
So basically, we've got here Moroccan Jews dancing to Moldovan electronica in celebration of Ukrainian hasidic rebbe. I can't think of a better example of the dynamism of culture.
I'm posting below three clips of dancing Breslov hasidim.
The first is in Kikar Tziyon (Zion Square) in Jerusalem:
The second is on an Israeli highway after a minor traffic accident:
The third is at the annual Breslov pilgrimage to Rebbe Nachman's grave in Uman for Rosh Hashanah last year (note the mizrachi music and hip hop hasidic kid). It's a modern-day hasidic Woodstock: