was taught by the Lubavitcher Rebbe
on Simchat Torah
5720/1959 or 5719/1958 . The tune is associated with the Avar
tribal leader Imam Shamil
and is used by the Hasidim to represent the soul's desire to free itself of the body's physical pleasures.
From 1834-1859, Imam Shamil (Samuel) was the Muslim leader of the Caucasian resistance
against the Russians. His guerilla warfare tactics conducted from mountainous terrain held the Russians at bay for many years, but in 1859, the situation became dire. He had only 400 or so loyal followers left. The Russians surrounded Shamil's stronghold of Gounib, and out of consideration for his and his followers' families, he surrendered to the Russians.
To the Chabad Hassidim
, this niggun represents Shamil's strong desire to escape his imprisonment and return to his previous freedom. It parallels the soul's desire to escape its imprisonment in the body's physical pleasures and return to its Source by performing Mitzvot
and learning Torah