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This march is remarkable for its joyous, rhythmic character

Napoleons March

Napoleons March

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Musical Notes

This march is remarkable for its joyous, rhythmic character. It was played in 1812 by the armies of Napoleon when they crossed the border near Prussia in their invasion of Russia. The Alter Rebbe had left his native town of Liadi when the armies of the enemy were approaching. He asked that the march be sung for him and, after a moment's contemplation, designated the march as a song of victory.

It is traditional with Lubavitcher Chassidim to sing Napoleon's march at the conclusion of the Ne'ilah service on Yom Kippur, before the sounding of the Shofar.

The singing of this melody symbolizes the victory of the Jewish people over "Satan" and that their prayers have been accepted and they are assured of a Happy New Year.

Taught in the time of the
Alter Rebbe
Music notes courtesy of Kehot Publication Society and Chabad Melodies by Eli Lipsker and Velvel Pasternak.
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Discussion (9)
September 11, 2013
music notes
I'm having trouble following the notes because the image only shows the first page.
Chris Lawrence
Sheffield, England
September 10, 2013
What was played by Jews at Yom Kippur before the time of Napoleon's March?
I am a Christian and am also very interested in Jewish customs.
Jews predate the time of Napoleon's March.
What was played before the time of Napoleon's March?
Mary B. Goouch
Toronto, Canada
November 1, 2012
napoleon's march
I recently saw a documentary (on Dutch television) that this march was adopted as a nign, not to honour Napoleon, as most Hasidic leaders were againt him, fearing assimilation if he should win. However, they heard the victory sounding through the music. By adopting this march they brought Victory to their side (it seems to have worked!), and therefore it's also a suitable nign to be sung on Jom Kippur.
September 25, 2012
Napoleon's March
I was amazed and pleased when I heard about this connection between Napoleon and Yom Kippur.
Contrary to the usual comparison of Napoleon with the leader of the 3rd Reich, Bonaparte elevated French Jews to a status of legal equality with gentiles. One that was hypocritically lacking under the previous regime during the 1st Republic ("Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite").
Besides, I've been fascinated by Napoleon since I was a little boy.
Daniel Green
Bristol, RI, USA
October 6, 2011
Personally, I do not know why you find anything so distasteful with the "world of Ashkanazim." On the contrary, I would never select a song based on the fact that it was sung for the European nations, the very people who either participated in or allowed the destruction of that very "world of Ashkenazim."
Gerson McGreevey
October 5, 2011
Napoleon's March
I do not care for this march to signify the end of Yom Kippur. The march represents the old vulnerable world of the Ashkenazim. The Rebbe knew this and becaome one of the only hasssidic rebbe to lead his followers to Eretz Yisrael. A better joyful singing expression to the end of the hoiy day wold be the Israeli song Halleluyah that won the Eurovision contest.
Alan Herman
Merrick, NY
September 2, 2010
forward march indeed
I am with Baruch Weiss of the Windy City.
I also at least hum the march when being discharged from the "house of Healing" (hospital) in victory.
michael pell
November 29, 2009
Just to say that the native town of the Alter Rebbe a'h is Liozhna and not Liadi. (excuse my english , I'm french), as we can see in sefer hatoldoth, he used to be known as "der liozhner rebbe". Anyway a magnificent march.
Paris, France
September 17, 2009
I love this march, I hope this will be the march we sing when we will go out of GALUS (Exile)
Baruch Weiss
Chicago , IL
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