The following day, my mother was taken to the hospital. That Shabbos, my father sang his father’s melody to Yoh Ribbon Olom. We were in his older brother’s home a few blocks away from us, for his sister-in-law would not hear of us having Shabbos in our apartment without my mother. We sat at the table that Friday night and there were long silences and feeble attempts at zemiros by my father’s brother. And then, suddenly, my father began to sing his father’s melody.
There was an unearthly quality to the way he sang that melody that night – as if he were winging through unknown worlds in search of sources of strength beyond himself. His eyes were open, fixed, but gazing inward. There was a sweetness and sadness, a sense of pain and yearning in his voice – soft, tremulous, climbing and falling and climbing again. And when he was done, there was a long silence – And in that silence, I thought I heard distant cries, and I was afraid.
excerpt from My Name is Asher Lev (Potok) – I just really liked this.