HassidimIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Motty Parnes, who composed the extremely popular melody to "Ani Maamin," the piyyut by the Rambam (Maimonides), has died, according to his cousin, Chanie Luz.

Luz said Monday that Parnes was in his mid-60s, and that he had been suffering from a degenerative disease.

This is a link to version of the song, as it appeared in a record by Pirchei Agudas Yisrael from 1969:

"From what I know about him, he was one of the first composers and instrumentalists in the hassidic musical revolution in the 60s," wrote Luz in her Facebook page. "He played in the first orchestra made up of hassidic yeshiva students, Negina, and composed the music to Ani Maamin and Pitchu Li Shaarei Tzedek, among other tunes, which virtually all religious people know."

The song is often sung at all kinds of ceremonies – including military ones, as can be seen in the video below.

Freely translated, the words mean:

"I believe with a complete faith in the coming of the Messiah, and even though he is running late, nonetheless, I will wait for him, every single day."