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The 19th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev marks the “birth” of Chassidism: the day it was allowed to emerge from the womb of mysticism into the light of day, to grow and develop as an integral part of Torah and Jewish life.

19 Kislev: The "New Year" of Chassidism

19 Kislev: The "New Year" of Chassidism

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The 19th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev is celebrated as the “Rosh Hashanah of Chassidism.” It was on this date, in the year 1798, that the founder of Chabad Chassidism, Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi (1745–1812), was freed from his imprisonment in czarist Russia. More than a personal liberation, this was a watershed event in the history of Chassidism, heralding a new era in the revelation of the “inner soul” of Torah. On this day in 1772, 26 years prior, the “Maggid of Mezeritch” returned his soul to his Maker. Before his passing, he said to his disciple, Rabbi Schneur Zalman: “This day is our yom tov (festival). Read more . . .

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Anonymous Baltimore December 2, 2015

Alon Shmuel
JHB, ZA

Other chassidic groups do in fact consider it to be a special day.
They do not necessarily celebrate it the same but they do in fact hold it to be special. Reply

Fleitman Chonburi, Thailand via jewishthailand.com November 23, 2013

Jew Understand that from Abraham we became the children of the Almighty. We have survived by his will and to teach and to save. Rabbi's must realize all the different paths are just but one. Reply

Ilil Arbel New York December 3, 2012

A wonderful, informative article about a towering figure. I wonder if many Americans realize how rare it was that a Jew was released from a Russian prison -- no matter what the crime. Usually a Jew would either be executed or would die in prison. Such an inspiring story! Reply

Alon Shmuel JHB, ZA December 2, 2010

Why keep reminding yourselves of the misguided on? Why do you celebrate this date rather than the date of the completion of the Tanya (surely you recognise how it creates attrition rather than achdus)?

Why do you call it the birth (or Rosh Hashanah) of Chassidus when no other Chassids celebrate this day or consider the Rabbi Zalman much to do with Chassidism other than Chabad?

I think Chabad are great and I prey that you will become like the rest of us so we can herald the messianic age together. Reply

ruth housman marshfield hills, ma November 23, 2010

from the womb of mysticism There's no doubt in my mind, that the ecstatic joy of the Chassid is part of what we're supposed to experience, whether we are Chassid's or not. Life has this amalgam of the oy in joy, and it's so obvious to me that language itself carries the story.

I like to study the development of ways of being in terms of how we are religious because surely there is an evolution to this story, as there is in anything we study.

As there is love in the word evolution itself, just look, read backwards, I see that the Eve story, and all stories, seem deeply coded, wisely, within our very words. And that's why I feel we are moving towards something major in terms of human consciousness. As in dovetail the split, there is a story that fits together perfectly that's about love itself. Because to dovetail is to fit pieces together perfectly as in, carpentry.

yes, I can do this with English. Why not? Reply

Ariel ben Levi riverside, CA/USA November 23, 2010

thank you for such a good work keeping us informed of the holy things and events.
Shalom!!!!! Reply

M WQ November 18, 2010

Two ammendments Hi Great article, two additions come to mind. Firstly it appears from the article that the Government had him arrested, rather as he was slandered by some of the misguided Rabbis of the time; the Government looked into their libel and found it to be false.

Secondly the reason he continued a new paradigm of teachings was more than just the "sign" that his vindication was a message from above, but he was visited in the cell by the apparitions of both the Baal Shem Tov and Maggid whom you refer to, whom he specifically asked, what his subsequent behavior should be and they told him that his vindication indicates the dissemination is correct, and furthermore he should increase it. It is for this reason that his style became lengthier more understandable and he promoted the unique Chabad philosophical approach.

Keep up the good work Reply

bracha naparstek December 5, 2009

it was a beautiful story Reply

chany December 20, 2008

you can be realy proud of your website-it's a good job!
how did you make it? Reply

Anonymous November 21, 2007

full of great information!
thanks! Reply