Jewish Calendar - TISHREI - Yom Kippur - Hasidic Tales

Numberless are the tales of the hasidic rabbis that have been told and retold for generations since the days of Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov (1700-1760), founder of the movement. He and his disciples employed the story or anecdote to inspire their followers with the love of God and man. They succeeded in implanting faith and confidence, righteous and hope, joy and gaiety in the hearts of despondent and poverty-stricken Jews throughout Eastern Europe.

The hasidim cultivated an intimate relationship to God. During the High Holy Days they not only prayed to Him for atonement but actually demanded that He remit their sins; they even brought their complaints before Him. The compassionate hasidic master Rabbi Levi of Berditchev (1740-1809) was known as the eloquent defender of his people who saw only the good in man and evinced deep empathy for the widow, the orphan, the rejected, and the downtrodden. On Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the Berditchever composed original invocations and intercessions which reflect his saintly character and reveal his ecstatic devotion to God. Many of his tales and teachings, as well as those of other hasidic rabbis, teem with profound insight into the spiritual significance of the Days of Awe.



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