16 December 2008

Kislev 19

גוט יום טוב.
לשנה טובה בלימוד החסידות ודרכי החסידות
תכתבו ותחתמו

Rabbi Yakov of Courville, France lived in the second half of the 12th century. He is known as a compiler of responses he received in his dreams which later were put into a book called «questions and answers from the heavens» ( «Shaalot utshuvot min ha-shamaim»). One such answer cited in the book is dated 19th Kislev and begins with the words: «Today is a day of joyous news». What news in question, the author of the book does not elaborate on and no significant event is known to have occurred for six centuries afterwards. Still, 6 centuries later that day did become a day of joyous news indeed. In 1798 on this day came the liberation from the death row of the founder of the Chabad movement, Rabbi Shneur-Zalman (the Alter Rebbe) who had been imprisoned at the Peter and Paul Fortress in S. Ptersburg, Russia on a false charge. Ever since then, Day 19 of Kislev has become the main holiday of the adherents of the movement and is called the New Year of chassidism.

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