Watch: Belz hasidim hold Sukkot celebration

Thousands of Belz hasidim participate in 'Simchat Beit Hashoeva' celebration in Jerusalem.

Ben Shaul,

Belz synagogue in Jerusalem (illustrative)
Belz synagogue in Jerusalem (illustrative)
Flash 90

Thousands of Belz hasidim participated on Wednesday night in a "Simchat Beit Hasheova" celebration in Jerusalem's Kiryat Belz neighborhood.

Simchat Beit Hashoeva is a traditional Sukkot celebration dating back to the time of the Holy Temple, when it included dancing with torches and pouring water. Today's celebrations commemorate the Biblical celebrations.

The hasidim lit torches and danced for several hours. The Belzer Rebbe, the sect's leader, participated in the celebration for several minutes.

Jerusalem mayoral candidate Yossi Deitch attended the event, and Deputy Mayor Dov Kalmanovich lit a torch.

Describing the event, Kalmanovich said, "I've seen a lot of Simchat Beit Hashoeva celebrations in my life, but I've never seen such energy. The community's most important people lit torches and danced with them, and opposite them were tens of thousands of hasidim singing and clapping in unison, keeping perfect time."

"At first, I didn't understand why they were lighting torches. Afterwards, the hasidim explained that this was the custom during the time of the Holy Temple. In the Mishnah's tractate of Sukkot it is written that 'hasidim and men of deeds would dance, holding torches of light in their hands and singing songs of praise. And that's exactly what Belz is doing. This year, I understood that whoever has not seen a Simchat Beit Hashoeva in Belz, has never seen happiness in his life."