The Chassidic Congress Center:
Binyanei Ha'uma readies for tens of thousands of Hasidim

An estimated 400 tons of books arrive this morning in 40 large trucks for Binyanei Ha'uma in Jerusalem ahead of next week's Book Fair.

Mordechai Sones,

Biggest Chassidic book fair in the world
Biggest Chassidic book fair in the world
Public Relations

An estimated 60,000 people are expected to participate in "Hasidut Week" which will take place next week at Binyanei HaUma on the occasion of the 19th of Kislev, the day of the redemption of the "Baal Hatanya," the first Lubavitcher Rebbe.

The exhibition includes thousands of titles from the world of Hasidic philosophy, from the Baal Shem Tov to the giants of the world of Hasidism throughout the generations, at subsidized one-time prices.

An estimated 400 tons of books arrived this morning (Thursday) in 40 large trucks for Binyanei Ha'uma in Jerusalem ahead of next week's Book Fair.

The Fair will open this Sunday and will last five days until Thursday, December 7. The fair includes 2,500 square meters of sacred books, mainly of Hasidut, for men, women, youth, and children, as well as CDs by many Jewish and Hasidic artists.

In recent years, the event took on status of a tradition: tens of thousands of young people and adults from all walks of life come to drink from the wells of Hasidism during the week in which Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, the author of the Tanya, was released from prison in Petersburg 218 years ago where he faced a death sentence for treason after being slandered to the Czarist regime. If in past years the 19th of Kislev, the "New Year of Hasidut", was a holiday of Chabad Hasidism alone - in recent years the date, thanks to widespread 19th of Kislev events, has become the inheritance of tens of thousands in the world of Torah and Hasidut.

The events taking place within the framework of Chassidus week are many and varied. The legendary "chozer" of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yoel Kahn shlit"a, who every year makes the journey from New York despite his advanced age, stands and imparts an abundance of deep Chassidic ideas in gatherings (farbrengens) and speeches in which he addresses a variety of audiences. Many participants tell of a special feeling standing in Binyanei Ha'uma and listening to "divrei Elokim Chaim" - the words of the Living G-d - from someone who for decades recorded and reconstructed the teachings of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, one of the greatest bodies of Hasidic writings. Rabbi Kahn imparts sublime concepts in layman's terms, and tens of thousands listen to his captivating lessons.

The Fair also includes an artistic aspect, directed by Hasidic singer Avraham Fried, who arrives especially from New York alongside other artists including Yonatan Razel. This is not a "performance," but rather a Hasidic farbrengen gathering to elevate all participants with a special brand of awakening.

Here, too, one can expect to see a human mix hard to find in other places: national-religious and haredim, Hasidim and Lithuanians, Streimel, Borsalino, and knitted skullcap wearers, as well as Jews just beginning to approach Judaism whose insatiable inner souls browse among the rows of books and fill their shopping carts with holy writs. Among participants are thousands of yeshiva students who purchase from their savings in order to enrich their Torah libraries with books Hasidism sold at unmatched prices. The huge event is produced and organized every year by the Toras Chabad l'Bnei HaYeshivos organization, headed by Rabbi Moshe Shilat.

The Hasidut Book Fair will take place from Sunday to Thursday, on the 15th and 19th of Kislev. Organizers expect to break previous year's records with more than 60,000 participants from all over the country. Sunday and Monday are reserved for women, Tuesday is for men and women (separated) and Wednesdays and Thursdays are open to men only.



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