More than 60,000 people visited the Tzamah Hasidic fair that took place between last Sunday and Thursday at Binyanei Ha'uma in Jerusalem.
This marks the seventh year in which the event took place on the occasion of the 19th of the Hebrew month of Kislev, the "Holiday of Redemption," the day the founder of the Chabad Hasidic movement, the Alter Rebbe, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, author of the Tanya, was released from prison where he awaited a death sentence 219 years ago. That liberation from prison was the start of the dissemination of Tanya, a book of spiritual guidance (featured weekly in Arutz Sheva's Judaism section).
More than 25,000 women, Ulpana students, religious school students, Midrasha girls, and women from all over the country participated in Tzamah performances, as did over 30,000 men, high school students, yeshiva and kolel students, and students from religious high schools from all over the country.
Event organizers say that the Hasidic Book Fair, which spans over 2,800 square meters of Hasidic literature, sold over half-a-million books.
This year, artists Ariel Zilber, Avraham Fried, Yishai Ribo, Yonatan Razel, Udi Davidi, Amir Benayoun, Natan Goshen, Akiva Turgeman, Aharon Razel, and Naor Carmi and his band performed.
"We had tens of thousands of people of all stripes," says Rabbi Moshe Shilat, organizer of the event. "All ages and all types, everyone thirsty for God and the light of hasidut." Participants filled their shopping carts with hasidic books, and filled their hearts and souls with Hasidic melodies and sayings.The sheer numbers here bespeak a phenomenon that has no rational explanation, something entirely in the hands of heaven, which shows the power of the Alter Rebbe, author of the Tanya, and the Lubavitcher Rebbe."
On the last day of the fair an event was held for more than 6,000 yeshiva students from all over the country.Rabbi Yehoshua Shapira, who spoke at the event, said: "Melodies are the key to the soul. Pay heed to your souls; our souls are thirsty and yearning. I bless you that from this gathering your soul will shine and its thirst will cry out and not be silent. 'My spirit thirsts for You; my soul yearns for You.'"
"This date for us in the yeshiva is a special date," said Rabbi Steiner, Rosh Yeshiva of Kfar Haroeh, yeshiva of the Bnei Akiva movement. "The fact that Rabbi Neria zt"l died on the 19th Kislev, isn't coincidental.Rabbi Neria had a special connection to the world of Hasidism.In the yeshiva there was always singing, and melody was an inseparable part of life.According to tradition, the celebration of Moshe Rabbeinu's yahrtzeit in Meron on the 7th of Adar apparently was initiated by him.Our connection as a yeshiva to this day, to the inner aspect of the Torah based on mysticism, is natural."
Another event took place on Tuesday for religious school students."You are all emissaries," Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu told the students. "Each and every one of you has a special power that is only his own and he is an emissary in his unique field."