The Baal Shem Tov, or Besht —  the founder of Chasidism — 
met the soul of the Messiah during an ascent to heaven. 
The Besht asked him, "When will the Master come?" 
The Messiah answered, "When your wellsprings break forth to the outside!" 
(from a letter written by the Besht to his brother-in-law about one of his soul ascents) 

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Hamelekh Hakadosh – a Breslov minhag

In Uman (and in Breslov in general) during the repitition of Rosh Hashanah Musaf, when when the chazan gets to the special brokha in the Amidah for Yamim Nora'im, Barukh Atah Adonai Hamelekh Hakadosh, * something beautiful happens. Everyone begins clapping for the King, and it continues for minutes on end. It sounds corny, but in a shul of 3,000, it's awesome. Not only awesome, but truly joyful.

This is something anyone, any minyan, can do—no Hebrew knowledge necessary. It works best when most of the people do it, and it is truly wonderful. I can't think of a more playful way to take what we say in prayer seriously.

Clapping for God – try it in Long Island and Iowa. It's not just for Uman!

* During the ten days from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur, we change the third blessing of the Amidah from "Blessed be You, the Holy God" ha'el hakadosh to "Blessed be You, the Holy King" hamelekh hakadosh.



Design in progress © Rabbi David Mevorach Seidenberg 2006