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) 

Add comments to this entry

Shmita piyut

A piyut (liturgical poem) especially for:

  • Selichot during the Shmitah year
  • and before the advent of the Shmitah year
  • Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur of Shmitah
  • and Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur the year after Shmitah

This short piyut touches on these four themes related to Shmita: release of debts, the rights of the land, the rights of wild animals (who share our food during Shmita), and the freeing of slaves. The piyut would fit as part of Selichot before Rosh Hashanah and during Yom Kippur.

The piyut also focuses on forgiveness through the theme of debt forgiveness, and emphasizes that we cannot do complete t'shuvah without repairing our relationship with the earth and with other species.

This piyut fits for after the Shmita year as well because three things happen in the year after Shmita: 1) debts are canceled at the advent of Rosh Hashanah, 2) Hak'hel, the gathering of everyone in society to hear Torah, comes during Sukkot, and 3) the Jubilee would be declared on Yom Kippur.

Recording follows text.

“Ba’al Choveinu”     Download PDF

בַּעָל חוֹבֵנוּ, שְׁמֹט חוֹבוֹתֵינוּ
קוֹנֶה כָּל אָרֶץ, רַפֵּא שְׁדוּדָתֵינוּ
מַתִיר אֲסוּרִים
בְּהֵמָה וְאָדָם, הַמַּכְנִיעַ חַמָס
מִיָדֵינוּ שַחְרֵרָם
וְרָק אָז תְּתוּקַּן צִדְקַתֵינוּ

Our creditor, owner of our debts, release our debts, our sins!
Possessor of all Earth, heal the one whom we have plundered!
Liberator of the bound,
animal and human -- those oppressed by violence --
from our hands may they be free!
Only then will our righteousness be perfected.

Ba’al choveinu, sh’mot chovoteinu!
Koneh kol arets, rapei sh’dudateinu!
Matir asurim,
b’heimah va’adam hamakhni’a chamas,
miyadeinu shachreiram!
V’rak az t’tukan tsidkateinu!

I just wrote this piyut August 26, 2021, and came up with this melody for it the next day. Ami Goodman also wrote a beautiful melody. I hope you'll try out both! The rest of Neohasid’s High Holiday content can be accessed here.

Shnat shmitah m’tukah um’takenet,

Rabbi David Seidenberg

With thanks to Itsik Pariente for help with grammar. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~