The Jewish Eye
The Emotion of Bluzhever Hakafos
The Bluzhever Rebbe, R' Yisroel Spira, who was an important Chassidic leader in Galicia before WWII, experienced indescribable suffering during the Holocaust, and lost all of his immediate family. He eventually moved to America and emerged once again as a prominent and much-loved Torah leader. He was known for his deep emotion and outpouring of love for Hashem while performing mitzvos. On Hoshana Rabba, his face radiated with an otherworldy glow as he circled around the bima, and the whole congregation was drawn to look at his radiant face. His tears would flow, especially during the world, "Hosha Na - for the sake of the kedoshim who were cast in the fire."
Unlike many other shuls, the hakafos on Simchas Torah in the Bluzhever beis midrash were not performed with unrestrained joy. The congregation was affected by the flowing tears of the Bluzhever Rebbe during each Hakafa. The Rebbe was known to say, "Whatever salvation one can possibly attain can be attained during the Hakafos." An example he gave was "Ozer dallim hosha na" which he said was a tefillah for children. The initials of the words, ayin, daled, heh, and nun, spell out a world, ednah, a world which appears only once in the Torah - when Avraham and Sarah were told that they would soon have a son. (Torah Luminaries)
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