Writing with Light

Dancing for Joy

I just got back from an amazing trip to Israel and  I wanted to share with you one of the first shots that I took on the day I arrived. I was driving with my cousins to Caesarea for the evening when we came upon this group of young Hasidic men on the side of the highway. The music was blaring from the speaker that was sitting on the top of the van, the sun was low in the sky and these young men were dancing and singing as if a wedding was going on that someone forgot the tell the rest of us.

The Breslov is a branch of Hasidic Judaism. Hasidic Judaism is a branch of Orthodox Judaism and the word Hasidic means “piety” or “loving-kindness.”

The Breslov approach places great emphasis on serving God through the sincerity of the heart, with much joy and living life as intensely as possible. Breslov teachings particularly emphasize emunah (faith) as a means to teshuvah (repentance), and that every Jew on any level of Divine service is required to constantly yearn to return to God, no matter how high or low he or she is situated on the spiritual echelon.

Breslover Hasidim see the study and fulfillment of Torah life as the means to a joyful existence, and their approach to worship is very personalized and emotional, with much clapping, singing, and dancing. Rabbi Nachman said, “It is a great mitzvah (commandment or good deed) to always be happy”.[4] In this same lesson, he notes that even leading intellectuals in the medical field will attest to depression and bitterness being the main cause of most mental and physical ailments.

The Breslov normally conduct on street outreach in this manner but I think the highway pullover was just about spreading some joy.

Israel, dancing, Hasidim, Breslov, Hasidic Judaism, outreach, highway, van,

29 responses

  1. …. 🙂 I wanted to dance now… This is amazing. Thank you dear Edith Levy, I want to travel one day to Israel too. Love, nia


    May 30, 2014 at 7:14 am

    • Thank you so much Nia. You’re so close. I met a couple who were on their way to Istanbul and I was very jealous.


      May 30, 2014 at 11:39 am

  2. A beautiful picture, as well as a very beautiful and sensitive description of the Breslev way in this life. I enjoyed this post very much, and am happy to hear that you had a good trip, and have returned home happy and well.


    May 30, 2014 at 7:35 am

  3. A well-known scene for those that know Israel.
    Caesarea is a beautiful place, I hope you enjoyed it!


    May 30, 2014 at 7:40 am

  4. Truly beautiful!….. I can feel the joy. Thank you for sharing this lovely picture. I just love it.


    May 30, 2014 at 7:59 am

  5. How wonderful :). I wish more people would spread joy like that and stop being angry about everything!


    May 30, 2014 at 8:00 am

  6. What a great capture of people enjoying life. This is such a powerful and joy-filled image, Edith. I can imagine that a wonderful memory was created, one you will never forget. So awesome to see a scene like this.

    Thanks for sharing!


    May 30, 2014 at 8:12 am

    • Thank you so much Jimi. It really was a lot of fun and the singing and dancing was infectious.


      May 30, 2014 at 11:46 am

  7. Instant de vie bien capturé


    May 30, 2014 at 10:02 am

  8. Wow what an amazing image!! I’d love to go there some day too.


    May 30, 2014 at 10:46 am

  9. made me smile:)


    May 30, 2014 at 12:04 pm

  10. Love this! I’m glad you had a fulfilling journey, Edith.


    May 30, 2014 at 1:29 pm

  11. A joyful moment well-captured Edith. How goes the controversy of the Hasidim vs the government re mandatory military service? Apparently it’s become quite an issue there, no?


    May 30, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    • Thanks Tina. You’re right it is a big issue. The issue lies only with the ultra-orthodox in where they are currently exempt from military service. As far as I know there hasn’t been a resolution yet and there’s on-going debate.


      May 30, 2014 at 4:29 pm

  12. I love this, Edith.
    A truly wonderful idea.


    May 30, 2014 at 6:58 pm

  13. We could all do with some of that approach to life, Edith.


    June 1, 2014 at 4:20 am

  14. LB

    My Book Group just read Postville, which is about the Hassidim in Iowa. I remember well the descriptions of the men singing together. Love the photo!


    June 1, 2014 at 9:42 pm

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