Sunday, April 18, 2010

Tish in Belz


Last Erev Shabbat (Friday night) I did something which I usually don't do: I took two people with me to the Belzer Tish in Jerusalem. First we went to the Shabbat meal of Rabbi Mordechai Machlis. Unfortunately we had to leave earlier in order to walk to the great Synagogue of Chassidut Belz in Jerusalem's Kiryat Belz.

It was a nice walk. Plenty of Chassidim were in the streets in going for their evening walk. Bar Ilan Street was crowded and so was the area around the Chernobyl and the Satmar Synagogue on the in front of the junction Kiryat Belz - Kiryat Zanz.
The Belzer like it posh and so is their neighbourhood. Clean and organized. By the way, Kiryat Vishnitz in Bnei Brak looks the same.

From far away, the Belzer great Beit Mirdrash is shining and the closer you get, the more impressive it becomes. Just like the old Synagogue in Belz but much bigger. Seven thousand people have space in the new Synagogue.

The Tish is not taking place inside the Synagogue but nearby on a ground floor. When we arrived, the Belzer Rebbe Yissachar Dov Rokeach was just making "Kiddush - Blessing over the wine". The Ezrat Nashim (women's side) was not yet packed but soon after it was. The Belzer Rebbitzen always sits on her little stage almost above the Rebbe. She loves to wear high hats and this time she wore a huge blue hat.

The Belzer Chassidim are organized and everything at the Tish is arranged. There are benches at the Ezrat Nashim but when you want to see something, you need to stand up.

When the Rebbe makes Kiddush, he puts his Tallit (prayer shawl) over his head and his Streimel. This alone looks very impressive. Afterwwards, for "Washing the hands and HaMozi", he takes off the Tallit.

Before making Kiddush, he is always involved in silent prayer and the Chassidim have to be quiet. Their Rebbe is like a king and if anyone dares to talk then you can here and threatening "Sha Sha - Silence, silence". The men's side was packed. Including many guests, as the Belzer Tish is quite popular among Israeli groups touring haredi areas on Erev Shabbat.

We only stayed for an hour (the Belzer Tish usually lasts for two hours) because we almost fell asleep. Tishing on a Friday night after a week full of work is not that easy. It is then when you feel how exhausted you are from the week. However, each of us enjoyed the atmosphere of the whole evening.

Next Shabbat I will be back in Mea Shearim !

The Belzer Synagogue in Jerusalem


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