Chassidim joyfully celebrate Kislev 19 and Kislev 20 as the Rosh Hashanah (“new year”) of Chassidism, with Chassidic farbrengen gatherings and an increased commitment to the ways and teachings of Chassidism.
Tachnun and similar prayers are omitted.
We begin anew the yearly cycle of the daily study of the Tanya as part of the “Chitas” daily study program.
Also on this day:
Rabbi DovBer, known as “The Maggid of Mezeritch” and the disciple and successor of the founder of Chassidism, Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov, passed away in 1772.
And in 1798 (5559), Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi — a leading disciple of Rabbi DovBer of Mezeritch and the founder of Chabad Chassidism — was released from his imprisonment in the Peter-Paul fortress in Petersburg, where he was held for 53 days on charges that his teachings threatened the imperial authority of the Czar.
More than a personal liberation, this was a watershed event in the history of Chassidism heralding a new era in the revelation of the “inner soul” of Torah, and is celebrated to this day as “The Rosh Hashanah of Chassidism.”