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ברצלב | From Uman to the Olam: Clapping for the Holy Majesty during the Days of Awe (neohasid.org)

Image: "Kristi and Charlie" by jonathan.youngblood (License: CC-BY 2.0)

Hamelekh Hakadosh – a Breslov minhag

In Uman, Ukraine (and in the Breslov community in general) during the repetition of Rosh Hashanah Musaf, when when the ḥazan gets to the special brokha in the Amidah for Yamim Nora’im [the Days of Awe]: Barukh Atah Adonai Hamelekh Hakadosh, something beautiful happens. Everyone begins clapping for the King, and it continues for minutes on end. It sounds corny, but in a shul of 3,000, it’s awesome. Not only awesome, but truly joyful.

This is something anyone, any minyan, can do —- no Hebrew knowledge necessary. It works best when most of the people do it, and it is truly wonderful. I can’t think of a more playful way to take what we say in prayer seriously.

Clapping for God – try it in Long Island and Iowa. It’s not just for Uman!


This work was originally published at neohasid.org. We are grateful to Rabbi David Seidenberg of neohasid for sharing his liturgy, exercises, and wisdom. You can contribute to the work of neohasid, here.

During the ten days from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur, we change the third blessing of the Amidah from “Blessed be You, the Holy God” ha’el hakadosh to “Blessed be You, the Holy King” hamelekh hakadosh.

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