Friday, December 9

The Travelling Chassidim take to the skies!

The Travelling Chassidim take to the skies!

The Giffnock community in Glasgow, Scotland were privileged to host the ‘Travelling Chassidim’ as part of the Nationwide Shabbat UK ’16.

The Travelling Chassidim flew in from Stansted airport in London and brought Ruach (spirt, not wind...) to Glasgow.

From candle lighting to the legendary Carlebach styleHavdalah, Shabbat was full of light!
Chazan R’ Moshe Mordche Meislik, one of the Travelling Chassidim led Kabbalas Shabbos.  The transfixing scene of the four ‘Travelling Chasidim’ in full Chasidic garb, flanking the Tallis-clad chazan on the majestic Bimah, lent a warm aura of old-world authenticity.
In an expertly woven medley of traditional song, soulful Chassidic nigunim and lively dancing, the troupe and community heralded this momentous Shabbos!
Even recalcitrant participants soon found themselves pulled along in the spirit of Shabbos at the joyous dance around the Bima between Kabalas Shabbos and Maariv.
Following Ma’ariv, after transferring to the beautifully prepared banqueting hall, Rabbi Rubin warmly welcomed all the assembled and invited them to partake in the Seudah.  He warmly blessed each of his children in the time honoured tradition, bringing tears to those watching.
Rabbi Rubin introduced the Shabbos Zemiros by highlighting the opportunity to express gratitude to one's spouse through the song of ‘Eishes Chayil’ prefacing Kiddush.
Rousing Zemiros enhanced the atmosphere in the packed Hall throughout the meal, as Chasidim, university students, community members and the Rabbi, uniting in song. 
At the much-loved hit song Ani Ma-amin (MBD) the entire hall joined hands and danced around the hall. Of course, hats were exchanged as people comically tried balancing Streimlach while continuing the spirited dance.
Attendees were effusive in their outpouring of gratitude to the travelling crew, with one resident describing the ‘spine-tingling atmosphere,’ during the moving rendition of ‘A Yiddishe Mamme’ as his highlight of the Event. Evidently, this had been a highly emotional Shabbos, both in terms of Simcha (Joy) and hope.  In the words of Rabbi Rubin, the Gerrer Chasidic Community leader, ‘you made them laugh and you made them cry - a true Kiddush Hashem!’
Yet, as much as the community gained from the visit, in the words of one of the travellers, Mrs G., ‘We gained far more than we had given.’  Although the trip to Glasgow involved much time and effort on their part, ‘Seeing the devoted leadership of Rabbi and Rebbetzin Rubin and the friendliness and unity extended by the community made it a very worthwhile investment,’ adds Mrs G. 

Mr Menasche Scharf concurs. In his opinion, the palpable pride felt by the community towards their "most magnanimous, magnetic and charismatic Rabbi" probably explains one of Scotland’s best kept secrets in distilling tradition to such sublime finesse in a place that is so far removed from the larger Jewish communities(i.e. London and Manchester).  Certainly, there is much to be appreciated in this proud Scottish region of sprawling highlands, besides for ancient folk tunes and Scotch Whiskey."  His comment concluded with one of his trademark quips: "The paradox of it all is that the Travelling Chassidim worked very hard on Shabbos, trying to convince others how to rest on this holy day..."

An endorsement arrived from our headquarters in the States:

Or English branch - "TCUK" had a fantastic Shabbaton in Scotland for the Shabbat UK, the Shabbos brought many inqueries into what we are doing and hopefully many great things will come out of it for TCUK!!!

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