The Baal Shem Tov, or Besht —  the founder of Chasidism — 
met the soul of the Messiah during an ascent to heaven. 
The Besht asked him, "When will the Master come?" 
The Messiah answered, "When your wellsprings break forth to the outside!" 
(from a letter written by the Besht to his brother-in-law about one of his soul ascents) 

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Chanukah v. Purim: Awakening from Above

contributed by Rabbi Edward Friedman — thank you!

from Yosef Levy's Minhag Yisrael Torah *

On Chanukah, we are accustomed to make for the children a spinner that we call a dreidel which they take from above and spin, while on Purim, we are accustomed to make for the children groggers to beat Haman where they hold the wood from below and spin it.

The B'nei Yisaschar said that the reason is that on Chanukah there was not an awakening from below, only from above, for they did not repent properly. It was only because the Blessed God in his abundant compassion had mercy upon them. Therefore we spin the circle [the dreidel] from above to show that the awakening came from above—not as on Purim, where there were Mordecai and Esther and the men of the Great Assembly who decreed a fast and sackcloth and ashes, so that there was an awakening from below and we therefore spin the wood [of the grogger] from below.

* vol. 2, p. 288, sec. 5. This teaching is introduced as follows, "In the book Korban Oni, it is taught in the name of the Holy Ga'on, the B’nei Yisaschar (may his memory protect us), that he gave the reason that on Chanukah..."



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