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) 


Updated 3/2013. Lots more links are here.

Ways to connect – shuls, minyanim, resources: (see further below for engaged Torah, film and art, more)

The Shtibl in Los Angeles – the closest thing to the real world embodiment of

Romemu – renewal Chasidus in the Big Apple.

Sources of Shlomo: nowadays Shlomo minyanim are a dime a dozen, but only a handful have an actual mesorah (tradition) going back to Reb Shlomo; the rest just use the tunes. The two flagships in the US are The Carlebach Shul in NYC (where he was rabbi with his brother Eli Chayyim) and The Happy Minyan in LA. I've taught at both of them, and spent much more time davening there. Of course there's Moshav Modiin (in Modiin of course), Beirav in Tsfat, and Yeshivat Simchat Shlomo in Jerusalem.

As for neo-Chasidic minyanim, Raz Hartman's (Orthodox) minyan in Nachlaot doesn't have a website. On the egal front, I can tell you about Prayground, my little minyan in the Pioneer Valley (western Mass), and I'm sure there are many others I don't know about. If you have a link to add, please write me.

And as for Reb Shlomo on the web, the links I once had up that led to downloadable music, to Shlomo minyanim, or to music by chevre, have all evaporated. Even the wikipedia article on Shlomo has only two functional links: one to "Find-A-Grave" (!) and one to the Bway musical about Shlomo ("Soul Doctor"). There are also plenty of youtube clips and plenty of music to buy. Here's one interesting clip on Rosh Hashanah. You can listen in on Joy Krauthammer's experiences with Shlomo here, and Yeshivat Simchat Shlomo has a bunch of Reb Shlomo's Torahs transcribed.

Liturgy: Open Siddur is becoming a vast and indispensable liturgical resource. Ritual Well – ditto. I have lots of material on both sites.

Write to Maggid Yitzhak Buxbaum and he'll send you a bit of Chasidic Torah or story everyday. (Go to for more info.)

R' Itzchak Marmorstein jams with Greg Wall and other musical lights to the words of Rav Kook. His performances of Haraya are becoming legendary. See videos at Ha'orot's youtube channel.

Other Chasidus: Here's a bevy of unvetted Breslover (Rebbe Nachman) sites: Breslov Research Institute, Breslov!, Azamra (this link is to a page with Rebbe Nachman sayings, but there's lots more there), A Fire Burns in Breslov, Breslov Torah, Breslov Center, Yeshivat Shuvu Bonim, and Tzaddik magazine. For Chabad Chasidus, try (Why do I focus on these streams of Chasidus? For me the only two rebbes are Rebbe Nachman of Breslov and the Alter Rebbe, Shneur Zalman of Liady. They are the only Chasidic streams that actively reach out to embrace people coming from outside their own groups, including people coming from outside Orthodoxy, but what is more important to me is the depth of their Torah and its profound applicablity to our relationship with the Earth.)

MORE – links to shuls, Torah and rabbis, arts, etc.

See Beautiful Struggles for links to lots of Jewish blogs.

Online Music Resources:

The Modzitz Music page – Modzitzer Nigunim ready to download, straight from old recordings. The Modzitz dynasty is the Hasidic sect most known for its music above all others.

Hundreds of Chabad nigunim can be found on a) as sung by the Rebbe, b) as sung by other folks, c) with introductions in English. There's also a library of Niggunei Chassidei Chabad (called "Nichoach") on

Nigunim from the Biala rebbe.

As mentioned above, I no longer have any good sites to recommend for Shlomo nigunim. That might mean that I have to put more up here. (I've always focused on other sources of nigunim on since Shlomo's music has been so much more accessible.)

Note: Some sites only offer .ra/.ram (RealAudio) files, rather than .mp3 or other formats. You don't need RealPlayer's badly-behaved software to listen to them. Instead, you can download Real Alternative from freeware sites like

Classical Chassides:

Read brief bios of hundreds of rebbes, provided by the Ascent Institute.

A long list of Hasidic dynasties – from Wikipedia, with links to individual articles. See also Wikipedia articles on "Hasidic Judaism", and on "Neo-Hasidism", as well as this article on the Chasidic tish, which includes links to more than a dozen videos of tishen and farbrengen.

Engaged Torah:

American Jewish World Service (AJWS) – the Jewish Peace Corps, saving more lives than any other Jewish organization.

The Shalom Center – the foremost voice marrying Judaism, American politics, anti-war, and ecological activism.

Teva Learning Alliance – the premier innovator in Jewish environmental education.

Hazon – Jewish CSA's, the Food Conference, more, making eco- cool, delicious and real, everyday.

Bustan – an Israeli Bedouin environmental justice organization.

Jewschool – hip, diverse, and thought-provoking articles and resources. Heeb might look more like this if it had some political depth.

The Heschel Center's Good Energy Initiative – carbon offsets through real programs in Israel.

The Green Zionist Alliance – ways to engage with struggles for Israel's environment. You'll also find a nice page explaining climate change here.

Offset, shmoffset – Cute title, but the gateway to Terrapass is 404'd. Motto: "You don't have to tell us that the truth can be inconvenient." That's really the reason I'm keeping the link here.

Jews On First – the best news feed on church/state issues, plus Torah.

The National Havurah Committee – not exactly engaged Torah, but one of the best ways to engage with Torah.


Culture (film, art, music, etc.):

Radio 613 – Kingston Ontario radio show – Emma Goldman plus Torah – a winning combination! I found out about them when they interviewed me for Tu Bishvat.

Divan – an extraordinary journey into the old world of Chasidus in Eastern Europe to redeem the divan a revered rebbe once sat on to give counsel. Director Pearl Gluck (an X-O from a Chasidic family) documents the absurd and the holy, as she overcomes relatives and red tape on her pilgrimage to the legendary couch that was preserved by her family. Order Divan here.

Girls In Trouble – this band, fronted by Alicia Jo Rabins, gives over some of the deepest midrash since the 2nd century, and the tunes are haunting, moving, revelatory.

Films That Change the World, including Trembling Before G-d – the groundbreaking documentary about the lives of gay and lesbian Orthodox Jews.

Jacqueline Nichols – extraordinary, traditional subversive art; daf yomi drawings, more.


Add a link to this list.



Design in progress © Rabbi David Mevorach Seidenberg 2006