Do you say “hareini mekabel” every morning? Do you know why?
In the 1500s Rabbi Shlomo Luria, ‘the Arizal,’ implemented the practice of starting one’s day with the statement: “I hereby accept upon myself to fulfill the Mitzvah of ‘Love your fellow as yourself.’”
For hundreds of years, a segment of the Jewish people followed this custom. Then, at a 1983 farbrengen to commemorate Yud Tes Kislev, the anniversary of the Alter Rebbe’s liberation from Czarist prison, the Rebbe re-introduced the practice, suggesting that every Jew recite this statement as a preface to the morning prayers.
“The benefit [of saying hareini mekabel before morning prayers] is two-fold: It dispels the terrible darkness of these final days of the exile, because, as the Talmud teaches: the exile itself was caused by baseless hatred.
“This love between Jews should be verbalized, for good words ‘penetrate the heavens,’ as the Alter Rebbe cites the Zohar. And when a Jew makes this declaration sincerely, it carries the power of Torah and the power of prayer, especially if he then puts if into action.”
This topic and a wide variety of others are presented on the new DVD, Farbrengen, 19 Kislev, 5744. Running for over 300 minutes, the release includes a chasidic discourse and seven addresses, five of which are subtitled in Hebrew, English, Yiddish, French, Russian and Spanish. The Rebbe’s talks are interspersed with lively chasidic melodies. An additional audio soundtrack features the audio of the original translation by Rabbi Manis friedman, as broadcast live on television during the event.
It is anticipated that hundreds of families and groups large and small will gather to view this Farbrengen and to relive the historic event in unison.