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This colorful, lively documentary depicts the various sects of Hasidism which embody "D'vekut" in Israel. "D'vekut", the Hebrew term for the mystical union between man and God, is the essential element of Hasidism. This Jewish movement began in eighteenth century Eastern Europe and lives on in Israel, the only country where all fifty of the Hasidic groups are represented.
The filmmaker Willy Lindwer (winner of the International Emmy Award for The Last Seven Months of Anne Frank) had special personal relationships with the leaders and members of the Hasidic sects. Thus he was able to penetrate their world and to participate in their special ceremonies and festivals in Jerusalem and throughout Israel. By sheer coincidence, the first Hasid Lindwer met in Jerusalem, Rabbi Shaya, turned out to be the great-grandson of his father's rabbi. Rabbi Shaya agreed to be filmed and encouraged others to do the same, giving this film a special insider's view. As Lindwer looked beyond the singing and dancing, the meditation and the ecstasy, he slowly gained an understanding of the nature of Jewish mysticism. He experienced the sense of devotion and surrender that lead the Hasidim to emphasize emotion and piety over traditional Judaic study and prayer.
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