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Sefer Chasidim: Seized By Love of God

In Honor of the Yahrtzeit of the Sefer Chassidim- the 13th of Adar) Rav Yehuda Hachassid was the author of Sefer Hachassidim (1150-1217). He was born in Speyer (Shapira) and died in Regensburg. His father, Shmuel, was a saintly and renowned Rosh Yeshiva in Speyer, and Rav Yehudah studied under him. He also wrote Sefer Gimatriot and was one of the main teachers of the ‘Chassidei Ashkenaz’. Among his talmidim were the Or Zarua and the Semag. 

If, while praying, a person is suddenly overcome by a feeling of joyous love of God, that is a sign that God wants to fulfill his desire. And so it says, “If you delight in God, He will grant you the desires of your heart.” (Psalms 37:4) If this sense of ecstasy arises during the blessing of Shema Koleinu – Hear our Voices – he should recite the following prayer: “May it be Your will that this love may forever be embedded in my heart and the hearts of all my children.”

If this joyful rapture stirred him at any time of the day or night, while he was not praying, then as long as he is entranced by this joyous fervor, he should not speak to anyone until the feeling subsides.

When the biblical prophets were seized by a surge of overpowering love of God, they felt as though they had been catapulted out of this world.
Sefer Chasidim #773, translated by Avraham Yaakov Finkel

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