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Where does the inyan of davening with a Tzaddik on Rosh HaShanah come from? Where did it start? Was there ever such a minhag before chassidus come along? (Assuming it started with the Chassidim -- my question before this was with which chassididm did it start with since that was my assumption.)

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Live Tzadikkim? –  JNF Sep 24 '12 at 7:22
    
Yes, let's start with Tzaddikim that are physically alive –  Yehoshua Sep 24 '12 at 9:45
    
Perhaps the Tzaddik lifting the overall (spiritual) level of the Tzibbur, so people try to be part of that Tzibbur. –  JNF Sep 24 '12 at 9:52
    
The question was in the history, where did it start? By Chassidim? Before Chassidim? Not so much the reasons... –  Yehoshua Sep 24 '12 at 9:55

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