(26) Abraham Heschel, The Circle of the Baal Shem Tov
, edited by Samuel Dresner (University of Chicago Press, 1985) 19.
Their piety was like the piety of angels, and they all were drinking from the sole source, that was the holy Reb Israel Baal Shem Tov
Both Reb Shlomo and Reb Zalman loved to tell the Hasidic stories of the Baal Shem Tov
and Reb Nachman of Bratslav.
I already felt secure in my historical roots, a lineage that places me as a ninth-generation descendant of the Baal Shem Tov
with Rashi and King David as ancestors.
Silence and ignorance are wedded in the Hasidic tale of the Baal Shem Tov
(Master of a Good Name), the founder of modern Hasidism.
Nahum of Chernobyl and the Baal Shem Tov
, brought the Baal Shem's
What comes to mind as one reads these pages is a saying from the Baal Shem Tov
: as oblivion is tied to exile, so is memory tied to redemption.
Later, the leaders of the Jewish Chassidic movement in Europe, including its founder, Rabbi Israel ben Eliezer, also known as the Baal Shem Tov
, stated they were descendants.
At last English speakers receive an in-depth biographical coverage of the man who first explained Jewish mysticism to the general public in The Great Mission: The Life And Story Of Rabbi Yisrael Baal Shem Tov
. But readers anticipating a biography alone will find much more here: The Great Mission blends in philosophy and spiritual insights as well, offering stories and teachings from the founder of the Chasidic movement in a rare set of Judaism research findings.
See, for instance, the tale of the Baal Shem Tov
and his followers.
There are some individuals, such as the Baal Shem Tov
, who become myths after they are gone, and others whose lives and the myth surrounding them overlap such that the person loses historical relevance.
A great-grandson of Hasidism's founder, the Baal Shem Tov
, Nachman breathed new life into the movement, combining Kabbalah, Torah scholarship and folk tales to teach a religious philosophy that centered on speaking to God directly, without intermediaries.