FACTOID # 21: 15% of Army recruits from South Dakota are Native American, which is roughly the same percentage for female Army recruits in the state.
 
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 
 
WHAT'S NEW
 

SEARCH ALL

FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 

 

(* = Graphable)

 

 


Encyclopedia > Israel ben Eliezer

Rabbi Israel (Yisroel) ben Eliezer (רבי ישראל בן אליעזר, c. 1698May 22, 1760) is considered to be the founder of Hasidic Judaism. He was born in Okopy Świętej Trójcy, Poland, and died in Medzhybizh, Poland. Events January 4 - Palace of Whitehall in London is destroyed by fire. ... May 22 is the 142nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (143rd in leap years). ... 1760 was a leap year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... Hasidic Judaism (from the Hebrew: Chasidut חסידות, meaning pious, from the Hebrew root word chesed חסד meaning loving kindness) is a Haredi Jewish religious movement. ... Okopy Świętej Trójcy (Polish for Stronghold of the Holy Trinity) was a - now non-existent - town and fortress at the Zbruch and Dnister rivers. ... Medzhybizh (Ukrainian: , Russian: , Polish: MiÄ™dzybórz, MiÄ™dzyborz or MiÄ™dzybóż, Yiddish: Mezbizh) is a city in Letychivskyi rayon (Летичівський район), Khmelnytska oblast, Western Ukraine. ...


He was a Jewish Orthodox mystical rabbi who is better known to most religious Jews as "the Holy Baal Shem" (der Heiliger Baal Shem in Yiddish), or most commonly, the Baal Shem Tov. The name Baal Shem Tov is usually translated into English as "Master of the Good Name", with Tov ("Good") modifying Shem ("[Divine] Name"), although it is more correctly understood as a combination of Baal Shem ("Master of the [Divine] Name") and Tov (an honorific epithet to the man). The name Besht—the acronym of the first letters of his name, bet shin tet—is typically used in print rather than speech. The appellation "Baal Shem" was not unique to Rabbi Yisrael ben Eliezer; however, it is Rabbi Israel ben Eliezer who has achieved near synonymity with "Baal Shem", being as he was the founder of the spiritual movement of Hasidic Judaism. Orthodox Judaism is the stream of Judaism which adheres to a relatively strict interpretation and application of the laws and ethics first canonized in the Talmud (The Oral Law) and later codified in the Shulkhan Arukh (Code of Jewish Law). It is governed by these works and the Rabbinical commentary... Mysticism (ancient Greek mysticon = secret) is meditation, prayer, or theology focused on the direct experience of union with divinity, God, or Ultimate Reality, or the belief that such experience is a genuine and important source of knowledge. ... Rabbi (Classical Hebrew רִבִּי ribbÄ«;; modern Ashkenazi and Israeli רַבִּי rabbÄ«) in Judaism, means teacher, or more literally great one. The word Rabbi is derived from the Hebrew root-word RaV, which in biblical Hebrew means great or distinguished, (in knowledge). In the ancient Judean schools (and among Sefaradim today) the sages... Yiddish (ייִדיש, Jiddisch) is a Germanic language spoken by about four million Jews throughout the world. ... Baal Shem in Hebrew translates as Master of the Name, and is almost always used in reference to Israel ben Eliezer, the Rabbi who founded Hasidic Judaism and was called the Baal Shem Tov. ... Hasidic Judaism (from the Hebrew: Chasidut חסידות, meaning pious, from the Hebrew root word chesed חסד meaning loving kindness) is a Haredi Jewish religious movement. ...


The little biographical information concerning him that exists is so interwoven with legends and miracles that in many cases it is hard to arrive at the historical facts. He is said to have been born at Akuf, a border-city between Poland and Moldavia; but no such place is known. From the numerous legends connected with his birth it appears that his parents were poor, upright, and pious. When Israel ben Eliezer was orphaned, his community cared for him. At school, he distinguished himself only by his frequent disappearances, being always found in the lonely woods surrounding the place, rapturously enjoying the beauties of nature. Many of his disciples believe that he comes from the Davidic line tracing its lineage to the royal house of King David, and by extension with the institution of the Jewish Messiah. Moldavia (Moldova in Romanian) was a Romanian principality, originally created in the Middle Ages, now divided between Romania, Moldovan Republic and Ukraine. ... Davidic line, (also Davidic Kingdom or Davidic dynasty), known in Hebrew as Malchut Beit David (Monarchy [of the] House [of] David) refers to the tracing of royal lineage by kings and major leaders in Jewish history to the Biblical King David in Judaism. ... This page is about the Biblical king David. ... The Jewish Messiah, (משיח) or Mashiah, Mashiach or Moshiach, has traditionally referred to a future Jewish king from the Davidic line who will be anointed (in Hebrew, mashiach -- משיח (messiah) means anointed with holy anointing oil) and inducted to rule the Jewish people. ...

Contents


Early life and marriage

His benefactors gave up the hope of his ever becoming a rabbi, and made him a "helper", who took the children to and from school and rehearsed short benedictions and prayers with them. His sentimental nature, to which his later success was in great measure due, now stood him in good stead; for he could win children and attach them to him by explanations suited to their understanding. Later he became shammash (sexton) in the same community, and at about eighteen he married. When his young wife died he left the place, and after serving for a long time as helper in various small communities of Galicia, he settled as a teacher at Tlust near Brody. Rabbi (Classical Hebrew רִבִּי ribbÄ«;; modern Ashkenazi and Israeli רַבִּי rabbÄ«) in Judaism, means teacher, or more literally great one. The word Rabbi is derived from the Hebrew root-word RaV, which in biblical Hebrew means great or distinguished, (in knowledge). In the ancient Judean schools (and among Sefaradim today) the sages... A sexton is a church officer charged with the maintenance of the church buildings and/or the surrounding graveyard. ... Galicia (Ukrainian: Галичина (Halychyna), Polish: Galicja, German: Galizien, Slovak: Halič, Romanian: Galiţia, Hungarian: Gácsország) is the name of a region of Central Europe. ... Brody (Ukrainian: ; Russian: ; Yiddish בראָד, Brod) is a city in Ukraines western Lviv Oblast, ninety kilometres northeast of Lviv. ...


Because of his recognized honesty and his knowledge of human nature, he was chosen to act as arbitrator and mediator for people conducting suits against each other; and his services were brought into frequent requisition because the Jews had their own civil courts in Poland. In this avocation he succeeded in making so deep an impression upon the rich and learned Ephraim of Brody that the latter promised Besht his daughter Leah Rachel in marriage. The man died, however, without telling his daughter of her betrothal; but when she heard of his wish, she did not hesitate to comply. Human nature is the fundamental nature and substance of humans, as well as the range of human behavior that is believed to be invariant over long periods of time and across very different cultural contexts. ... Arbitration, in the law, is a form of alternative dispute resolution — specifically, a legal alternative to litigation whereby the parties to a dispute agree to submit their respective positions (through agreement or hearing) to a neutral third party (the arbitrator(s) or arbiter(s)) for resolution. ... For other uses, see Mediation Mediator is a book series written by Meg Cabot. ... Civil law has at least three meanings. ...


Besht's wooing was characteristic. In the shabby clothes of a peasant he presented himself at Brody before Abraham Gerson Kytower, brother of the girl, and a recognized authority in the Kabbalah and the Talmud. Kytower was about to give him alms, when Besht produced a letter from his pocket, showing that he was the designated bridegroom. Kytower tried in vain to dissuade his sister Leah Rachel from shaming the family by marrying him, but she regarded her father's will alone as authoritative. This article is about the overall Jewish mysticisms tradition. ... The Talmud (תלמוד) is a record of rabbinic discussions on Jewish law, Jewish ethics, customs, legends and stories, which Jewish tradition considers authoritative. ...


After his marriage Israel ben Eliezer did not long remain with his brother-in-law, who was ashamed of him (for he kept up the pretense of being an ignorant fellow); and he went to a village in the Carpathians between Brody and Kassowa. His worldly property consisted of a horse given him by his brother-in-law. Israel ben Eliezer worked as a laborer, digging clay and lime, which his wife delivered every week by wagonload to the surrounding villages, and from this they derived their entire support. But the magnificent scenery in this, the finest region of the Carpathians, and the possibility of enjoying it without the interruptions of city life, compensated him for his great privations. Baal Shem Tov and Leah Rachel had two children: Udel and Zvi Hersh. Udel was born in 1720. This is about the terrestrial mountain range. ... Quaternary clay in Estonia. ... Lime is a general term for various naturally occurring minerals and materials derived from them in which carbonates, oxides and hydroxides of calcium predominate. ...


Development as leader and challenges

The Besht's condition was bettered when he took a position as a ritual butcher in Kshilowice, near Iaslowice. This position he soon gave up in order to conduct a village tavern that his brother-in-law bought for him. During the many years that he lived in the woods and came into contact with the peasants, Besht learned how to use plants for healing purposes and to effect wonderful cures. In fact, his first appearance in public was that of an "ordinary" Baal Shem. He wrote amulets and prescribed cures. Baal Shem in Hebrew translates as Master of the Name, and is almost always used in reference to Israel ben Eliezer, the Rabbi who founded Hasidic Judaism and was called the Baal Shem Tov. ... An amulet from the Black Pullet grimoire An amulet (from Latin amuletum, meaning A means of protection) or a talisman (from Arabic tilasm, ultimately from Greek telesma or from the Greek word talein wich means to initiate into the mysteries. ...


After many trips in Podolia and Volhynia as a Baal Shem, Besht, considering his following large enough and his authority established, decided (about 1740) to expound his teachings in the shtetl of Medzhybizh and the people, mostly from the lower classes, came to listen to him. His following gradually increased, and with it the dislike, not to say hostility, of the Talmudists. Nevertheless, Besht was supported at the beginning of his career by two prominent Talmudists, the brothers Meïr and Isaac Dob Margaliot. Later he won over Baer of Meseritz, to whose great authority as a Talmudist it was chiefly due that Besht's doctrines (though in an essentially altered form) were introduced into learned circles. Historical arms of Podolia The region of Podolia (Ukrainian: Podillya, Polish: Podole) lies in the west-central and south-west portions of present-day Ukraine that correspond to Khmelnytskyi Oblast and Vinnytsia Oblast. ... Pochayiv Lavra, the spiritual heart of Volhynia Volhynia (Ukrainian: , Polish: , Russian: ; also called Volynia) comprises the historic region in western Ukraine located between the rivers Pripyat and Western Bug -- to the north of Galicia and of Podolia. ... A shtetl or shtetele (Yiddish: , diminutive form of Yiddish shtot, town) was typically a small town or village with a large Jewish population in pre-Holocaust Central and Eastern Europe. ... Medzhybizh (Ukrainian: , Russian: , Polish: MiÄ™dzybórz, MiÄ™dzyborz or MiÄ™dzybóż, Yiddish: Mezbizh) is a city in Letychivskyi rayon (Летичівський район), Khmelnytska oblast, Western Ukraine. ...


Disputes with the Frankists

The antagonism between Talmudism and Hasidism was apparent to the representatives of each at Besht's first appearance; but the open breach did not come about until later. In fact, Besht took sides with the Talmudists in the disputes with Frankists (Jacob Frank's followers) and was even one of the three delegates of the Talmudists to a disputation between the two parties held at Lemberg in 1759. It was only in keeping with Besht's character that he felt keenly upon the acceptance of baptism by the Frankists, for it is related that he said: "As long as a diseased limb is connected with the body, there is hope that it may be saved; but, once amputated, it is gone, and there is no hope." The excitement consequent upon the Frankist movement undermined his health, and he died shortly after the conversion of many Frankists to Christianity. Jacob Frank (1726-1791) was a Jewish merchant who claimed to be the messiah. ... Lviv coat of arms Motto: Semper fidelis Municipal government City council (Львівська міська рада) Mayor City chairman Lyubomyr Bunyak Area 171,01 km² Population    total 2000    density 808,900 4786/km² Founded city rights 13th century 1353 Area code + 0322 Latitude Longitude 49°51′ N 24°01′ E Twin towns... Baptism in early Christian art. ... Religious conversion is the adoption of new religious beliefs that differ from the converts previous beliefs; in some cultures (e. ... Christianity is a monotheistic religion centered on Jesus of Nazareth, whom Christians call Jesus Christ, and New Testament accounts of his life and teachings. ...


His legacy

Israel ben Eliezer left no books; for the Kabbalistic commentary on Ps. cvii., ascribed to him (Jitomir, 1804), Sefer mi-Rabbi Yisrael Ba'al Shem-tov, is hardly genuine. In order to get at his teachings, it is therefore necessary to turn to his utterances as given in the works of the old Hasidim. But since Hasidism, immediately after the death of its founder, was divided into various parties, each claiming for itself the authority of Besht, the utmost of caution is necessary in judging as to the authenticity of utterances ascribed to Besht. This article is about the overall Jewish mysticisms tradition. ... Hasidic Judaism (from the Hebrew: Chasidut חסידות, meaning pious, from the Hebrew root word chesed חסד meaning loving kindness) is a Haredi Jewish religious movement. ...


Elements of Besht's doctrines

The foundation-stone of Hasidism as laid by Besht is a strongly marked panentheistic conception of God. He declared the whole universe, mind and matter, to be a manifestation of the Divine Being; that this manifestation is not an emanation from God, as is the conception of the Kabbalah by Mitnagdim, for nothing can be separated from God: all things are rather forms in which God reveals Himself. When man speaks, said Besht, he should remember that his speech is an element of life, and that life itself is a manifestation of God. Even evil exists in God. This seeming contradiction is explained on the ground that evil is not bad in itself, but only in its relation to man. It is wrong to look with desire upon a woman; but it is divine to admire her beauty: it is wrong only in so far as man does not regard beauty as a manifestation of God, but misconceives it, and thinks of it in reference to himself. Nevertheless, sin is nothing positive, but is identical with the imperfections of human deeds and thought. Whoever does not believe that God resides in all things, but separates God and them in his thoughts, has not the right conception of God. It is equally fallacious to think of a creation in time: creation, that is, God's activity, has no end. God is ever active in the changes of nature: in fact, it is in these changes that God's continuous creativeness consists. Panentheism (Greek words: pan=all, en=in and Theos=God; all-in-God) is the view that God is immanent within all Creation or that God is the animating force behind the universe. ... Mitnagdim or misnagdim is a Hebrew word (מתנגדים) meaning opponents; this term was used to refer to European religious Jews who opposed Hasidic Judaism. ... SiN is a computer game developed by Ritual Entertainment and published by Activision in late 1998. ...


This panentheism would have been ignored, had Besht not been a man of the people. He gave his metaphysical conception of God an eminently practical significance. Panentheism (Greek words: pan=all, en=in and Theos=God; all-in-God) is the view that God is immanent within all Creation or that God is the animating force behind the universe. ...


The first result of his principles was a remarkable optimism. Since God is immanent in all things, all things must possess something good in which God manifests Himself as the source of good. For this reason, the Besht taught, every man must be considered good, and his sins must be explained, not condemned. One of his favorite sayings was that no man has sunk too low to be able to raise himself to God. Naturally, then, it was his chief endeavor to convince sinners that God stood as near to them as to the righteous, and that their misdeeds were chiefly the consequences of their folly.


Another important result of his doctrines, which was of great practical importance, was his denial that asceticism is pleasing to God. "Whoever maintains that this life is worthless is in error: it is worth a great deal; only one must know how to use it properly." From the very beginning Besht fought against that contempt for the world which, through the influence of Isaac Luria's Kabbalah, had almost become a dogma among the Jews. He considered care of the body as necessary as care of the soul; since matter is also a manifestation of God, and must not be considered as hostile or opposed to Him. Asceticism denotes a life which is characterized by refraining from worldly pleasures (austerity). ... Rabbi Isaac Luria (1534–July 25, 1572) was a Jewish scholar and mystic. ...


In connection with his struggle against asceticism, it is natural that he should have fought also against the strictness and the sanctimoniousness that had gradually developed from the strict Talmudic standpoint. Not that Besht required the abrogation of any religious ceremonies or of a single observance. His target was the great importance which the Talmudic view attaches to the fulfillment of a law, while almost entirely disregarding sentiment or the growth of man's inner life. While the rabbis of his day considered the study of the Talmud as the most important religious activity, Besht laid all the stress on prayer. "All that I have achieved," he once remarked, "I have achieved not through study, but through prayer". Prayer, however, is not petitioning God to grant a request, though that is one end of prayer, but ("cleaving", dvekut)—the feeling of oneness with God, the state of the soul when man gives up the consciousness of his separate existence, and joins himself to the eternal being of God. Such a state produces a species of indescribable joy, which is a necessary ingredient of the true worship of God. Maria Magdalene in prayer. ...


Opposition to Luria's Kabbalah

It is remarkable that Besht, whose starting point was the same as that of Isaac Luria's Kabbalah arrived at seemingly opposite results. His conception of God was panentheistic; while the school of Luria laid the greatest stress upon the principle of emanation. Later Hasidic works spent much effort in reconciling these views. The Besht's fight against asceticism was directed more against the school from which it sprang than against pure Talmudism. His teachings concerning ("joy", simcha) were especially opposed to asceticism. The followers of Luria considered weeping an indispensable accompaniment to prayer; while Besht considered unrestrained weeping and feelings of sorrow to be wholly objectionable. The sinner who repents of his sin should not become distraught over the past, but should rejoice over the Heavenly Voice, over the Divine Power, working within him and enabling him to recognize the true in admitting his sin. The function of joy in prayer is paralleled by glowing enthusiasm and ecstasy ("to become inflamed", hitlahavut) in every act of worship. Fear of God is only an initiatory step to real worship, which must spring from a love of God and a surrender of self to Him. In his enthusiasm, man will not think either of this life or of the next: the feeling of union with God is in itself a means and an end. Enthusiasm, however, demands progress, not the mere fulfillment of the Law's precepts in a daily routine which becomes deadening: true religion consists in an ever-growing recognition of God. Emanationism is a component in the cosmology of certain religious or philosophical belief systems that claim that the supreme god did not create the physical universe, but instead emanated lower spiritual beings who consequently carried out the actual work. ...


Influence on Hasidism

The later developments of Hasidism are unintelligible without consideration of Besht's opinion concerning man's proper relation with the universe. True worship of God, as above explained, consists in, the cleaving to, and the unification with, God. To use his own words, "the ideal of man is to be a revelation himself, clearly to recognize himself as a manifestation of God." Mysticism, he said, is not the Kabbalah, which everyone may learn; but that sense of true oneness, which is usually as strange, unintelligible, and incomprehensible to mankind as dancing is to a dove. However, the man who is capable of this feeling is endowed with a genuine intuition, and it is the perception of such a man which is called prophecy, according to the degree of his insight. From this it results, in the first place, that the ideal man may lay claim to authority equal, in a certain sense, to the authority of the Prophets. This focus on oneness and personal revelation helps earn his mystical interpretation of Judaism the title of pantheism.


A second and more important result of the doctrine is that through his oneness with God, man forms a connecting link between the Creator and creation. Thus, slightly modifying the Bible verse, Hab. ii. 4, Besht said, "The righteous can vivify by his faith." Besht's followers enlarged upon this idea and consistently deduced from it the source of divine mercy, of blessings, of life; and that therefore, if one love him, one may partake of God's mercy.


On the opposite side of the coin, the Baal Shem Tov warned the Hasidim:

Amalek is still alive today.…Every time you experience a worry or doubt about how God is running the world—that's Amalek launching an attack against your soul. We must wipe Amalek out of our hearts whenever—and wherever—he attacks so that we can serve God with complete joy.

Though Besht may not be held responsible for the later conceptions, there is no doubt that his self-reliance was an important factor in winning adherents. It may be said of Hasidism that there is no other Jewish sect in which the founder is as important as his doctrines. Besht himself is still the real center for the Hasidim; his teachings have almost sunk into oblivion. As Schechter ("Studies in Judaism," p. 4) finely observes: "To the Hasidim, Ba'al-Shem [Besht]…was the incarnation of a theory, and his whole life the revelation of a system." According to the Book of Genesis and 1 Chronicles, Amalek (עֲמָלֵק; Standard Hebrew , Tiberian Hebrew ) was the son of Eliphaz and the grandson of Esau (Gen. ...


Characteristics

Besht did not combat the practice of rabbinical Judaism; it was the spirit of the practice which he opposed. His teachings being the result not of speculation, but of a deep, religious temperament, he laid stress upon a religious spirit, and not upon the forms of religion. Though he considered the Law to be holy and inviolable, he held that one's entire life should be a service of God, and that this would constitute true worship of Him.


Since every act in life is a manifestation of God, and must perforce be divine, it is man's duty so to live that the things called "earthly" may also become noble and pure, that is, divine. Besht tried to realize his ideal in his own career. His life provided the best example for his disciples; and his relationships with the innkeepers (a number of whom he raised to a higher level) furnished a silent but effective protest against the practice of the rabbis, who, in their inexorable sense of strict righteousness, would have no dealings with people fallen morally. The Hasidim tell of a woman whom her relatives sought to kill on account of her shameful life, but who was saved in body and soul by Besht. The story may be a myth, but it is characteristic of Besht's activity in healing those in greatest need of relief. More important to him than prayer was a friendly relationship with sinners; though the former constituted an essential factor in the religious life. The story of Besht's career affords many examples of unselfishness and high-minded benevolence. And while these qualities equally characterize a number of the rabbis of his day, his distinguishing traits were a merciful judgment of others, fearlessness combined with dislike of strife, and a boundless joy in life.


Moreover, Besht's methods of teaching differed essentially from those of his opponents and contributed not a little to his success. He was certainly not a scholar; that is, his knowledge of rabbinical literature, especially of the Talmud and the Midrashim, was only that of an average scholar, a lamdan. He was still less gifted as a speaker. But the lack of scholarship and oratory was supplied by fine satire and inventiveness in telling parables. There are many satirical remarks directed against his opponents, an especially characteristic one being his designation of the typical Talmudist of his day as "a man who through sheer study of the Law has no time to think about God." Besht illustrated his views of asceticism by the following parable: The Talmud (תלמוד) is a record of rabbinic discussions on Jewish law, Jewish ethics, customs, legends and stories, which Jewish tradition considers authoritative. ... Midrash (pl. ... An ill digested lesson The Governess. ...

A thief once tried to break into a house, the owner of which, crying out, frightened the thief away. The same thief soon afterward broke into the house of a very strong man, who, on seeing him enter, kept quite still. When the thief had come near enough, the man caught him and put him in prison, thus depriving him of all opportunity to do further harm.

Not by fleeing from earthly enjoyments through fear is the soul's power assured, but by holding the passions under control.


Much of Besht's success was also due to his firm conviction that God had entrusted him with a special mission to spread his doctrines. In his enthusiasm and ecstasy he believed that he often had heavenly visions revealing his mission to him. In fact, for him every intuition was a divine revelation; and divine messages were daily occurrences.


Besht is quite naturally one of the most interesting figures in modern Jewish legend. As a man of the people and for the people, it is not strange that he should have been honored and glorified in story and in tradition. Of the many narratives that cluster about him, the following are given as the most characteristic:


In legend

About his parentage, legend tells that his father, Eliezer, whose wife was still living, was seized during an attack (by the Tatars perhaps), carried from his home in Wallachia, and sold as a slave to a prince. On account of his wisdom, he found favor with the prince, who gave him to the king to be his minister. During an expedition undertaken by the king, when other counsel failed, and all were disheartened, Eliezer's advice was accepted; and the result was a successful battle of decisive importance. Eliezer was made a general and afterward prime minister, and the king gave him the daughter of the vice-king in marriage. But, being mindful of his duty as a Jew and as the husband of a Jewess in Wallachia, he married the princess only in name. After being questioned for a long time as to his strange conduct, he confessed his race to the princess, who loaded him with costly presents and aided him to escape to his own country. Tatars (Tatar: Tatarlar/Татарлар) (Persian: تاتار) is a collective name applied to the Turkic people of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. ... Map of Romania with Wallachia in yellow. ... General is a high military rank, used by nearly every country in the world. ... Sir Robert Walpole, the first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. ...


On the way, the prophet Elijah appeared to Eliezer and said: "On account of thy piety and steadfastness, thou wilt have a son who will lighten the eyes of all Israel; and Israel shall be his name, because in him shall be fulfilled the verse (Isaiah xlix. 3): 'Thou art my servant, O Israel, in whom I will be glorified.'" Eliezer and his wife Sarah, however, reached old age childless and had given up all hope of ever having a child. But when they were nearly a hundred years old, the promised son (Besht) was born. Elijah (אֱלִיָּהוּ Whose/my God is the Lord, Standard Hebrew Eliyyáhu, Tiberian Hebrew ʾĔliyyāhû), also Elias (NT Greek Ἠλίας), is a prophet of the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament. ... Isaiah the Prophet in Hebrew Scriptures was depicted on the Sistine Chapel ceiling by Michelangelo. ...


Besht's parents died soon after his birth; bequeathing to him only the deathbed exhortation of Eliezer, "Always believe that God is with you, and fear nothing." Besht ever remained true to this injunction. Thus, on one occasion, when he was escorting schoolchildren to synagogue, a wolf was seen, to the terror of old and young, so that the children were kept at home. But Besht, faithful to the bequest of his father, knew no fear; and, on the second appearance of the wolf, he assailed it so vigorously as to cause it to turn and flee. Now, says the legend, this wolf was Satan. Satan had been very much perturbed when he saw that the prayers of the children reached God, who took more delight in the childish songs from their pure hearts than in the hymns of the Levites in the Temple in Jerusalem; and it was for this reason that Satan tried to put a stop to Besht's training the children in prayers and taking them to synagogue. From this time on, successful struggles with Satan, demons, and all manner of evil spirits were daily occurrences with Besht. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... In the Jewish tradition, a Levite (לוי Attached, Standard Hebrew Levi, Tiberian Hebrew Lēwî) is a member of the Hebrew tribe of Levi. ... The Temple in Jerusalem or the Holy Temple (Hebrew: בית המקדש, transliterated Bet HaMikdash) was built in ancient Jerusalem in c. ... St. ... This article is about the paranormal. ...


His miracles

At this time, too, he learned how to work miracles with the name of God. The following is an instance: In Constantinople, where Besht stopped on his intended journey to Israel, The Land of Israel, Eretz Yisroel, he was received with unusual hospitality by a worthy couple who were childless. In return for their kindness Besht, when departing, promised them that they should be blessed with a son, and rendered this possible by the utterance of the Sacred Name. Now, to do this was a great sin; and scarcely had the words of the incantation passed Besht's lips when he heard a voice in heaven declaring that he had forfeited thereby his share in HaOlam HaBa (The World To Come). Instead of feeling unhappy over such a fate, Besht called out joyfully: "Blessed art Thou, O Lord, for Thy mercy! Now indeed can I serve Thee out of pure love, since I may not expect reward in the future world!" This proof of his true love for God won pardon for his sin, though at the expense of severe punishment. Constantinople[1] was the name of the modern-day city of Ä°stanbul, Turkey over the centuries that it served as the second capital of the unified Roman Empire, and after its division into East and West, of the Eastern Roman Empire, also known as the Byzantine Empire (from the city...


Besht's miraculous power was so great that he did not fear even the brigands who lived in the mountains but dwelt carefree in their vicinity. Once, when wandering about, deeply immersed in thought, he climbed a steep mountain and, without noticing where he was going, reached a very dangerous spot. Besht thought that his end had come, for he felt himself slipping toward a deep precipice; but suddenly the opposite cliff approached and closed up the gap. The robbers, who were looking on at a distance, doubted no longer that he was a man endowed with divine power.


Bibliography

The chief source for Besht's biography is Baer (Dob) b. Samuel's Shibchei ha-Besht, Kopys, 1814, and frequently republished.


For Besht's methods of teaching, the following works are especially valuable:

  • Jacob Joseph ha-Kohen, Toledot Ya'akob Yosef
  • Likutim (Likut)... a collection of Hasidic doctrines
  • The works of Baer of Meseritz

Critical works on the subject are:

  • Dubnow, Yevreiskaya Istoria, ii. 426–431
  • idem, in Voskhod, viii. Nos. 5–10
  • Grätz, Gesch. der Juden, 2d ed., xi. 94–98, 546–554
  • Jost, Gesch. des Judenthums und Seiner Sekten, iii. 185 et seq.
  • A. Kahana, Rabbi Yisrael Ba'al Shem, Jitomir, 1900
  • D. Kohan, in Ha-Sh. ;ar, v. 500–504, 553–554
  • Rodkinson, Toledot Ba'ale Shem-Tov;ob, Königsberg, 1876
  • Schechter, Studies in Judaism, 1896, pp. 1–45
  • Zweifel, Shalom 'al-Yisrael, i.–iii.
  • Zederbaum, Keter Kehunah, pp. 80–103
  • Frumkin, 'Adat ...;..Hasidim, Lemberg, 1860, 1865 (?)
  • Zangwill, Dreamers of the Ghetto, pp. 221–288 (fiction).K. L. G.

External links

  • The Baal Shem Tov Foundation
  • Brief biography
  • Tzava'at Harivash - The Testament of Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov translated to English
  • Lubavitch on Baal Shem Tov
  • Map of the Baal Shem Tov and his disciple's travels from Routledge Publishing]
  • Thirty Six Aphorisms of the Baal Shem Tov

See also

This article incorporates text from the public domain 1901-1906 Jewish Encyclopedia. Hasidic Judaism (from the Hebrew: Chasidut חסידות, meaning pious, from the Hebrew root word chesed חסד meaning loving kindness) is a Haredi Jewish religious movement. ... Judaism is the religion of the Jewish people with around 15 million followers as of 2006 [1]. It is one of the first recorded monotheistic faiths and one of the oldest religious traditions still practiced today. ... This article is about the overall Jewish mysticisms tradition. ... List of Hasidic dynasties: This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it. ... Schisms among the Jews: // First Temple era Based on the historical narrative in the Bible and archeology, Levantine civilization at the time of Solomons Temple was prone to idol worship, astrology, worship of reigning kings, and paganism. ... The Flammarion Woodcut can be taken to illustrate the Gnostics mystical search for spiritual worlds by circumventing the constraints of materialism. ... The public domain comprises the body of all creative works and other knowledge—writing, artwork, music, science, inventions, and others—in which no person or organization has any proprietary interest. ... The Jewish Encyclopedia was an encyclopedia originally published between 1901 and 1906 by Funk and Wagnalls. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Israel ben Eliezer Summary (6287 words)
Israel ben Eliezer, the Baal Shem Tov, founder of Hasidism.
Israel ben Eliezer worked as a laborer, digging clay and lime, which his wife delivered every week by wagonload to the surrounding villages, and from this they derived their entire support.
Eliezer was made a general and afterward prime minister, and the king gave him the daughter of the vice-king in marriage.
Israel ben Eliezer - definition of Israel ben Eliezer in Encyclopedia (3596 words)
Rabbi Israel (Yisroel) ben Eliezer (about 1700 Okopy Świętej Trójcy - May 22,1760 Międzyborz) was a Jewish Orthodox mystical rabbi who is better known to most religious Jews as the Baal Shem Tov, or the Besht (the acronym of his epithet), and was the founder of the spiritual movement known as Hasidic Judaism.
After his marriage Israel ben Eliezer did not long remain with his brother-in-law, who was ashamed of him (for he kept up the pretense of being an ignorant fellow); and he went to a village in the Carpathians between Kuty and Kassowa.
Eliezer was made a general and afterward prime minister, and the king gave him the daughter of the vice-king in marriage.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

COMMENTARY     


Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:

 


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m