Ask the Rabbi: Truth in inaccurate stories

The tale vividly describes the tension surrounding hassidic innovations: the excitement at new spiritual practices, coupled with a sense of disregard for entrenched, time-honored customs.

By LEVI COOPER
June 20, 2018 22:02
4 minute read.
‘THE SOLUTION was to be found in a “Shivhei Habesht” manuscript that reached the Lubavitch Library

‘THE SOLUTION was to be found in a “Shivhei Habesht” manuscript that reached the Lubavitch Library in summer 1980.’ Pictured (from left): title page of the first edition; the page that illuminated the solution. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

The frst collection of hassidic tales that re counts the adventures of the Besht (Rabbi Yisrael Baal Shem Tov, ca. 1700-1760) was published in 1814, 54 years after the death of the hero of the work. The collection was titled Shivhei Habesht (In Praise of the Baal Shem Tov) and it did much to fashion the collective perception of the person who inspired the hassidic movement.

While some of the tales may be historically suspect, they accurately capture the 1814 image of the nascent movement.

Read More...

Related Content