VARIATIONS OF this portrait are used to represent Yisrael Ba’al Shem Tov (c.1700-1760), a Polish-born mystical rabbi also known as ‘Besht.’.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
The inspiration for the hassidic movement, Rabbi Yisrael Baal Shem Tov (c.1700-1760) – known by the acronym “Besht” – did not leave any complete written works. We have a few documents – some of them of questionable authenticity – that are attributed to him, yet by and large his legacy rests on collective memory, preserved in later writings.A precious document that has survived is a letter that the Besht penned to his brother-in-law, Rabbi Avraham Gershon of Kitov (d. 1761), who was living in the Land of Israel.
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