The jerusalem post
22:01 | 03/07/18

THE TISCH: Fragrance of sinners

4 minute read.
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) 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)
What could be sweeter than when we acknowledge that our task is to make our entire community fragrant?
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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