Founder Of Hasidism

Founder Of Hasidism

by Moshe Rosman, Murray Jay Rosman
     
 

ISBN-10: 0520201914

ISBN-13: 9780520201910

Pub. Date: 06/25/1996

Publisher: University of California Press


This book goes farther than any previous work in uncovering the historical Israel ben Eliezer—known as the Ba'al Shem Tov, or the Besht—the eighteenth-century Polish-Jewish mystic who profoundly influenced the shape of modern Judaism. As the progenitor of Hasidism, the Ba'al Shem Tov is one of the key figures in Jewish history; to understand him is to…  See more details below

Overview


This book goes farther than any previous work in uncovering the historical Israel ben Eliezer—known as the Ba'al Shem Tov, or the Besht—the eighteenth-century Polish-Jewish mystic who profoundly influenced the shape of modern Judaism. As the progenitor of Hasidism, the Ba'al Shem Tov is one of the key figures in Jewish history; to understand him is to understand an essential element of modern Jewish life and religion.

Because evidence about his life is scanty and equivocal, the Besht has long eluded historians and biographers. Much of what is believed about him is based on stories compiled more than a generation after his death, many of which serve to mythologize rather than describe their subject. Rosman's study casts a bright new light on the traditional stories about the Besht, confirming and augmenting some, challenging others. By concentrating on accounts attributable directly to the Besht or to contemporary eyewitnesses, Rosman provides a portrait drawn from life rather than myth. In addition, documents in Polish and Hebrew discovered by Rosman during the research for this book enable him to give the first detailed description of the cultural, social, economic, and political context of the Ba'al Shem Tov's life.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780520201910
Publisher:
University of California Press
Publication date:
06/25/1996
Series:
Contraversions: Critical Studies in Jewish Literature, Culture, and Society Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
316
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Note to the Reader
Introduction1
1Ba'al Shem Tov11
2Hasidism before Hasidism27
3A Country in Decline?42
4Miedzyboz: A Place in Time and Space63
5The Contentions of Life83
6The Holy Epistle97
7More Besht Correspondence114
8Testimonies127
9Life Stories143
10Light from the Archives159
11A Person of His Time173
12From the Historical Besht to the Usable Besht: The Image of the Ba'al Shem Tov in Early Habad187
Notes213
Bibliography279
Index297

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >