The Legend of the Baal-Shem

The Legend of the Baal-Shem

by Martin Buber
     
 

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The Jewish philosopher Martin Buber spoke directly to the most profound human concerns in all his works, including his discussions of Hasidism, a mystical-religious movement founded in Eastern Europe by Israel ben Eliezer, called the Baal-Shem (the Master of God's Name). Living in the first part of the eighteenth century in Podolia and Wolhynia, the Baal-Shem

Overview

The Jewish philosopher Martin Buber spoke directly to the most profound human concerns in all his works, including his discussions of Hasidism, a mystical-religious movement founded in Eastern Europe by Israel ben Eliezer, called the Baal-Shem (the Master of God's Name). Living in the first part of the eighteenth century in Podolia and Wolhynia, the Baal-Shem braved scorn and rejection from the rabbinical establishment and attracted followers from among the common people, the poor, and the mystically inclined. Here Buber offers a sensitive and intuitive account of Hasidism, followed by twenty stories about the life of the Baal-Shem. This book is the earliest and one of the most delightful of Buber's seven volumes on Hasidism and can be read not only as a collection of myth but as a key to understanding the central theme of Buber's thought: the I-Thou, or dialogical, relationship.

"All positive religion rests on an enormous simplification of the manifold and wildly engulfing forces that invade us: it is the subduing of the fullness of existence. All myth, in contrast, is the expression of the fullness of existence, its image, its sign; it drinks incessantly from the gushing fountains of life."—Martin Buber, from the introduction

Editorial Reviews

The Inner Directions Journal
The Legend of the Baal-Shem is not only a compilation of stories about the founder of modern Hasidism, but also acts as a key to help demystify the deep mystical tradition of Judaism. For those who like stories that reflect a piece of recent history, this is a good collection.
From the Publisher
"The Legend of the Baal-Shem is not only a compilation of stories about the founder of modern Hasidism, but also acts as a key to help demystify the deep mystical tradition of Judaism. For those who like stories that reflect a piece of recent history, this is a good collection."The Inner Directions Journal

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691043890
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
04/17/1995
Series:
Mythos: The Princeton/Bollingen Series in World Mythology Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
223
Sales rank:
791,456
Product dimensions:
5.47(w) x 8.49(h) x 0.59(d)

What People are saying about this

All positive religion rests on an enormous simplification of the manifold and wildly engulfing forces that invade us: it is the subduing of the fullness of existence. All myth, in contrast, is the expression of the fullness of existence, its image, its sign; it drinks incessantly from the gushing fountains of life.
Martin Buber
All positive religion rests on an enormous simplification of the manifold and wildly engulfing forces that invade us: it is the subduing of the fullness of existence. All myth, in contrast, is the expression of the fullness of existence, its image, its sign; it drinks incessantly from the gushing fountains of life.
Martin Buber, from the introduction

Meet the Author

Martin Buber (1878-1965) has been described as the greatest religious thinker of the twentieth century, and was as influential to Christian theology as to Jewish philosophy. A prolific commentator on topics as diverse as art, sociology, education and religious philosophy, and was the author of I and Thou, The Way of Man and Good and Evil

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