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In Praise of Baal Shem Tov (Shivhei Ha-Besht: the Earliest Collection of Legends About the Founder of Hasidism)

In Praise of Baal Shem Tov (Shivhei Ha-Besht: the Earliest Collection of Legends About the Founder of Hasidism)

by Dan Ben-amos, Jerome R. Mintz

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ISBN-10: 1568211473

ISBN-13: 9781568211473

Pub. Date: 09/01/1976

Publisher: Aronson, Jason Inc.

In Praise of the Baal Shem Tov is the first complete English translation of the tales surrounding the Besht, a rabbi and kabbalistic practitioner whose teachings bolstered the growing Hasidic movement in the eighteenth century. An important source on the life, philosophy, and mystical works of the Besht, In Praise of the Baal Shem Tov also reveals the daily life and


In Praise of the Baal Shem Tov is the first complete English translation of the tales surrounding the Besht, a rabbi and kabbalistic practitioner whose teachings bolstered the growing Hasidic movement in the eighteenth century. An important source on the life, philosophy, and mystical works of the Besht, In Praise of the Baal Shem Tov also reveals the daily life and concerns of eastern European Hasidic Jews in the late 1700s. Though portions of the book have been in print since its original publication in 1814, this edition avoids the common practice of reshaping Hasidic tales according contemporary expectations. With this commitment to accuracy and authenticity, In Praise of the Baal Shem Tov offers readers an unsullied look at the Besht through the eyes of his contemporaries.

Product Details

Aronson, Jason Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
New Edition
Product dimensions:
6.37(w) x 9.42(h) x 1.15(d)

Table of Contents

Translator's Note
The Printer's Preface
The Writer's Preface
1. Rabbi Eliezer
1a. Rabbi Eliezer: A Second Version
2. Rabbi Eliezer and the Viceroys Daughter
3. The Birth of the Besht
4. The Besht's Education and Youth
5. Rabbi Adam and the King's Banquet
6. The New Coat of Rabbi Adam's Wife
7. The Secret Manuscripts and Rabbi Adam's Son
8. The Besht's Marriage
9. The Besht and the Robbers
10. The Vengeful Robber
11.The Besht's Journey to the Holy Land
12. The Besht and the Frog
13. The Besht Serves as Rabbi Gershon's Coachman
14. The Besht Reveals Himself
15. The Rabbi Reveals Himself to the Sect of the Great Hasidim
16. The Besht Locks up the Secret Manuscripts
17. The Beginning of the Writer's Manuscript
18. Fingernails
19. The Besht's Seclusion
20. The Besht Exorcises a Madwoman
21. The Besht's Prayer Produces Rain
22. The Besht Curses a Madwoman
23. The Besht Exorcises Demons from a House
24. The Innkeeper's Death
25. The Besht Attracts Followers
26. The Besht and the Physician
27. The Besht Predicts a Need for Bloodletting
28. Rabbi Gershon, the Besht, and the Zohar
29. Elijah the Prophet Reveals Himself to the Besht
30. The Stolen Horse
31. The Besht Reveals Himself to Rabbi David of Kolomyya
32. The Melamed's Dream
33. The Delayed Homecoming
34. The Besht's Trembling in Prayer
35.The Besht's Trembling in Prayer: A Second Version
36. The Besht's Trembling in Prayer: A Third Version
37. The Besht's Trembling in Prayer: A Fourth Version
38. A Sincere Prayer
39. The Besht's Trembling in Prayer: A Fifth Version
40. The Dream of Rabbi Joseph Ashkenazi
41. The Besht in the Messiah's Heavenly Palace
42. The Palace of the Bird's Nest
43. The Besht and His Guests
44. The Wailing of the Shekinah
45. The Destruction of Balta
46. Rabbi Gershon Imitates the Besht
47. Rabbi Jacob Joseph Recognizes the Greatness of the Besht
48. Rabbi Jacob Joseph Is Expelled from Shargorod
49. The Ascetic Fasting of Rabbi Jacob Joseph
50. Rabbi Jacob Joseph Observes the Sabbath in Shargorod
51. The Protective Prayers
52. The Asceticism of Rabbi Jacob Joseph
53. The Voyage of Rabbi Gershon
54. Rabbi Gerson's Sin
55. Prayers for Rain in Jerusalem
56. A Quarrel in Safed
57. Rabbi Lipeh Quarrels with Rabbi Gedaliah
58. The Mocking Song
59. The Sick Girl
60. The Blood Libel
61. The Dance of the Hasidim
62. The Great Maggid and the Besht
63. The Death of Rabbi Eliezer Rokeah
64. The Book Hemdat ha-Yamin
65. The Dream of Rabbi Jacob Joseph
66. The Besht and Shabbetai Tsevi
67. Rabbi Isaac Drabizner
68. Perjury
69. The Oxen of Rabbi Barukh
70. The Stolen Halter
71. The Shohet Who Was a Drunkard
72. The Death of Rabbi Abraham the "Angel"
73. Rabbi Abraham as a Sandek
74. Rabbi Abraham as a Mohel
75. The Wife of Rabbi Abraham
76. The City of Adultery
77. The Advice of the Great Maggid
78. The Prayers of the Hasidim
79. The Two Brothers
80. Sounding Out the Nature of the Besht
81. The Lithuanian Jew and the Besht
82. The Besht and the Rabbi Sa'adyah Gaon
83. The Besht's Sermon
84. The Besht Banishes Demons
85. The Rabbi's Wife in Labor
86. The Church That Caught Fire
87. The Hose-Maker
88. The Sin of Pride
89. Two Hasidim Visit Hell
90. The Court in Heaven
91. The Besht and the Angel of Death
92. The Repentant Rich Man
93. The Defective Tefillin
94. The Tefillin Written by Rabbi Isaac
95. The Righteous Woman
96. The Righteous Woman and Her Sons
97. The Blessing of Rabbi Pinhas
98. The Besht's Combat with a Witch
99. A Choice of Punishment
100. The Revenant
101. The Redemption of Sparks
102. The Reader's Stand of Rabbi Samson
103. The Dismissed Arrendator
104. The Besht's Devekut
105. The Besht Resuscitates a Child
106. The Magical Enkindling of a Tree
107. The Choice
108. The Fish and the Dog
109. The Dance of Rabbi Yudel
110. Rabbi Nachman's Sigh
111. Rabbi Nachman's Prayer
112. Rabbi Jacob Joseph's Prayer
113. Pure Prayers
114. The Interruptions of the Besht's Vision
115. Rabbi Leib's Death
116. Rabbi Aaron in Heaven
117. The Sick Woman
118. The Adulterer
119. The Besht Cures by Bloodletting
120. The Death of Rabbi Joseph the Melamed
121. The Parable of the Dog
122. The Present Generation
123. A Dowry
124. Rabbi Abraham and the Besht
125. A Combat in Magic
126. A Combat in Magic: A Second Version
127. The Jewish Thief
128. The Besht's Funeral
129. Rabbi Nahman Travels to the Holy Land
130. Rabbi Mendele Visits With Rabbi Jacob Joseph
131. The Prayers of Rabbi Mendele and Rabbi Fridel
132. The Heavy Load of Honor
133. Rabbi Nachman's Cold Mikveh
134. Iniquities and Prayers
135. The Preacher's Sermon
136. A Madman Feigns Death
137. The Martyrs
138. The Adulterous Woman
139. The Delayed Homecoming: A Second Version
140. The Besht, the Merchant, and the Robbers
141. The Besht Discharges a Shohet
142. The Optimism of Rabbi Nahman
143. Rabbi Nahman Prays Minah
144. Feeling the Tefillin
145. The Height of Prayer
146. Ascension to Heaven
147. The Besht's Second Coming
148. The Perpetual Error
149. The Ring
150. Rabbi Motil
151. Rabbi Gershon's Enemies
152. The Wandering Soul
153. Dream Teaching
154. The Forbidden City
155. The Hunchback
156. The Forbidden Country
157. The Spiritual Cure
158. The Stolen Stockings
159. Writing Down the Besht's Torah
160. The Besht and his Son
161. The Generosity of the Besht
162. The Demons
163. The Guest Who Snored
164. The Impure House
165. The Preacher Who Spoke Evil of the Jews
166. The Dead Man in Hell
167. The Servant's Evil Thoughts
168. "Streams of Wisdom"
169. Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Nahman
170. The Contaminated Bed
171. Rabbi Tsevi's Dream
172. The Protective Tefillin
173. Rabbi Jehiel Mikhel
174.The War Between the Greeks and the Ishmaelites
175. The Flickering Candle
176. The Poverty and Generosity of the Besht
177. The Shabbetian Shohet
178. The Hen Shohet
179. The Melamed's Death
180. The Invisibility of the Besht
181. Rabbi Moses' Death
182. Rabbi Zusman
183. The Death of the Arrendator's Wife
184. The Bastard
185. Praying Word for Word with the Besht
186. The Defective Mezuzah
187. The Amulet
188. The Devoted Weaver
189. The Turnip
190. Two Rabbis David
191. The Angel Hadarniel
192. The Young Martyr
193. Rabbi Gershon in the Holy Land
194. Storytelling and Ma'aseh Merkavah
195. Man in the World
196. The Demon
197. Competing for the Arrendeh
198. The Imprisonment of Israel Shafir
199. The Preacher Cancels Charges Against a Rabbi
200. The Sermon of Rabbi Moses
201. The Angels' Request
202. Rabbi Moses the Mohel
203. The Besht Chokes on his Food
204. A Charm for Easy Delivery
205. Heavenly Garments
206. The Besht in the Mikveh
207. The Kind Boy
208. Gematria
209. Rabbi Nahman of Kosov
210. The Flight of the Besht
211. The Chief Arrendators
212. A Tenth for a Minyan
213. The Fall of the Chief Arrendators
214. The Bear
215. The Exceptional Horse
216. The Death of Rabbi David Forkes
217. A Brand Plucked Out of the Fire
218. The Rabbi's Lolkeh
219. The Hasid who Prayed in the Fields
220. The Besht Saves a Drowning Man
221. The Council of Four Lands
222. The Blessing of a Poor Man
223. "The Hour has Come But Not the Man"
224. Jonah
225. The Three Brothers
226. Hearing at Will
227. The Sinner
228. Rabbi Nahman and the Besht
229. The Besht as Rabbi's Nahman's Guest
230. The Parable of the King's Crown
231. The Blind Boy
232. The Paralyzed Woman
233. The Son Who Hit His Father
234. Charity
235. The Besht Prevents a Blood Libel
236. The Gentile Who Blessed the Jews
237. The Language of the Animals
238. The Loose Woman
239. The Besht and the Old Priest
240. Rabbi Isaac of Berdichev
241. Rabbi David Forkes' Dream
242. A Glass of Wine
243. The Besht's Dinner
244. The Besht Resuscitates a Child: A Second Version
245. The Doctor
246. The Careless Shohet
247. The Besht's Death
248. Rabbi Leib Kessler's Offer
249. The Besht's Son
250. The Fish and the Dog: A Second Version
251. The Burning of Rabbi Jacob Joseph's Books
A Selected Bibliography
The Legends and Their Sources
Index of Motifs

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