Date of this Version
The Jewish Exponent
Legend, not history, tells the life story of the Baal Shem Tov. The chroniclers of his day hardly noticed the folk healer from Medzhibozh who wandered around the 18th-century Jewish communities of the Ukraine, and later achieved fame as the founder of the Hasidic movement. The rabbinical authorities made no mention of him in their writings and the community leaders did not consider him a force to reckon with. But there he was: a Besht (abbreviated from of Baal Shem Tov, "a master of good name") traveling with his small retinue of amulet writers from one small Jewish community to another, offering his mystical powers to cure the sick and the barren.
Originally published by The Jewish Exponent © 1973.
Ben-Amos, D. (1973). The Death of the Baal Shem Tov. The Jewish Exponent, 3+7-. Retrieved from https://repository.upenn.edu/nelc_papers/61
Date Posted: 22 September 2017