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The Besht: Magician, Mystic, and Leader
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The Besht: Magician, Mystic, and Leader

4.2  ·  Rating details ·  10 Ratings  ·  1 Review
Founded in Eastern Burope in the eighteenth century, the Hasidic movement dramatically transformed modern Judaism. The figure of the Ba'al Shem Tov (known in acronym form as the BeSHT) - the purported founder of the Hasidic movement - has fascinated scholars, Jewish philosophers, and laypeople interested in popular Jewish mysticism in general and the contemporary Hasidic m ...more
Hardcover, 350 pages
Published December 21st 2004 by Brandeis University Press
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Yossi
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
From what I've read and heard, this is probably the best book on the Baal Shem Tov available in English today.

I read this after finishing Moshe Rossman's Founder of Hasidism. Incidentally, the interaction between the two historians (Etkes quotes Rossman extensively, disagrees often, and explains why in detail), while not at all the main point of Etkes' book, was fascinating to follow.

If you read just one book about the Besht, read this one. Reading Rossman and then Etkes together is even more re
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