A Place in Time and Space
This chapter describes the development and relative prosperity of Podolia during the Besht’s lifetime in the three Podolian locales with which his life is most closely associated. First is his reported childhood home and birthplace, Okopy, and second is his later residence, Tluste. The third locale is the place where he spent most of his public career, Miçdzyboz. The chapter provides an understanding of the context of the Besht’s public and private life in Miçdzyboz and gives new criteria for linking and assessing the sources about him. Hundreds of documents relating to Miçdzyboz in the late seventeenth century and first half of the eighteenth century have been preserved in the archive of the families that owned the town, the Sieniawskis and Czartoryskis. It explains how some of the archival sources facilitate understanding of the circumstances in Miçdzyboz and within its Jewish community during the period the Besht lived there.
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