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Founder of HasidismA Quest for the Historical Ba'al Shem Tov$
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Moshe Rosman

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781906764449

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906764449.001.0001

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More Besht Correspondence

More Besht Correspondence

(p.114) Chapter Seven More Besht Correspondence
Founder of Hasidism

Moshe Rosman

Liverpool University Press

This chapter talks about a collection of hagiographic stories about the Besht and his associates called the Shivhei Ha-Besht. It mentions Dov Ber of Ilintsy, the compiler, who included five citations from letters that the Ba’al Shem Tov wrote in the Shivhei Ha-Besht. The fifth quotation, unlike the other four cases, is where Dov Ber indicated that he was copying, not what someone had told him, but what he saw in a manuscript copy of the letter. The chapter points out how neither Dubnow nor Scholem presented the letter in their discussions of the Besht’s views on asceticism. Yet the letter to Jacob Joseph of Polonne provides a clear and reliable statement of the Besht’s antiasceticism.

Keywords:   hagiographic stories, Besht, Shivhei Ha-Besht, Ba’al Shem Tov, Dov Ber, Dubnow, Scholem, asceticism

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