Yisrael son of Eliezer was born in 1698 in the village of Okopy, Ukraine, in the Carpathian Mountains. In 1735, he revealed himself as a “Baal Shem” – a master of special qualities appropriate for performing miracles. Soon he became known as the Baal Shem Tov (the Besht).
By Heavenly decree, the Besht had a group of followers who accompanied him everywhere, soaking up his every word. They gathered his teachings and transmitted them in such a way that students later to follow would feel as if they had been among the original companions of the Besht. Thus, the wisdom and tales found in the stories in this volume continue to ignite Jewish souls.
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