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Tag Archive 'Ba’al Shem Tov'

Prisoners’ Solidarity

Rabbi Shneur Zalman coined the phrase, “living with the times” which means to live life in the light of the weekly Torah portion; and to see it as an indicator for all that happens to us throughout the week—both on a personal and national level. Indeed, the date when Rabbi Shneur Zalman was released from […]

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Anyone who is released from prison must thank God. But, only under very special circumstances does such an event become a festive day that is noted for generations on the calendars of hundreds of thousands of people. However, this is the case with 19th of Kislev, the day on which the founder of Chabad Chassidut, […]

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Shining the Mentor’s Light

The Seer of Lublin once said, “Between mentor and mentor (Rebbe and Rebbe) I can’t differentiate and I don’t want to differentiate. Between disciple and disciple (talmid and talmid) I can differentiate but I don’t want to differentiate.” The two mentors he was referring to were the Arizal and the Ba’al Shem Tov. The two disciples he was […]

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The Seer of Lublin passed away, at the age of 70, on the 9th of Av 5575 (1815), a day of national mourning, but also, according to the sages, the birthday of the Mashiach. Long before his passing he hinted to his followers that he would pass away on the 9th of Av. The Seer […]

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The Torah lists by name the non-kosher birds. One of them is the ra’ah, literally “the seer.” The sages explain: It stands in Babylonia and sees a corpse in the Land of Israel. Babylonia (בבל) means “confusion” (בלבול). There God confused the tongues of the builders of the Tower of Babel. The Ba’al Shem Tov explains that […]

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From Nothing…

In Hebrew, the question “where [am I/are you] from?” (מאין) contains the answer. “Where from?” literally reads “from nothing.” The first appearance in the Torah of the question “where from?” is in the story of Jacob on his way to Haran, about to meet and fall in love (at first sight) with Rachel. (He was […]

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Know thy Place

After killing Abel God asked Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He answered, “I know not, am I my brother’s keeper?” God responded: “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries to Me from the ground….” The first question God posed Cain after his sin was “where…?” – the same question He […]

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There are three ways to deal with enemies: surrender, fight, or make peace by neutralizing the root of their animosity.

The Ba’al Shem Tov told it as a story. Once a king called one of his officers and sent him on a secret mission, saying: I desire to test the loyalty of my subjects. Dress yourself as a king and go from state to state throughout my dominion; try your hardest to persuade and win over the people to rebel against me and accept you as king.

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Close to God

The sign of having done a good deed is feeling close to God. Feeling far, estranged from God is the sign of having done something wrong. The 11th of the 13 Principles of Faith outlined by Maimonides is faith in reward and punishment. There is the reward and punishment of the future, in the World […]

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Masters of Names

Before Yisroel Ba’al Shem Tov there were three Ba’alei Shem: Eliahu Ba’al Shem, Yoel Ba’al Shem, and Adam Ba’al Shem. “Ba’al Shem” means “master of the Name (of God).” By the power of the Divine Name the Ba’al Shem works miracles, especially to heal the sick. The Ba’al Shem Tov is the master of the […]

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