Heart of Prayer: Baal Shem Tov

Hasidic Mysticism
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Because of his teachings a movement began called the Chassidic movement which in a short time enveloped Eastern Europe. Not without detractors, slowly the movement that he started, strengthened the Jewish people. The Chassidic teachings, while based on the deepest and holiest books, were taught to the adherents, not as difficult subjects, but as stories and parables. One of the stories that the Chassidim are want to tell concerns the Baal Shem Tov himself, who while traveling with some of his students came into a village.

They entered one of the big synagogues to pray with a minyan a group of ten men. Upon entering the large synagogue with it's large group of worshipers' involved in the daily prayer service, the Baal Shem Tov motioned to his followers to leave the synagogue. He explained to his students that this synagogue is filled with prayers The group then walked to the next house of prayer and entered.

The Baal Shem Tov’s Return to Joy

The Baal Shem Tov adapted Kabbalistic ideas in his mystical approach to prayer. The true aim of prayer is to penetrate beneath appearances and to see only. Editorial Reviews. About the Author. Tzvi Meir Cohn is a Patent and Trademark Attorney (powscantconre.tk). He attended Yeshiva Hadar Hatorah in Crown .

Again they found the synagogue filled with men saying their morning prayers. The Baal Shem Tov paused, then motioned for his small group of students to leave. This synagogue, also, is too filled with prayers.

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The group then went to the third synagogue. This was a small synagogue with only a handful of men. The Baal Shem Tov entered and paused to feel the tempo of prayer. He told his students that this would be the place for them to pray since this little synagogue is not filled with prayers. After the prayer service, the students sat down to eat with their teacher. They asked him what was the reason that the he chose not to pray in the first two synagogues.

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I couldn't stop reading it. Dinner was late onto the table and the dishes didn't get done until I'd finished the whole book. Thank you! I've been recommending it to my customers based on other things I've read of yours. Now, I'll really push it. Thanks for a beautiful and inspirational book!

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Jewish Tales of Mystic Joy reveals the happiness that awaits us if we strive for real spirituality. The stories are about pious rabbis and humble tailors, about dancing, singing, laughing, and crying, but their common denominator is always joyous ecstasy. Drawing us into a world of devotion, the tales allow us to taste the bliss that comes from a life lived from the very center of one's self. Each story comes alive in joy and produces a "holy shiver" that speaks to the soul. One story is simply better then another.

Just reading about the ecstatic states of the story subjects lifts me up and brings me to joy! It is the nectar of Judaism! The kabbalists sought, by their eating of fruit at the seder, to make a mystical tikkun fixing to repair the sin of Adam and Eve in eating fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Whereas most Jewish holidays are biblical in origin, and while Chanukah and Purim were instituted by the ancient rabbis, Tu BeShvat is the only holiday ordained by the kabbalists. Many facets of Hillel's teaching and activity have been neglected and virtually "lost.

Hillel is more of a "love-type. An example of a Hillel story that most people don't know: The Talmud tells a tale about Hillel buying a horse, as charity, for a rich man who became poor, and also daily hiring for him a servant to run before the horse. Hillel realized that this once-rich man needed these things so his self-esteem would not crumble. One day, however, Hillel couldn't find a servant to hire, so he himself ran before the man's horse for three miles! This story is perhaps the most radical act of humble loving service by any rabbi ancient or modern; it reminds one of the fiery Elijah or of the Baal Shem Tov.

The Secrets Of Kavanah

Yet it is almost unknown! There is much else about Hillel that too few people know. Hillel was not only the mild peacemaker; he also had a more fervent side.

Masters of Return

I expect that most readers will be charmed by Hillel's fiery gentleness. The Life and Teachings of Hillel will also help people to understand that there are two ways in Judaism -- the path of fear of God and the path of love of God -- the paths of Hillel and Shammai. When a person with Hillelite inclinations understands the difference between the two ways, he will find it easier to direct himself along his path and to understand and not become upset with followers of the other path, modern-day "Shammaites.

This book is filled with learning and profundity, allowing its subject to speak directly to the reader's heart. The first section approximately 75 pages provides an overview of Jewish, generally hasidic, spirituality. The second section approximately pages is divided into chapters on every religious and life activity -- how to have God-consciousness while studying Torah, while davvening, while walking, while working, while washing the dishes. Yitzhak has translated hundreds of hasidic teachings of the Rebbes about hanhagot, spiritual practices.

The practices are explained in the larger context of the spiritual path toward the mystic goal. Many people are inspired by tales about the hasidic Rebbes. These are the practices that got the Rebbes to their exalted spiritual levels and which they taught to their followers. The information in this book is not available elsewhere, in Hebrew or in English.

If you are on the Jewish spiritual path, you should have this book. Some Comments on and Reviews of Jewish Spiritual Practices "Once in a while I read a book that not only makes a profound impression but radically alters my lifestyle.

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Such a book is Jewish Spiritual Practices It is, to my knowledge, the first attempt at a comprehensive guidebook in English to the spiritual dimension of Halachic behavior-- written with the aim of clearly demonstrating exactly how a feeling of connection to G-d can be experienced by the average contemporary Jewish man and woman through the performance of the mitzvot. Which book? Jewish Spiritual Practices , by Yitzhak Buxbaum. Why this book? This is transformational stuff, the real recipes for growth, not just nice insights,' said the Rabbi.

And the Dalai Lama's reaction? He didn't realize that Judaism has so much to offer in this regard Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach "The most important book written on Hasidism in a century. In Storytelling and Spirituality in Judaism , Yitzhak Buxbaum shows that storytelling has always been a prime vehicle for communicating spirituality and that some of the greatest Jewish teachers were expert storytellers.

He notes that "[even the Torah starts] 'In the beginning. Martin Buber, Elie Wiesel, and others spurred a keen interest in reading hasidic tales. Now people are also eager to hear and to tell them. We have much to learn, says Buxbaum, from Hasidism's "theology" of storytelling. Hasidic rebbes asked and answered the questions: What is the place of storytelling among spiritual practices? Why do stories captivate and charm us?