Wednesday, the first day of the holiday of Shavuot, marks the 250th anniversary of passing of Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov (1698-1760), founder of the chassidic movement.
In 1760, like this year, the first day of Shavuot was on a Wednesday—the day of the week when G-d created the celestial orbs and instructed them (as explained in Genesis) to “illuminate the earth.”
Two and a half centuries have since passed, but the light the Baal Shem Tov introduced continues to illuminate the earth—brighter than ever before. His students and students’ students took their master’s teachings and passion, and used it to touch, illuminate and bring meaning to countless millions.
In honor of this special day, we bring you a new section devoted to the teachings and legacy of the person who changed the conventional perspective on G-d, the Torah, the Jewish nation, and every one of G-d’s creations—and the essential unity within all these previously-thought-to-be disparate components.
This Shavuot, may we all merit to be touched and changed by the special light.
Wishing you a meaningful holiday. May we merit to receive and internalize the Torah with true joy.
P.S. This Wednesday, make sure your whole family – even the youngest babies – “receives the Torah” anew, by hearing the reading of the Ten Commandments. Click to find a synagogue (and Shavuot events) near you.