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BAAL SHEM TOV
OFFICIAL MEDAL 2007/5767
Rabbi Israel Ben Eliezer, known as the "Baal Shem Tov" (or the acronym, "Besht") founded the Hasidism Movement. He was born in the Ukraine in 5458/1698, at the time when the Jewish population was suffering from despair after pogroms in Eastern Europe, economically weak and deteriorating both spiritually and socially. His spiritual movement of Hasidism uplifted the morale of the people, teaching how to attain a joyful oneness with G-d through prayer and song. Hasidism was unique in that it drew the hearts of the general people, not only of scholars.
Rabbi Israel Ben Eliezer was born to poor parents and orphaned at a young age. The tasks from which he earned his living brought him into contact with people whom he inspired and from whom he learned, attaining a high level of knowledge in Judaism and the mysteries of Kabbala. He became known as the Baal Shem Tov – Master of the Good Name – and his fame spread rapidly. Thousands were attracted to him and thus the social, spiritual Hasidic Movement in Judaism was created.
After years of moving around the cities and villages inhabited by the Jews in the Ukraine and Galicia, the Baal Shem Tov finally settled in Medzhibozh, where he remained until his death on the festival of Shavuoth 5520/1760.
Rabbi Israel is pictured among the trees of the forest, recalling his habit of attaining closeness to G-d through nature, his name Rabbi Israel Ben Eliezer and Baal Shem Tov in Hebrew and English.
The Hebrew saying that "Dance before G-d is a form of prayer" is reflected in Hasidim dancing in joy and exaltation.
Face – Hadar Gutman,
Reverse – Anat Puah
14k Gold Proof
Set of the 3 medals above
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