Development Of Hasidism

427.01Question: In the early 30s of the 18th century, a new movement appeared—Hasidism. What was it?

Answer: In the 16th century, since the appearance in Safed of the school of the great Kabbalist of the Middle Ages, Ari, the spiritual ascent of the Jews began in the Land of Israel, as well as in all the countries of the diaspora, since the ties between the Jews were quite close.

No one doubted that the Ari was a special person. He called the people to unification, spiritual ascent, the development of Kabbalah, the revelation of the Creator, and the fulfillment by the Jews of their spiritual destiny. As a result, groups of Jews appeared in many countries of the world who followed his idea.

This is what led to the emergence of Hasidism. The Ari’s direct follower was the Baal Shem Tov, who lived in Eastern Europe in the 18th century. He preached the teachings of the Ari in a practical way: how Jews in connection with each other can reveal the Creator.

This idea was warmly received by Jews who lived in the southern part of Eastern Europe in lands belonging to Lithuania, Poland, Russia, and the present territory of Belarus. The Jews who inhabited the northern lands, including Germany and the countries of the present Baltic states belonged to the opponents of the Baal Shem Tov. They did not agree that it was necessary to raise the spiritual part of the people.

Their opposition reached the point that they even reported on each other to the tsarist authorities. This is how great problems arose that still exist among the believing masses.

In addition, you need to understand that the resettlement of Jews in Europe, Asia, Russia, and in the world, in general, took place under the influence of higher forces, like the entire movement of man in this world. Therefore, those whose souls were more predisposed to spiritual development settled in Poland, southern Belarus, Ukraine and southern Russia. Opponents of spiritual development, who set as their goal only dry fulfillment of the laws of the Torah, settled in the Baltic States and northern Russia.
From KabTV’s “Systematic Analysis of the Development of the People of Israel” 12/9/19

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