This Day in Jewish History The Founder of Modern Hasidism Dies

The Baal Shem Tov's power and influence on Judaism are immeasurable, as he empowered the individual and democratized Jewish practice.

On May 22, 1760, Rabbi Israel ben Eliezer, better known as the Baal Shem Tov (or “Besht,” in acronym form) died in Medzhibov, in present-day Ukraine. The Besht is considered the founder of the modern Hasidic movement.