The Baal Shem Tov was a Jewish spiritual leader from Ukraine, who made spirituality accessible to the masses. The concept of poor people, uneducated people, and simple people being able to worship God from their hearts and having their prayer be heard is a ‘mainstream’ concept today, but back in the 1700’s, people thought that spiritual heights can only be attained by the pious, educated, and righteous.
The Baal Shem Tov was an anomaly; he saw each individual and loved them. He treated Jews and non-Jews, scholars and fools, rich and poor, orphans and royalty with the same unwavering love, interest, and respect as God does.
He taught us what it means to worship God with joy - not only with fear.
The Baal Shem Tov’s teachings are what I try to live my life by. And having the merit of praying at his grave with my daughter in Ukraine and studying his teachings in the very place he gave them, is the greatest honour.
My prayer for my children is that they will internalize the message of the holy masters who came before us, so they can get closer to God, closer to God’s word, and closer to themselves.
What I’ve realize with children is that you can’t just teach them, you need to SHOW them by living it yourself.
With blessings from the Holy Land,