Historical Who is Who » BA'ALSHEM TOV
Founder of Jewish movement of Hasidism/Chasidism and designated by his immediate followers as Ba'al Shem Tov (or Besht) - the Good Keeper of the Divine Name. According to popular tradition he was already remarkable in childhood years. Drawing on his own experience of the natural world, he taught that engagement with the world and other people brings human beings close to God. Basic trust and joyful following of Torah matter more than formal academic learning. His stories and healing actions attracted thousands of followers during his lifetime and continue to do so today. The saint (tzaddik) is the best source of illumination through emulation.
Tzava'at Harivash: The Testament of Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/145202/jewish/Tzavaat-Harivash.htm
36 Aphorisms of Baal Shem Tov http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/3073/jewish/36-Aphorisms-of-the-Baal-Shem-Tov.htm