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BA'ALSHEM TOV
c1700 -1760.
Ukraine
RELIGION

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.

Life

http://www.yivoencyclopedia.org/article.aspx/Baal_Shem_Tov

http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/1208507/jewish/Biography.htm

http://www.enlightened-spirituality.org/Rabbi_Israel_ben_Eliezer.html

Writings

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

CONRAD, Joseph
1857 - 1924
Ukraine, England
LITERATURE

 

From a Polish speaking background, at the age of 21 he signed on as crew on an English merchant ship and subsequently took on citizenship. His 15 years at sea, especially between Borneo and Singapore, and subsequently visits to the Belgian Congo, provided raw materials for his short stories and novels. Throughout his writing, the human capacity for self-deception is exposed as a necessary ingredient for any moral sense.

Life

 

 

Writing

 

Video

Joseph Conrad biography (5 mins) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gx4NGXS3CzE

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