Baal Shem Tov


Baal Shem Tov (bahl-SHEHM-tov) listen


  • n. Rabbi Israel ben Eliezer, widely regarded as the founder of Hasidic Judaism.

Example Sentences

  • "My ancestor appears in a few stories with the Baal Shem Tov."

Languages of Origin

  • Textual Hebrew


  • בעל שם טוב ba'al shem tov 'master of the good name'

    • Who Uses This

      • Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education


      • North America
      • Great Britain
      • South Africa
      • Australia / New Zealand


      • The New Joys of Yiddish, by Leo Rosten and Lawrence Bush (New York, 2003[1968]).
      • The JPS Dictionary of Jewish Words, by Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic, (Philadelphia, 2001).
      • Dictionary of Jewish Usage: A Popular Guide to the Use of Jewish Terms, by Sol Steinmetz (Lanham, MD, 2005).

      Alternative Spellings

      Ba'al Shem Tov


  • Often abbreviated to simply Besht.

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