Baal Shem Tov

1700 - 1760

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Rabbi Israel ben Eliezer (1698 – 22 May 1760), known as the Baal Shem Tov (Hebrew: בעל שם טוב, ) or as the Besht, was a Jewish mystic and healer from Poland who is regarded as the founder of Hasidic Judaism. "Besht" is the acronym for Baal Shem Tov, which means "One with the Good Name" or "one with a good reputation".The little biographical information about the Besht comes from oral traditions handed down by his students (Jacob Joseph of Polonne and others) and from the legendary tales about his life and behavior collected in Shivḥei ha-Besht (In Praise of the Ba'al Shem Tov; Kapust and Berdychiv, 1814–15).A central tenet in the Baal Shem Tov's teaching is the direct connection with the divine, "dvekut", which is infused in every human activity and every waking hour. Prayer is of supreme importance, along with the mystical significance of Hebrew letters and words. Read more on Wikipedia

Since 2007, the English Wikipedia page of Baal Shem Tov has received more than 763,379 page views. His biography is available in 36 different languages on Wikipedia (up from 35 in 2019). Baal Shem Tov is the 613th most popular religious figure (down from 585th in 2019), the 73rd most popular biography from Ukraine (down from 66th in 2019) and the most popular Religious Figure.

Baal Shem Tov is most famous for being the founder of Hasidism, a Jewish mystical movement that emphasizes joy and happiness.

Memorability Metrics

  • 760k

    Page Views (PV)

  • 64.66

    Historical Popularity Index (HPI)

  • 36

    Languages Editions (L)

  • 6.24

    Effective Languages (L*)

  • 2.87

    Coefficient of Variation (CV)

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Among religious figures, Baal Shem Tov ranks 613 out of 2,238Before him are Thomas Wolsey, Pope Stephen IX, Alexius of Rome, Nicodemus, Yasuke, and Scholastica. After him are Óscar Romero, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, Célestin Freinet, Dōgen, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, and Pancras of Rome.

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Among people born in 1700, Baal Shem Tov ranks 2Before him is Daniel Bernoulli. After him are Charles Frederick, Duke of Holstein-Gottorp, Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli, Nicolaus Zinzendorf, Giovanni Battista Sammartini, Sophie Magdalene of Brandenburg-Kulmbach, Ewald Georg von Kleist, Gerard van Swieten, Charlotte Aglaé d'Orléans, Johann Christoph Gottsched, and Jean-Antoine Nollet. Among people deceased in 1760, Baal Shem Tov ranks 4Before him are George II of Great Britain, Maria Amalia of Saxony, and Anna Magdalena Bach. After him are Joanna Elisabeth of Holstein-Gottorp, Nicolaus Zinzendorf, Alaungpaya, Adrien Manglard, Christoph Graupner, William VIII, Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel, George Clifford III, and Charlotte de Rohan.

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In Ukraine

Among people born in Ukraine, Baal Shem Tov ranks 73 out of 1,083Before him are Larisa Latynina (1934), Valeriy Lobanovskyi (1939), Sonia Delaunay (1885), Anton Makarenko (1888), Andrey Yeryomenko (1892), and Fanny Kaplan (1890). After him are Volodymyr Zelensky (1978), Ivan Franko (1856), Georges Charpak (1924), Yaropolk I of Kiev (955), Karl Radek (1885), and Vladimir Ivashko (1932).


Among religious figures born in Ukraine, Baal Shem Tov ranks 1After him are Nachman of Breslov (1772), Josaphat Kuntsevych (1580), Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902), Jacob Frank (1726), Filaret (1929), Theodosius of Kiev (1029), Paisius Velichkovsky (1722), Hilarion of Kiev (990), Anthony of Kiev (983), Dimitry of Rostov (1651), and John of Shanghai and San Francisco (1896).