Dedicated by David and Eda Schottenstein in the loving memory of Alta Shula Swerdlov, Rabbi Gavriel Noach and Rivki Holtzberg and all of the Mumbai Kedoshim.
Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov (1698-1760), the founder of Chassidism, granted Judaism a sophistication, depth, and richness, which allow us to appreciate Torah with a new light. One of his most fundamental teachings was that G-d was not a force above the world manipulating and controlling it, but rather G-d was the name we use to describe the very truth and essence of Reality; the core and backdrop of all existence. Therefore, in every thought there was meaning, in every experience there was joy, in every encounter there was energy of the Divine. You can find G-d in all. This class takes us on a journey into one of the Baal Shem Tov’s teachings on how to deal with alien and destructive thoughts that inundate us during prayer and meditation. 150 years before the birth of psychoanalysis, the Baal Shem Tov taught us how the external manifestation of a thought may eclipse its inner meaning. Every thought needs healing and sublimation. Yet there are exceptions.