This series will focus on the early period of Hasidism – the Baal Shem Tov and his circle, with attention to some of the central innovations of Hasidic teaching that are attributed to these figures.

Professor Ora Wiskind integrates insights concerning the history of ideas and the place of Hasidism on the broader horizon of Jewish thought.

1. Beginnings: The historical, social, religious context; past and future trends in the study of Hasidism; core concepts and modes of reading

2. Major figures: Rabbi Israel Ba’al Shem Tov and his circle; the master-disciple relationship and its transformative potential; storytelling

3. Being human and beyond: Holiness in the everyday; corporeity and transcendence

4. Unleashing the power of language: Speech, prayer, Torah study 

5. ‘When your wellsprings will flow forth’: Continuity and renewal


Featured speakers

Professor Ora Wiskind