BaalShemTovInfographic20TeachingsOur first Torah Tuesday of the Fall 2015 semester fell on Chai (18th of) Elul, the birthday of the Baal Shem Tov, founder of Chassidism (as well as the birthday of the Alter Rebbe, founder of Chabad).

We titled the class “The Baal Shem Tov Goes to College?” and collected twenty of his teachings; short concise pithy life-relevant tidbits, cornerstones of Chassidic perspective, that are pregnant with layers of meaning and can be unpacked and absorbed throughout the year – or a lifetime!

Our daughter Chani studied graphic design at Albany’s Maimonides High School with the talented Leah Caras of Carasmatic Design. Chani produced this 2-page infographic-style in UAlbany school colors which made these beautiful teachings stand out vividly.

Click here to download 2-page PDF of “Baal Shem Tov Goes to College? 20 Teachings.”

Some notes:

These are grouped in 4 sets:
1-5 a Chassidic view of creation and the world around us
6-11 glimpses of his unique approach to fellow Jews and love your fellow
12-15 are insights and approaches to Torah study
16-20 emotional perspectives

Some of these are very much inter-related, like 1-3, and by extension 4 and 5, too. These are only the tip of the iceberg peeking through the surface, Chassidus has so much further depth within each of these teachings.

Some of these seem universal and benign, but interestingly were quite controversial in his time. Even today, not all Jews are on the same page on all of these teachings, which are especially fundamental and formative for Chabad Chassidim.

Students up at UAlbany: If you missed this Torah-Tuesday and would like to study and discuss these in person, let’s make a time!