This upcoming Wednesday is the eighteenth day of the month of Elul. On this day we celebrate the birthdays of the two great luminaries – The Baal Shem Tov (Reb Yisroel ben Reb Eliezer, born 1698). founder of the Chassidic movement and the Alter Rebbe (Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, born 1745) founder of the trend within Chassidism known as Chabad.
The Baal Shem Tov was orphaned when he was five years old. The last words his father told him before his death were “My son, do not fear anyone or anything in this world except for G-d, love with your complete innards of your heart and the fervor of your soul each Jew regardless of who and what they are.”
Those words of his father later became the foundations of the Chassidic movement. The teachings of Chassidism give one a more intimate knowledge of G-d in one’s life. Additionally, Chassidism focuses on the great value of each Jew and person thereby generation a greater appreciation and love for all.