The life and story of Rabbi Yisrael Baal Shem Tov Edited by Rabbi Eli Friedman Translated by: Rabbi Elchonon Lesches (248 Pages)Publisher: Kehot, 2010
The Great Mission presents authentic accounts of the Baal Shem Tov's life and teachings, culled from the vast oral and written tradition of Chabad-Chasidic literature. Divided into six sections, the book begins by telling the story of his youth. We witness as the Baal Shem Tov, still a young man, discovers the special qualities of his soul, and joins forces with a secret band of mystics. We learn of his tutelage under the great Achiya Hashiloni, and his ultimate acceptance of his divinely ordained mission to reveal his true greatness to the masses and become a leader of Israel.
Later, we read of his remarkable accomplishments in revitalizing and reviving the collective Jewish spirit. His teachings encouraged sincerity in one's divine service, emphasized the need for mutual respect and love amongst all Jews, and highlighted the importance of performing mitzvot with joy and enthusiasm, spurring a movement whose effects can be felt until this very day.