Baal Shem Tov - Disputes With The Frankists and Death

Disputes With The Frankists and Death

While the Besht lived, very little antagonism occurred between different styles of Judaism (Talmudism and Hasidism). In fact, the Besht considered himself and his disciples as mainstream. The Besht took sides with the Talmudists in their disputes against the Frankists (Jacob Frank's cultist movement which regarded Frank as the Messiah). It was only in keeping with the Besht's character that he welcomed baptism by the Frankists as an end to its threat to mainstream Judaism of the day, for he allegedly said: "As long as a diseased limb is connected with the body, there is hope that it may be saved; but, once amputated, it is gone, and there is no hope." The upheaval caused by the threats of the Frankist movement to destroy mainstream Judaism seemed to undermine the Besht's health, however, and he died shortly after the conversion of many Frankists to Christianity.

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