Baal Shem Tov Family Tree

Baal Shem Tov Family Tree

The following charts illustrate the family of Rabbi Yisrael Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Hasidic Judaism.

The first chart shows the Baal Shem Tov's close family: his closest relatives, by blood and by marriage. This is meant to clarify the various family relations mentioned in the Baal Shem Tov's biography.

The second chart shows his descendants to the fourth generation.

The Baal Shem Tov did not found a Hasidic dynasty proper, as his immediate successor was his student, Rabbi Dov Ber of Mezeritch, and not any of his descendants. Even so, the descendants of the Baal Shem Tov were revered.

Eventually, some of them founded their own courts and dynasties. Notably, his grandson R. Baruch of Mezhbuzh established his Hasidic court stressing that he was the sole heir of the Baal Shem Tov, a controversial issue in his time, which eventually distanced him from many of his colleagues, including R. Shneur Zalman of Liadi and R. Yaakov Yitzchak of Lublin.

Other descendants became allied by marriage to other powerful Hasidic dynasties (e.g. Chernobyl, Karlin-Stolin), producing many dynasties, including some of the dynasties still active today (e.g. Skver, Vizhnitz). Thus the family of the Baal Shem Tov can be considered a sort of Hasidic dynasty in its own right, and is often treated as such in reference works on Hasidic dynasties where it is sometimes referred to as the Mezhbuzh dynasty. (This term is sometimes used specifically for the dynasty of R. Baruch of Mezhbuzh, see Mezhbizh (Hasidic dynasty), or for an unrelated dynasty from Mezhbuzh: see Apta (Hasidic dynasty).)

R. is an abbreviation for the honorific "Rabbi". It does not necessarily indicate that the subject was a Rabbi. A rebbe is the spiritual leader of a Hasidic group or community.

Read more about Baal Shem Tov Family Tree:  Close Family of The Baal Shem Tov, Descendants of The Baal Shem Tov

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