The Hassidim

Their name means "the pious ones." Hassidism is a mystical movement in Judaism that originated in 18th-century Poland with the teachings of Israel ben Eliezer, known as the Baal Shem Tov ("Master of the Good Name").

He taught that purity of heart was more pleasing to God than learning, a reaction against rigid legalism and Talmudic scholarship. Instead he encouraged celebrating the joy of worship and the forgiveness of God. Hassidic religious observance was characterized by ecstatic dancing, shouting, and singing, and the conviction that the spark of divinity can be found in all things.
   
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