Dov Baer of Mezhirech

(d. 1772)

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Hasidic master (d. 1772), leader, theoretician, and organizer of Hasidism after the death of Israel Baal Shem Tov. Although Dov Baer was a competent Talmudist he was never a town Rabbi, occupying only the secondary Rabbinic position of ‘Maggid’ (the word means ‘preacher’) in the towns of Rovno and Mezhirech in Volhynia, and is hence known by the Hasidim either as ‘the Mezhirecher Maggid’ or as ‘the Rebbe, Reb Baer’. Dov Baer only got to know the Baal Shem Tov during the last two years of the latter's life and while he quotes, very occasionally, sayings of the Baal Shem Tov, he never refers to him as ‘my teacher’. Dov Baer is therefore more correctly to be seen as an original thinker with his own emphasis on what it is that Hasidism teaches.

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies.

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