Kabbalah and Hasidism

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Dov Baer, the Maggid (Preacher) of Mezeritch, succeeded the Baal Shem Tov as the leader of Hasidism. Eventually, however, Hasidism divided into several branches, often named for the geographic location where they took root. Each Hasidic sect has a leader, known as a rebbe or tzaddik, who serves as something of a facilitator, enabling the relationship between his constituents and God. The role of the rebbe often passes from father to son.

Initially, Hasidism was fiercely opposed by traditional Jewish authorities. Ironically, many Jews now perceive Hasidim (as members of the various Hasidic sects are known) as embodying the most traditional form of Judaism.

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