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Baʿal Shem (Heb., ‘master of the divine name’). Title given in ḥasidic and 'kabbalistic literature to those who possess secret knowledge of God's name. See also ISRAEL BEN ELIEZER, who, as a founder of ḥasidism, assumed the title Baʿal Shem Tov.

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Baal Shem. Suite for vn. and pf. by Bloch, comp. 1923, subtitled ‘3 pictures of Chassidic Life’. Baal Shem Tov (Master of the Good Name) founded the Jewish sect of Chassidism in 17th cent. Movements are Vidui (Contrition), Nigun (Improvisation), and Simchas Torah (Rejoicing of the Law). Version with orch., 1939, f.p. NY 1941.

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