With his mystical teachings, love for all Jews and deep passion for G-d, the 18th century mystical rabbi known as Reb Yisroel, the Baal Shem Tov unraveled the deep and mystical secrets of the Torah and sparked the souls of the masses at a time when many were at the verge of losing their ferver.
Through principals derived from his teachings, Maayon Yisroel, which translates as “The Wellsprings of Yisroel,” aims to follow in the noble tradition of rejuvenating Yiddishkeit by showing how mystical ideas can be applied to modern life. These concepts which until now, have been largely inaccessible to the English-speaking public, have the power to provide the spirituality that Jews today complain is so often lacking in their experience of Judaism, as a mechanical and technical series of laws.
Classes in Kabbalah and Chassidic Philosophy
The Baal Shem Tov would frequently quote the saying of The Sages “Rachmana Liba Ba’ei” – “G-D seeks the heart “. His mission was to reveal the Soul and ignite the heart in every Jew. Through teaching the mysticism of the Torah, often called by the Zohar “Nishmasa D’Oraisa”-“the soul of the Torah”, he uncovered the inner strata of the soul. Furthering the mission of the Baal Shem Tov, Maayon Yisroel hosts many classes for men and women, for beginners and advanced students of Jewish Mysticism. In addition, lectures are widely distributed on CD’s and through the Internet. In the near future, live streaming video will be available. Construction of a comprehensive library of relevent English and Hebrew texts is underway.
Nature and the Soul
The early years of the Baal Shem Tov were spent outdoors in the forests, hills, meadows, streams and lakes of the Carpathian Mountains, where he served and connected to G-D enveloped by nature. Time away from the distractions and noise of city life, among the chirping birds and fluttering leaves provides a natural setting that is conducive for meditation in a unique way. Maayon Yisroel works to refresh the spirit and tap into the Soul through learning hikes, camping Shabbatons, backpacking trips and other nature excursions.
Music is the Pen of the Soul
Chassidic Philosophy teaches that music has the power to connect to places that are beyond words. The Baal Shem Tov utilized song and music as an integral part of serving G-D. Many beautiful melodies were composed by the Rebbes and Chassidim. Maayon Yisroel seeks to bring back this tradition by teaching niggunim, and hosting musical events, including concerts, Melave Malkas and kumzitzs’ lead by talented singers and musicians.
The Next Generation
The Baal Shem Tov appreciated the innocence and sincere qualities of children and took a special interest in their care and education. Through singing and stories he nurtured and cultivated their love for G-D and his Torah. We too have the opportunity to provide for our children in a meaningful and profound manner. Maayon Yisroel creates adventurous, soul stimulating programs fusing stories, music, singing and dancing with hiking, camping and fishing, which are designed to facilitate joy and a deep passion for Judaism.
Fervent and passionate prayer were the hallmark of the Baal Shem Tov’s Chassidic movement. He taught that prayer is the medium for the soul to bond and cleave to its Maker. Maayon Yisroel’s classes, environment and community strive to develop a mystical and heartfelt dimension to prayer. Opening with learning, incorporating song and a respectful pace are Fervent and passionate prayer were the hallmark of the Baal Shem Tov’s Chassidic movement. He taught that prayer is the medium for the soul to bond and cleave to its Maker. Maayon Yisroel’s classes, environment and community strive to develop a mystical and heartfelt dimension to prayer. Opening with learning, incorporating song and a respectful pace are staples of Maayon Yisroel’s approach to prayer, to ignite the heart and reveal the Soul.
Rabbi Wolf â€“ Program Director & Rabbinical Leadership
Rabbi Reuven Wolf is a world renowned educator and lecturer who has devoted his life to reaching out and rekindling the spirit of Judaism in his fellow Jews. Recognized as an inspiring and thought provoking lecturer, he has cultivated a unique talent to communicate deep and complex mystical ideas in a manner that is both compelling and applicable to the greater public, and his lessons are charged with an enthusiasm and vigor that impacts listeners both intellectually and emotionally. Rabbi Wolf was raised in the Ropshetz Chassidic dynasty, educated in the Belz and Bluzhev Yeshivos, and later, in the famous Lithuanian schools of Slabodkea and Mir. He is profoundly influenced by Jewish Mysticism and Kabbalah, and particularly Chabad Chassidic philosophy.
Since 1995, Rabbi Wolf has been teaching students of all ages, from elementary school children to adults, and has lectured across North America. Maayon Yisroel was founded in 2006 by Rabbi Wolf and Haki Abhesera, as a center to fulfill the vision of spreading the profound mystical teachings of Chassidic Judaism.