The Paths of the Baal Shem Tov

Learning and Following the Travels to the Baal Shem Tov

Disciples and Followers of the Besht

Yaakov Yosef of Polono 


Ze'ev Wolf Kitzes of Medzhybizh 

Yechiel Michel of Zlotcho 

  • Leib of Shpola 
  • (1725–1812)

His kever is located in Silestra, Bulgaria.

His kever is located on the Mt of Olives, Jerusalem. 

For further reading about this remarkable rabbi see "In the Land of Israel: My Family, 1809-1949" by Nitza Rosovsky, 2012. As well as here.

A disciple from the Ukraine who is famous for having written Toldos Yaacov Yosef which also mentions “as I heard from my teacher” 249 times, referring to the BST.

He emphasizes the importance of both love and fear of Hashem. He has a background of  Lurianic Kabbalah.

A rabbi of Tulchin and close disciple who led

his community in Medzhibozh which preceded the Baal Shem Tov. He became the Baal Tokeah (shofar blower) at the shul of the Baal Shem Tov.

A disciple of BST and the Maggid of Mezritch. He came from Zlotchov [Ukraine]. 

This rabbi’s dynasties include the Zvhil, Skolye, Zvhil-Mezhibizh and Shotz dynasties.

Dov Ber was the successor of the Baal Shem Tov. He was steeped in Lurianic Kabbalah and halacha. His close followers include Rabbis Avraham HaMalach (his son), Nachum of Czernobyl, Elimelech of Lizhensk, Zusha of Hanipol, Levi Yitzchok of Berditchev, Boruch of Medzhybizh, Aharon (HaGadol) of Karlin, Menachem Mendel of Vitebsk, Shmuel Shmelke of Nikolsburg and Shneur Zalman of Liadi. 

Leib of Shpola was a student of  Pinchas of Koretz. He was called “The grandfather of Shpola.” This name was given to him at his circumcision by the Baal Shem Tov. He was a helper to many poor Jews.

For stories about Leib see

Also known as Rabbi Gershon of Brody, Gershon Kutover, Gershon the Kotover, Rabbi Gershon of Kuty, and Rabbi Gershon of Kutow. He was the first major Chassidic rabbi to move to Israel. He died in Jerusalem. You can see his kever on the Mount of Olives by clicking on his name in the column to the left. Many of his writings about the conditions in Israel are expounded upon by his followers and close associates.(See also Igrot Erets Yisra'el / Letters from the Land of Israel by Abraham Yaari.)