What is this course?
From Rabbi Ruth Gan Kagan:
For many years now I have developed a deep connection to the Ba'al Shem Tov (Besht), the founder of Chasidic Judaism, and his teachings. I find in them profound guidance for my own spiritual quest, and for those I teach. The oral teachings of this Jewish shaman/medicine man (this is what it means to be a "ba'al shem"), are gems of transformative wisdom, and are often full of surprises.
Of the many ideas which the Besht originated, I have chosen some of my most beloved teachings which are linked to spiritual practices. You are invited to practice them between classes or keep the teachings in your hearts to use when the right time arrives...
Classes will incorporate the four worlds (levels of consciousness) of the holistic Chasidic system: Stories, Niggun, Torah and Prayer/Silence.
I invite you to share with me this adventure of walking the path of a timeless Master.
How does it work and when does it happen?
Walking the Spiritual Practices of the Besht is a ten-class journey, consisting of classes which are already recorded and which you can watch at any time that is convenient for you.
In each class, we study and experience a new teaching by the Besht.
Each class includes:
1) A recorded video class with Rabbi Ruth you can watch at your own convenience.
2) Handouts with original source material, translated from the Hebrew or Aramaic into English. The source material will be thoroughly explained in each class.
3) Instructions and guidance for spiritual practices relating to the content of each class.
4) An online forum where students can converse, share about their practice, and post questions to the group.
I have had the pleasure of studying with Reb Ruth Gan Kagan twice. Her classes are engaging for both the intellect and spirit with her generous curated selection of source material that is artfully woven together with assignments and reflective opportunities to apply mystical teachings to everyday spiritual practice.
- Gabrielle Pescador, Rabbinical Student, Ann Arbor MI
Reb Ruth’s mastery over the texts and concepts of our mystical tradition is obvious. But her teaching has a way of moving those words from the page right into your cells, so that you leave enriched and deepened. You don’t learn about mysticism, you begin to embody it. And this she achieves with simple good humor, encouragement, the benefit of personal experience and an infectious openness to the unknown
- Irwin Keller, Rabbinical Student, California