The purpose of CHASSIDUS is to disseminate teachings concerning the Derech HaBaal Shem Tov (the way of the Baal Shem Tov or Chassidus). This is called the 'Way' of the Baal Shem Tov and not the 'Teachings' of the Baal Shem Tov because the emphasis is on what the Avodah [service of HaShem] of Chassidus is about, and not just esoteric teachings. This approach comes from a teaching from the Baal Shem Tov that appears in 'Betzunah DeNehora' the work of his grandson Rabbi Baruch of Mezbuz.
The Baal Shem Tov was asked "'Please tell us what is the main focus of Avodah (service of G-d)?' The Baal Shem Tov answered them, 'I have come to this world to show another way [other then self mortification]. A person should take upon himself these three things: Love of G-d, Love of his fellow Jew, and Love of the Torah, and he will have no need for self mortification.'"
All of the teachings of Chassidus, and the Chassidic way of life are based on these three things.
Each week we will explore four or five short teachings from the works of the Baal Shem Tov and/or some of the other Chassidic Rebbes, covering the period from the founder of Chassidus (the Baal Shem Tov) until the present day. Each teaching will be one that emphasizes an aspect of the Avodah of Chassidus. These teachings will be ones that are of use to every Jew no matter what his level of knowledge of Judaism is. On occasion a Chassidic story will be included, since one of the main methods of teaching practiced by the Baal Shem Tov and later rebbes was through stories that taught the Chassidic way of life.
Comments will be made in order to clarify these teachings when
needed and to make them more accessible to those who have little or
no background. (The translators personal comments or commentary will
always appear between "[" and "]") Sources will be provided for those
who wish to look them up in the original. It is hoped that everyone
will find inspiration from at least one of the teachings each week.