From the author's Forward:
"This short book does not pretend to be a biography of Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov by any means. So little is known about his life that no life story is possible. This work is nothing more than the writer's impressions or fantasies of Rabbi Israel's way of thinking, his emotions, his spiritual achievements and disappointments. The few "miracles" told here are all ambiguous and could easily be explained in a psychological way. I see Rabbi Israel as a man of deep belief in God and of much doubt of man and his abilities to reach perfection. He was, like all great religious thinkers, a lonely man, both primitive and refined, enchanted by the devine powers and pained by man's suffering, by his bitter struggle and often his pettiness."
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Composite picture of the two-volume Singer/Moskowitz folio (left) and one of the 24 etchings (Young Israel reading the forbidden old cabbala manuscripts in the musty attic) by Ira Moskowitz (right):
Detail of above etching:
Signatures of Isaac Beshevis Singer and Ira Moskowitz on back page: