This post is not about Vaishnavism per se, but it is about someone who revitalised a religious tradition with a new spiritual awakening; who brought the attention of the masses away from a sole focus on intellectual discussion and legalism to a more practical approach to spirituality.
He was someone who believed that the recitation of God’s names accompanied by singing and dancing would allow the soul to experience the kingdom of God. He was also someone who believed that reaching out to others and making the spiritual life accessible to them was the need of the day. As such, his life is perhaps of some interest to followers of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
His name was Baal Shem Tov and today is the 250th anniversary of his passing. You can read more about himand watch a film here.
Although he did not think that he was founding a new movement, it is a fact that hundreds of thousands of Jews follow his teachings and that his followers can be found somewhere in most major cities of the world.