Stories From The Baal Shem Tov

27. One of the disciples of the Baal Shem Tov asked him what should be my parnosah (living) so he said “to be a Chazzan” – said he “but I can’t sing” said the Baal Shem Tov “I shall connect to the heavenly realm of song which will dwell within” – from then on, he had the sweetest voice possible – (the writer writes) and I personally heard him and there as no one in the word on par – he once was in the Shul of the holy Reb Elimelech of Lizense – and Reb Eliemelech had a debate with is son Elazar if they should allow the Chazzan to sing (as it might disturb Reb Elimelech from his holy thoughts) however in honor of the Baal Shem Tov, they said that they would – now this Chazzan had a little choir (or singer) with him – so when he began, his holy voice drew down such great light that Reb Elimelech thought that his soul would expire (in ecstasy) so they asked the choir to depart, but even so – so they asked the Chazzan to stop – Reb Elimelech thereupon gave him great honor (but he wasn’t allowed to sing.)

29 The Baal Shem Tov could see from one end of the world to the other – once as he sat with his disciples he gave a laugh – they asked how come – “how can I not” he said – “for a prince invested many years in building a palace – and there was Tzaddik on the way to Shul to daven mincha – but a terrible rainstorm broke out and he was in danger – so he went into this uncompleted building to wait for the rain to pass – afterward he went to Shul – but as he was in there, he elevated all the sparks of Godliness in the stones, and therefore they had no more reason to remain, so when he left it all collapsed” – and afterwards this story of the inexplicable collapse was reported in the newspapers – which occurred  the very same moment.  

30. When the Baal Shem Tov saw any item, say a chair – washing cup etc. he was able to relate al the thoughts of the person who crafted it, had while he did.

31. Further related the Chazzan to Reb Elimelech that when the Baal Shem Tov said Torah, at times the holiness was so great – that one would hear the actual thunder and lighting, and the great sound of the shofar, as if on Mount Sinai – for those sounds never ceased, as they are spiritual – however one must be spiritual to hear them.  

32. Once the Baal Shem Tov when he went to the Mikvah – it was a bitter cold winter and icicles were hanging from the roof – and through Yichudim (holy unions of spiritual dimensions) he warmed up the Mikvah – something that all of the disciples of the Baal Shem Tov could do – though usually they didn’t – he was in the mikvah for a few hours and one of the disciples said “Rebbe, the candle is soon going to go out” – said the Baal Shem Tov to him – “take one of the icicles and light it – he who told the candle to burn, will tell the icicle” – it burned for a few hours – in fact the disciple took it home until there was just a tiny bit of melted water.

33. Once when the Baal Shem Tov was walking with his disciples and it came time to Daven Mincha but there was no water – so the Baal Shem Tov tapped his stick on the ground and a wellspring opened up which became a river – which exists to this very day.

34 The Baal Shem Tov didn’t use Sheimois (holy Names of God that create miracles) he simply had such a deep attachment and faith, that miracles would occur – once when he was young, as his Master (the prophet) Achiyah Hashiloini taught him all the names so he could know about them – as he was young he used a name to cross over the Nester river (walk across) but he deeply regreted this and did Teshuvah for it his whole life – finally his Teshuva was compete when once when he needed to cross it due to a life threatening situation from an anti-semite and instead of using a name, he placed a garment down, and “glided” across (again purely based on faith.)

37 Once the Baal Shem Tov and his disciple were traveling in a desert, and his disciple became very very thirsty and said, “Rebbe, I am thirsty” – the Baal Shem Tov answered him not – however as it got the point of literally life and death, once again he said “Rebbe, I need water” – so the Baal Shem Tov said “Do you believe that God has already prepared for you water?” – it took him a moment to calm down, and he said “Yes” – they walked a little bit and they saw a gentile carrying two large tanks of water – they paid him a bit and he gave the person to drink – tell me, asked the Baal Shem Tov “Why exactly are you in this area carrying water?” – “Well, my lord went nuts, and told me I must get him water from the well nearby” – “You see” told the Baal Shem Tov to his disciple, from the beginning of creation, foreseeing this entire event, God made that there should bae a lord and he should go nuts, so you should have water.

40. Once the Baal Shem Tov told his disciple Reb Dovid to travel to Bessarabia and bring him from there Kosher wine (on the highest level,) Reb Dovid went and had tremendous dedication to ensure that the wine was one hundred percent kosher – he also tried very hard on his way back to ensure nothing (such as a gentile, taking from the wine) unkosher – to his great sorrow, the inspector (who was so worried about people smuggling vodka) took some of the wine and invalidated – broken-hearted he came to the Baal Shem Tov and asked, why God caused this to happen? – the Baal Shem Tov said, because, you tried very hard… but most importantly you should have asked God to help.

41 Once the Baal Shem Tov opened his window during a bitter cold day and said he sees a light that was emanating from an area where a Tzaddik lived – though it was hundreds of years before, and the home already was a heap (from here we see the holiness of a Jew never departs.)

50 Both the holy Rabbi Shimoin Bar Yoichai and the Baal Shem Tov – who were totally one with God nonetheless their humility before every Jew and their love from the highest to the lowest was absolute.  

51.  Once the Baal Shem Tov was asked about the purpose of our Mitzvos – he explained, once a prince got lost – and he was starving and thirsty – a shepherd boy took him to his little hut – he hardly had anything but he took out of his knapsack the cleanest cloth he could find and put it on the table and shared whatever little food he had – he then spread out a sheet on the floor – for it was the best he had – after the prince retuned home he elevated this shepherd above all the other ministers – said they to the prince, but we served you continually – said the prince – “all the honor given to him, for is for the loving paltry gifts, done with true dedication to me.”

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