10 New Teachings from the Baal Shem Tov – Transforming negative to positive – darkness to light – curses to blessings


The Gemarah says, Mar Ukbah sent to Reb Elazar – “there are people that are harassing me and I have the power to hand them over to the Government…” – – so he wrote to him the verse: “Be silent to God, and await for him” – get up early and rise and study in the house of Torah study, and they will disappear.

Explained the Baal Shem Tov – Reb Elazer gave him great advice – that through studying more Torah the Dinim will be rectified – the Dinim (harsh decrees) that are within the people harassing – for the fact that people are harassing is because there is a Din above – this Din enclothes itself in bad people – the solution is to not fight with them – rather to learn more Torah – the inner dimension of Torah – which is the secret to knowledge – and one should pray with love and awe of God which is literally Daas – and through the Daas and words (of prayer) one elevates above – to unify in the world of thought – in where there are no harsh judgment – and no evil – only good and then one includes those fallen Dinim in the positive – and all of this is through recognizing that these Dinim are fallen letters – the harsh speech are the fallen letters – therefore when one studies Torah with love and awe, which is the level of Daas one elevates those letters to the source of Torah above – and they become rectified in their source – as is known, all that descends below is through letters (of Divine speech) and through them elevating to their source, the evil falls away – and all becomes good and then the people who were previously enemies become friends.

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Says the Baal Shem Tov it is a nature in the Jewish people that when something negative occurs, we rejoice – in this rejoicing, we sweeten the judgement (from the sting / harshness) if however a person gets angry or seeks vengeance (or God-forbid does something cruel etc.) then on the contrary, one is helping the enemy – for the purpose of rejoicing in the negative is certainly there was a Din (a negative decree in heaven) and through what occurred the decree has averted.

159 The Ramban asks on how a prayer works – that it changes a negative heavenly decree to a positive – – now this seems to not makes sense – why would God change his mind – if we are speaking about someone who has changed, this makes sense, but if we are talking about someone praying for his friends?
So the Baal Shem Tov explains that the prayer is to sweeten the judgment of malchus (where judgments are) to take it back into Binah (settle her – put her at ease) and so now the person is not the same

Note 155

The Baal Shem Tov explains a great secret on how to turn bitterness to sweetness (suffering to delight) one must find within the pain and suffering a source of goodness – for in the source, Gevurah (Din – harsh decrees) is complete loving-kindness – for they are the limit (of the infinite expansion of God’s love – or the limitation – like screens which allow an infinite light to be seen and felt) the purpose of these limitations is so each person can receive the limited amount of energy necessary for their survival and life (for too much would blow the circuit  – infinity in finite would cause the infinity to be the only existence) similarly sometimes difficult things occur, so we may remain humble and in this way not lose our share in the world to come – – so in essence it is all loving kindness – and through finding the source of kindness, and accepting it with love – then it all truly so becomes – and the negative turns into the positive (source where it emanates from) – and we need to create a kal vichomer (analogy…) the dinim (sufferings below) need to realize (be told) that if my source is complete kindness, I which are but a fraction of a fraction, fraction etc. of my source, how much more so I must be only kindness – and when the person feels this – so it manifests.

Everything coming from God originates in positive letters – however when these letters descend they can become messed up – the Tzaddik through his prayers fixes all the letters.

The main prayer is for others – from God evil coms not rather letters and these letters can be combined in positive or negative forms.

   The Baal Shem Tov teaches that we sweeten the harsh decrees by finding the hidden (or motivational) kindness behind them.


When we find the kindness in a harsh (circumstance) the kind element overtakes it.

When something bad occurs do whatever you can to see something good in it – for then the good becomes extracted and the bad will disintegrate.


God answers all prayers even of the thief to have success, but the difference between the righteous Tzaddik) person and the criminal is wearas in the former God will give him what he wants though God knows it is not what is in his best interest, in the latter as well… but when the Tzaddik realizes he needs something else, God will then change (and help – but not the criminal who then gets caught..)

One can ask why would God even answer the prayers of the wicked – and this is for free choice – for as he realizes that even his wicked prayers are answered, he will obviously understand how much more so his good.

Note 156

The Baal Shem Tov comments on the saying the greatest knowledge is not knowing – that two types of people seek to know the unknowable king – the first gives up, as he is unknowable, the second researches as much as possible, but realizing the king is infinite, understand his limitation – such must be our quest.  


One Must research God and then realize what one should and shouldn’t (may or may not.)


Know that just as dreams follow their interpretation, for the belief in what will occur causes it – similarly thoughts – which is why if you choose to think positive (so if you have a negative thought always come up with a positive.)

Note 157

Because a person can change information from negative to positive – like Yirmiyah the prophet, who should have prayed for the Jewish people hearing the harsh decrees – for even in a dream, if a person sees a negative like a dead person, they can make it into a positive (from the letters of Meis (dead) to Tam (sincere.)

The Baal Shem Tov says on the verse “Turn from evil and do good” our job is to turn evil (thoughts, fears etc.) into good (positive, hope etc.)

The Baal Shem Tov says on the verse “Turn from evil and do good” remove from the bad the bad and then it turns to good.  

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