10 New Baal Shem Tov Teachings

Parshas Noach

  1. A person is called a Tzaddik when in the service of God, He has great pleasure.
  2. Just as in a physical intimate union, one can only have an elevation through desire – similarly a person whose service of God is not ulterior, but motivated due to one’s great love of God, this births spiritual delight.
  3. The Baal Shem said in the name of the Ramban – if you seek to understand what is service of G-d (Avodas Hashem) if when you learn Torah, you are filled with pleasure and dread (awe/reverence.)

Note 2. The Baal Shem Tov told his son, the way to know if you are truly serving God, if when you learn Torah you are filled with love and fear of God.


The Baal Shem Tov said: see to it, from every Avodah (service of God, say Torah / Prayer) you receive fear and humility.)

  • Though in the physical realm, where one derives pleasure one derives not fear/pain (as they are opposites) but in the spiritual realm they can be simultaneous.

  • Serve God simultaneously with awe and joy – these are two twins that should never be separated – fear without joy is misery – rather one should always joyfully serve God.
  • There are great Tzaddikim that need no preparation, as soon as they start Davening (praying etc.) the great unbelievable sweetness and delight of God, upon them rest.

    There are others who try their best – though they achieve not this delight, as they try, God considers as if they have.

    There are others who sunder themselves from serving God – God-forbid (they are called the living dead – and even worse is when they dabble in the atheistic philosophy.)

  • A man once queried of the Baal Shem Tov: Why when I am meditating and feel connected to God, do I suddenly feel distant?

    Explained the Baal Shem Tov, this is like a father getting his little boy to walk – first he holds out his hands, the boy runs to the father but then he withdraws his hands – for if he did not do so, the furthest the son could walk would be up that point – but with constant removal, the son constantly grows.

Note 7 Like a father who withdraws his hands so his little boy should learn to go further – the withdrawal of God from the Jewish people is so we can ascend.

  • Just like a father who withdraws his hands so his son should go further – the Tzaddik who serves God, but feels distant…

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