1. “These are the laws you should put before them…” this refers to legal laws – the Zohar says “that this is the idea of reincarnation” – in other words, it could be that a Jewish court mistakenly judges in favor of the guilty – but in actual fact what occurred was, in a previous lifetime this person was owed money, and therefore in this lifetime – the Torah makes the person who owed him, pay.
The Maagid asked the Baal Shem Tov to explain to him the meaning of the Zohar on “These are the laws” this is the idea of incarnation – so he told him to go to a specific forest and there he would see a specific tree and there would be a stream under it and he should wait there until six and come and return to the Baal Shem Tov.
So he did as he was told and he saw one man come on his horse like a knight, and he was tired and he ate and he drank and went – he left his wallet with his money by mistake.
Then another man came and he rested and drank and he picked up the wallet and he left.
Then a third man, a poor and broken man came and he rested up and drank a little bit and then the knight came back and he asked him where is his wallet with money? Now of-course he really didn’t know, and he didn’t know what this man was talking about.
And the knight beat him up, telling him to return his money.
At 6:00 o’clock he returned to the Baal Shem Tov and he told him that the first person owed the second person in a previous lifetime the amount of money that was in the wallet – and he didn’t pay him – and they came to a Jewish court, before this person the third person who was the rabbi in the previous lifetime – and he made the law to let the person not have to pay – without looking into the details.
Therefore in this lifetime the first person paid the second person what he owed and then the Rabbi received his punishment.
There is a story that there was a man who gave a fair amount of money to another man to hold for him – and then the second man passed on – and the first man came to the inheritors and asked for his money back – and they said, “Our father didn’t mention anything about this…” and they went to a Jewish court and according to the law, made the inheritors swear that they didn’t hear – and they did not have to pay back – though everyone knew that the first man was an honest person – and wouldn’t lie… – so they asked the Baal Shem Tov how could a Jewish court’s judgment be false – and he said, that in a previous lifetime, this man had owed that man, that amount of money.
- Our sages teach there are four primary negatives – (this refers to damages through a damaging) Bull – Pit – Bite (of an animal) and Fire – Spiritually this means – Ox- looking where you shouldn’t – Pit- refers to that a person lies fallow – a person isn’t learning but wastes time – Bite- refers to someone who eats anything and everything – Fire this refers to anger – which is the cackling of fire.
6. “Stretch out your hand not with a wicked person to be a witness to violence” this means that you should never speak bad about another Jew God-forbid – for through this you’ll have to be a “witness of violence” – for when the evil – the Yetzer Hara, speaks badly and brings this person to the Heavenly court and accuses him, desiring the punishment – they will bring you as a testimony on his words (for the Yetzer Hara on his own is not believed) therefore if you have to speak about negative which you have to get rid of – never speak about the person, only the behavior.
7. I heard from my father-in-law – the great holy Rabbi Avrohom Mordechai of Pintshov – once the Holy Disciples of the Baal Shem Tov were praying on Rosh-Hashana – one of the disciples – fell from him to the ground his Tobacco pouch. He picked it up and his friend saw this and he was upset that he disturbed his prayers to pick up his tobacco and have a snuff (as the custom was those days). The Baal Shem Tov saw by Divine prophecy – that this upsetness would cause that the disciple would pass that year… – The Baal Shem Tov went into heaven and prayed very hard for him, but nothing worked – eventually on Hoshana Rabba when the Tzaddik who got upset was saying Tikkun – the Baal Shem Tov (miraculously) removed his intelligence and as he couldn’t study – he began thinking about the greatness of God – and then he had a thought – why did God make Tobacco? And he concluded that there must be great souls (due to reincarnation) that can’t come down into physical bodies and the way they will be rectified is through a smell (similar to “A pleasing fragrance to God…”) and then he regrated that he was upset at his friend – for who knows, maybe there was holy souls that this Tzaddik elevated through his smelling.
Then during the day of Hoshana Rabba, the path of the Baal Shem Tov was to answer whoever asked him anything and what would occur – for he saw with his Divine prophecy from one end of the world to the other – and each would prepare a question – whether in Talmud or other matters and he would answer them all – And this disciple asked this question (why God made Tobacco be discovered in our generations) and when he asked the Baal Shem Tov this – the Baal Shem Tov said – “Tell me what you think” – and he said…. – Then the Baal Shem Tov said – there is greater reason – and he explained, what happened with the story with his friend, and he explained to him, that in the future you should always judge favorably, and not cause negative judgment.