10 Cheshvan 5782 / Saturday, October 16, 2021 | Torah Reading: Lech Lecha
dot  Add to favorites   dot  Set as homepage  
    Create an account    |    Sign in
    My Account     Orders History     Help
  My Country:  
  United States   
   My Currency:  
  US Dollar   
Home Page Torah Portion Spirituality and Faith Foundations of Judaism Inspirational Stories Family & Daily Life Holidays and Fast Days Israel and Society
   Breslev Customs     Baal Shem Tov and Students     Uman     Rebbe Nachman’s Wisdom             
Baal Shem Tov and Students  
HomeBreslevBaal Shem Tov and StudentsThe Shabbat Guest
  Advanced Search

The Shabbat Guest    

The Shabbat Guest

Breslev Israel is delighted to present a new series for the whole family about the childhood of Rebbe Yisroel, lovingly known for posterity as the “Baal Shem Tov”…


“The Baal Shem Tov – Early Years”, Part 1

For many years, Reb Eliezer and Rebbetzyn Sarah helped the poor in Okup. Every Friday, Reb Eliezer payed a local boy to sit by the road that went past the town. And if any poor person came along, the boy was to bring the person to spend the Sabbath in Reb Eliezer's home. Before the Sabbath began, he would give each of his guest a good sum of money, as charity, so that they could spend the Sabbath in happiness without having to even think about having to make the rounds of all the houses in town to knock on doors and collect pennies before or after the holy day of rest.

Well, it has been told that before the Heavenly court there were angels who spoke up to the Almighty in praise of Reb Eliezer and his wife Sarah. They exclaimed that they were really just as generous and hospitable as Abraham the Patriarch and his wife Sarah the Matriarch had been. It was time, said the angels, to give this couple a son as they had been promised. They deserved it. The Heavenly court agreed.
But the angle known as the Satan (the Heavenly Advesary) came running and vehemently objected. The Satan argued that while Rebbetzyn Sarah was righteous and certainly deserved a child, Reb Eliezer had still not proven himself to be worthy of fathering such a child. He argued that Reb Eliezer still had to be put to one more test, the most difficult of all tests. To love a fellow Jew who had turned his back on the holy way of our ancestors, that of Torah and Mitzvos.

The Heavenly court nodded their heads in agreement and decreed to send a guest carrying a heavy load to Reb Eliezer on the Sabbath day and thereby break the Divine Decree not to work on the holy Sabbath. With this, everyone could see how Reb Eliezer would treat him. And he, Satan, was ready to go himself and play the part of this guest.
Immediately, however, Eliyahu HaNavi jumped up and announced that he would go and be the guest that puts Reb Eliezer to this most difficult of all tests.
The Heavenly court nodded their heads yes.

The next Friday before that Sabbath, Satan made sure that no poor people came along the road that passed the town. The boy that was stationed there returned to Reb Eliezer late on Friday afternoon, without finding even one poor person on the road.
Reb Eliezer and Rebbetzyn Sarah were very sad because this was the first time in many years that they would have to spend a Sabbath day without a guest.
It was late on Shabbos afternoon, shortly before the time for the afternoon prayers, when Reb Eliezer saw a beggar, with a heavy bag over his shoulder and walking stick, going by on the road. Never stopping to think that the man was doing a great wrong, because a Jew is forbidden to carry such things on the Sabbath, Reb Eliezer thought only how hungry the poor man must be and he ran to invite him to his house.

Before the man had time to know where he was, a fine Shabbos meal was set before him. Reb Eliezer and Sarah joined him because it was about time for their third Sabbath meal. And soon, they had the man feeling cheerful and happy.
When Saturday night came and the Sabbath was over, it was time for melaveh malkah, the meal to mark the departure of the Sabbath queen. In this too, they had their guest join them and it was a happy meal indeed.
After they said the grace after meals to thank the Almighty for the food He provided, the "beggar" spoke up: "I am Eliyahu HaNavi. You should know that in Heaven it was decided to put you to the test, and that is why I appeared here today as a poor beggar. Usually, when the town's people see a rich man doing something wrong and forbidden, they will not say a word. But if they see a poor man doing the same thing, they won't hesitate to point out his error and berate and insult him. You acted splendidly, however. You never even asked me why I was walking and carrying a heavy bag, when it is forbidden to carry on the Sabbath.

"I can tell you now that at last the Almighty will keep His promise, and a son will be born to you. And this child, who will grow to be a wondrous, extraordinary human being."

Then Eliyahu HaNavi told Sarah: "Before Samuel the prophet was born, a Heavenly voice foretold that a child would be born who would help and rescue the people of Israel, and his name would be Samuel. A great many mothers named their newborn sons Samuel, but only the one born to Hannah the prophet was the one for whom the heavenly voice meant. You should know that thousands of mothers will call their newborn sons Yisrael this year. But only your son, whom you will bear this year and name Yisrael, will be blessed to become a great shining light for all the generations. ... And now I, Eliyahu haNavi bless you with a good week and an extraordinary child, who will be called when he grows up: the Baal Shem Tov, the master of the good name."

To be continued.
Tzvi Meir Cohn attended Yeshiva Hadar Hatorah in Crown Heights, Brooklyn after completing his university studies in Engineering and Law. While studying at the Yeshiva, he discovered a deep connection to the stories and teachings of the Baal Shem Tov. His many books about the Baal Shem Tov can be found on Amazon. He can be contacted at howard@cohnpatents.com.

New Comment    New Comment
   See More Articles By Rabbi Tzvi Meir Cohn
   Read more about Baal Shem Tov and Students

Part - 1 of - 20          Next    Next
See All Parts of The Baal Shem Tov – Early Years

Top of article    Top of article       Email This Article    Email This Article          Share to Facebook       Print version    Print version

 Join the distribution list Join the distribution list
If you would like to receive other related articles or Breslev.co.il features via e-mail, please enter your e-mail address here:


 Related Articles Related Articles

The Angel of Fire               The Healer               The Shepherd’s Flute
 The Angel of Fire  The Healer  The Shepherd’s Flute

  0 Talkbacks for this article     

Add Your CommentAdd Your Comment    Add Your Comment    

In Honor of:    In Memory of:
Like What You Read?
Help Breslev Israel spread the light of Rebbe Nachman
across the globe, and be a partner in making a better world.
Click here to support Breslev.co.il
 Products of the Day Products of the Day
Back  1 2 3  Next
Back  1 2 3  Next
 Most talked about Most talked about
Up  1 2 3  Down
 Most read Most read
Up  1 2 3  Down
 Facebook Facebook
 Mailing List Mailing List
Subscribe Here:   


open toolbar