Weekly Chasidic Story #1232 (s5781-44)
10 Av 5781/July19, 2021
A Pre-Destined Match"
This lumber merchant had a son for whom
numerous matches had been proposed. But a strange thing happened -- the moment
the boy would see the girl, he would faint.
Connection: This Shabbat is
also a Jewish holiday: the Fifteenth of Av Matchmaking
Story in PDF
format for more convenient printing
Clearly A Pre-Destined Match
Baal Shem Tov had a chasid who was a wealthy lumber merchant. The chasid would
buy lumber and transport it to the bottom of the mountain where the river would
carry it to the lumberyard to be sold.
This lumber merchant had a son for
whom numerous matches had been proposed. But a strange thing happened -- the moment
the boy would see the girl, he would faint.
After a while, the matchmakers
all gave up. They considered him a hopeless case. The chasid went to ask the Baal
Shem Tov, what to do. The Besht responded simply, "For the right one, he
will not faint."
One winter there was a terrible freeze. Conditions
became so bad that all the chasid's lumber was lost in the rushing semi-frozen
river. So again the chasid went to the Baal Shem Tov to ask for advice, just as
he always did. This time, the Besht advised him to become a wandering beggar!
Being a faithful chasid, he accepted his rebbe's instruction and began
to travel all over Poland. Whenever he had some time, he would sit in a study
hall and learn Torah.
One day, while he was sitting in the study hall in
a certain town, a resident of the town came up to him and asked, "How much
do you earn in a day?"
"A ruble and a half."
then said, "I'm impressed with your dedication. I will pay you two and a
half rubles every day if you will study Torah in my house instead."
chasid readily agreed - how could he pass up such a generous offer!
weeks later he heard the husband and his wife crying in the middle of the night.
The next day, wanting to help, he asked if there was any way he could repay them
for their kindness.
After some hesitation they told him that they had a
beautiful and kind daughter, but every time she was introduced to a man she fainted,
they explained tearfully. They had summoned all the best doctors, but alas, none
could help their daughter.
The chasid replied, "Maybe my Rebbe, the
Baal Shem Tov, can help. Come," he said, "let us travel together to
Mezibush, and we will see what develops."
The desperate couple did
as he suggested and within two weeks they stood before the holy Baal Shem Tov.
Before the Besht spoke to the husband and wife, he turned to the chasid and asked
him to bring his wife and son and wait with them in the next room.
Shem then listened to the story of the husband and wife and asked, "Can you
provide a good dowry for your daughter?"
"We certainly will provide
a proper dowry," they answered. They told the Baal Shem how four years earlier,
during a bitter frost, they awakened one morning and found hundreds and hundreds
of pieces of lumber in their yard. Try as they might, they could not find the
owner of the lumber. So, they sold it to the lumberyard and had made a fortune.
The Baal Shem then asked the chasid to come in with his wife and son. They
entered the room.
The son looked at the daughter.
The daughter looked
at the son.
"You see", said the Baal Shem
Tov with a beaming smile, "The money this girl's parents received from selling
the lumber actually belongs to this poor chasid, the father of this boy. And all
of these events occurred only so that this girl and this boy should meet. MAZEL
Source: Adapted and supplemented
by Yerachmiel Tilles from the rendition in a Chabad women's seasonal publication
that is no longer available, called "Permeations" (Vol. 3 No. 3 - Sivan
5765 / Spring 2005), based on the version on //rebshlomo.com.
This Shabbat is also a Jewish holiday: the 'Fifteenth of Av' - "Matchmaking
ben Eliezer [of blessed memory: 18 Elul 5458- 6 Sivan 5520 (Aug. 1698 - May
1760 C.E.)], the Baal Shem Tov ["Master of the Good Name"-often
referred to as "the Besht" for short], a unique and seminal
figure in Jewish history, revealed his identity as an exceptionally holy person,
on his 36th birthday, 18 Elul 5494 (1734 C.E.), and made the until-then underground
Chasidic movement public. He wrote no books, although many works claim to contain
his teachings. One available in English is the excellent annotated translation
of Tzava'at Harivash, published by Kehos.
Tilles is co-founder and associate director of Ascent-of-Safed, and chief editor
of this website (and of KabbalaOnline.org). He has hundreds of published stories
to his credit, and many have been translated into other languages. He tells them
live at Ascent nearly every Saturday night.
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e-mail every Wednesday--sign
of the Full Moon"
the Full Moon" vol 2 - holiday stories)
now available for purchase
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1 of Yerachmiel Tilles's 3-volume set, "Saturday
Night, Full Moon",
also available for purchase on
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