DIVINE LIGHT – 19th Av, 5769
The Mystical Light of the Baal Shem Tov
When the Baal Shem Tov first took up residence in Mezibush, several of the local rabbis opposed his teachings and his way of practicing Judaism. These same rabbis visited him during the holiday of Succos and told him that his succah was not built in accordance to Torah law. The Baal Shem Tov argued that his succah was kosher. Then, he rested his head in his hands for a few moments. When he lifted his head and opened his hands, he held a piece of parchment. On the parchment was written, “The succah of Rabbi Yisrael Baal Shem Tov is kosher. Thus says Matat, the Prince of the Countenance.”
That parchment was inherited by the Baal Shem Tov’s grandson, the holy Rabbi Moshe Chaim Ephraim of Sudilkov. Whenever someone became ill, he would tell the family to place the parchment under the sick person’s head. The person would immediately recover.
This practice continued for two years. The parchment was put under the pillow of every sick person and he or she would immediately get better. During the entire two-year period, not one person in the city of Sudilkov passed away.
One day, they put the parchment under the head of a sick person, and it disappeared. Reb Moshe Chaim explained that it had been revealed to him that Heaven was not pleased with what he was doing, for all those born must eventually die. Therefore, he had prayed that the parchment be taken back.
I heard from honest people who heard directly from the Tzaddik Rabbi Yoskie, the grandson of Rabbi Moshe Chaim Ephraim, that he personally saw the parchment in his grandfather’s possession.
From a Letter of the Rabbi of Mezibush
Translation and Commentary by Translation and commentary by Rabbi Dr. Eliezer Shore.
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