DIVINE LIGHT – 13th Elul, 5769
The Mystical Light of the Baal Shem Tov
After Shabbos, Reb Elimelech asked the cantor to tell him about the holiness of the Baal Shem Tov. The cantor told him about awesome things that no one had heard before. Primarily, he spoke of the Baal Shem Tov’s love and awe of G-d, and how he would perform soul ascensions to the spiritual worlds while fully conscious in this world. He would gaze into all the chambers of Torah and see the Divine Chariot. When the Baal Shem Tov would recite Hallel, he would not say a verse until he saw the angels who recited that particular verse and heard the exquisiteness of their song, and could recite the verse with them.
He related the awe-inspiring holiness of the Baal Shem Tov from the day of his birth. He described how he would speak to the souls of Tzaddikim, with Elijah the Prophet, and most often with the Arizal, who was constantly with him.
Once, the cantor related, the Baal Shem Tov asked the Arizal why he had openly taught mystical secrets of the Torah outside of the context of worship. The Arizal answered that if he had lived another two years, he would have taught the mystical secrets of the Torah in the context of prayer so that the G-dly sparks, still lost in the world would have been rectified.
The cantor spoke about how the Baal Shem Tov’s soul ascensions occurred while his body lay still, and how the Baal Shem Tov would speak to Moshiach1 and with our teacher Moses.
He talked about how the Baal Shem Tov was an expert in the “Work of Creation,”2 the “Work of the Chariot,”3 and in the entire Torah. He described how the Baal Shem Tov spoke the language of every creature and the language of the angels, and how he was filled with love and awe of G-d and all possible virtues of character, including piety, humility, and love of Israel.
Reb Elimelech commented that all the spiritual attainments attributed to the Arizal also applied to the Baal Shem Tov – perhaps even more so. He further said that that which is written about the Arizal is a drop in the ocean compared with the totality of who the Arizal really was.
The cantor also told Reb Elimelech that every Friday afternoon, during the Mincha prayer, tens of thousands of souls would gather around the Baal Shem Tov, and he would spiritually heal their soul and help them return to their source.
From the Manuscripts of Rabbi Yitzchak Isaac of Komarno
1Messiah;Direct descendant of King David;King and Ruler of the Jewish people during the Messianic Age
Translation and Commentary by Translation and commentary by Rabbi Dr. Eliezer Shore.
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