flame inside six-pointed Star of David
The Hasidic Stories
Home Page


>Stories > The Baal Shem Tov > How Do We Know?

HOME
Features of the Month
Search
What's New?
Feedback

STORIES
The Baal Shem Tov
Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav
Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev
Other Early Rebbes
Later Rebbes
Rabbi Pesach Mendel
Stories of Our Times

ARTICLES
Background and Sources
Hasidic Theories of Storytelling
Themes in Hasidic Stories
Learning from Hasidic Stories
Interpreting Individual Stories
Preparing and Telling

RESOURCES
Bibliography
Links
The Soul of Hope

envelope icon Email this page to a friend

HOME . What's New? . STORIES . ARTICLES . RESOURCES

How Do We Know?

retold by Doug Lipman

Some students of the Baal Shem Tov came to him one day with a question. "Every year we travel here to learn from you. Nothing could make us stop doing that. But we have learned of a man in our own town who claims to be a tzaddik, a righteous one. If he is genuine, we would love to profit from his wisdom. But how will we know if he is a fake?"

The Baal Shem Tov looked at his earnest hasidim. "You must test him by asking him a question." He paused. "You have had difficulty with stray thoughts during prayer?"

"Yes!" The hasidim answered eagerly. "We try to think only of our holy intentions as we pray, but other thoughts come into our minds. We have tried many methods not to be troubled by them."

"Good," said the Baal Shem Tov. "Ask him the way to stop such thoughts from entering your minds." The Baal Shem Tov smiled. "If he has an answer, he is a fake."

This story is presented as part of a bouquet of three stories about questions:

  1. What is the Problem?
  2. How Do We Know?
  3. Who Has the Answer?

TOP OF PAGE

PREVIOUS STORY . NEXT STORY

envelope icon Email this page to a friend

HOME . What's New? . STORIES . ARTICLES . RESOURCES


The Hasidic Stories Home Page
www.hasidicstories.com
email: info@hasidicstories.com
A service provided by Doug Lipman

This page was last updated on Monday, March 10, 2003
Copyright©1999 Doug Lipman