Page 96 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 46

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
U r i ’le k ep t his silence. H a l f an h o u r la te r th e a t te n d a n t aga in
c r ied o u t in his sleep: “O h how th irsty I am , let m e d r in k som e
w a te r!” H e a rose from th e bench , washed his h and s , said the
blessing an d began to d r in k . Only th en d id Rabbi U r i ’le rem in d
him lovingly: “Did you fo rg e t my son, th a t it is Yom K ip p u r
n igh t? ” A bou t this in c id en t th e old Rabbi o f C ho r tkov says:
“W he re does one ob ta in such a love o f Israe l as Rabbi U r i ’le
h ad ? ”
5.
THE ZADD IK ’S POWER
W he re in lies th e pow e r o f th e r ig h teou s m an , th e zaddik?
T h e T a lm u d answers this ques tion with a beau tifu l hom ily on
the words o f Eliphaz: “T h o u sha lt de c ree a th in g an d it shall
be estab lished u n to th e e ,”20 namely: “T h e zadd ik d ec rees and
the Holy O ne , blessed be He, fulfills it.”21 T h e zadd ik is no t
ru led by n a tu re , b u t r a th e r ru les it an d can ch ang e it by his
comm and , i f he m eans th e reby to achieve a goal th a t is “fo r
th e sake o f H eav en .” I t is as i f th e zadd ik is
above
th e laws
o f n a tu r e a t ce r ta in m om en ts . T h u s he can work m iracles, which
a re a tem p o ra ry suspens ion o f th e laws o f n a tu re . Such p h e ­
n om en a a re desc ribed in several o f M e ltzer’s ballads.
In
One Wintry Night
we find th a t u p o n th e Baal Shem T o v ’s
comm and th e chunk s o f ice in the m ikveh tu rn in to
candles o f
frost
an d even in to
precious stones.
T h u s we re ad the Baal S h em ’s
in s truc tion s to the a t te n d a n t . “Raise y ou r r ig h t h an d , take ho ld
o f one o f the chunk s th a t h an g an d say: C and le o f f ro s t be
k ind led an d b u rn , spa rk le an d sh ine . . . let th e re be light!
. . . an d imm ed ia te ly th e ch u n k o f ice an d fro s t catches fire
an d b u rn s an d spark les . . . an d w ond e r o f w onde rs , p rec ious
stones ev e ryw h e re .” However, the Baal Shem T ov w arns the
a t te n d a n t no t to take any o f the p rec ious stones, saying: “I f
you were p e rm i t ted to k ind le , to look an d see, you were
not
p e rm i t ted to touch an d ex am in e .” H e th e re fo re places his h a n d
ove r his a t te n d a n t ’s eyes an d imm ed ia te ly th e en t i re scene v an ­
ishes. T h is is as it shou ld be because one is no t allowed to b en e f it
from m irac les .22
20 Job 22:28.
21 Shabbat 59b.
22 Cf. note 14 above.