Page 97 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 46

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DORON / HASIDIC AND FOLKLORISTIC MOTIFS
89
T h e pow e r o f th e zadd ik is revea led aga in in
When R a v
Nahman came to Tiberias.
Rav N ahm an o f H o ro d e n k a cam e to
T ibe r ia s with a g ro u p o f his followers in a yea r o f severe
d ro u g h t . A t first his arriva l w en t almost u nno tic ed , b u t a f te r
a tim e th e news sp re ad th a t a g re a t zadd ik now re s ided in the
comm un ity . A t once a de lega tion cam e to him to p lead th a t
he shou ld p ray fo r ra in . Rav N ahm an a n n o u n c ed th a t he would
p ray with his hasid im in th e cave o f Rabbi H iyya.23 T h e en t ire
city g a th e re d to watch Rav N ahm an an d his followers p ray fo r
ra in . How su rp r is ed everyone was to see Rav N a hm a n ’s hasid im
d re ssed in heavy boo ts an d ra in gea r , while the re s t o f th e com ­
m un ity came in ligh t sandals in keep ing with the ho t, d ry w ea th ­
er.
In th e m ean tim e , M uh amm ad Pasha, le ad e r o f th e A rab com ­
m un ity , p la n n ed a massacre o f th e Jew ish comm un ity o f
T iberias , an d incited the A rabs to p re p a r e fo r the g re a t even t.
However, a pow e rfu l d ow n p o u r s ta r ted sho rtly a f te r the
hasid im began th e ir p ray e r . O u t o f sh ee r g ra t i tu d e fo r the ra in
each A rab c a r r ied one o f the hasid im in his arm s back to th e ir
co u r ty a rd . T h u s , in th a t g lo rious day th e L o rd ’s nam e was sanc­
tified am ong th e nations.
T h e pow e r o f the zadd ik is th row n in to sh a rp re l ie f again
in
D in Torah
(T ria l by T o r a h Law). In this sh o r t ballad th e poe t
utilizes th e th em e o f the sum m on ing o f God H im se lf to trial.
Rabbi Levi Yitzhak o f B e rd itchev dec rees acco rd ing to T o r a h
law th a t God is ob liga ted to p rov ide sustenance fo r a p oo r claim ­
a n t an d his family: “W ith th e he lp o f God , the c o u r t o f law
. . . the M aster o f th e U n iverse is
obligated
by all fairness and
ju s tice to p rov ide all necessities: m ea t an d milk, po ta toes and
b re ad . . . to the c la im an t immediately! C h ie f Ju s tice o f the
comm un ity o f Berd itchev , Levi Y itzhak .”
N a tu ra lly , the A lm igh ty fu lfilled th e c o u r t ’s d ec ree in the
fo rm o f a g re a t tre a su re o f d iam ond s , gold an d silver th a t the
p o o r c la im an t fo u n d in a d itch : “A t re a su re o f inestim ab le value,
which will suffice fo r m any years fo r th e en t ire hou seho ld an d
even fo r th e g ran d ch i ld ren ! T h u s they fulfilled from above the
23 He chose this cave because Rabbi Hiyya, in his day, successfully prayed
for rain, as related in Bava Mezia 85b. He therefore hoped that the merit
o f Rabbi Hiyya and his sons would cause his prayers to meet with similar
success.