The story is told of Elijah coming to Elisha to prepare him for succeeding him as a Prophet in Israel.
Elisha was then a "rough diamond" awaiting the "polishing" process. When Elisha first saw Elijah he began to laugh at his thick crop of hair, being himself rather bald.
Elijah did not lose his temper but quietly asked him: "Do you know any Torah?"
"No, I do not," answered Elisha, surprised.
"And why not?" countered Elijah.
"Because I have not enough brains for studying the Torah," said Elisha.
"When I came along just now I found you ploughing a field. "Where did you get enough understanding for this job?" asked Elijah.
"Of course G‑d gave me that understanding," replied Elisha, wondering what Elijah was "getting at."
"The same G‑d who gave you understanding to do your work, has also given you sufficient understanding and brains for study. You only need to be shown how. Come with me and I shall teach you."
Elisha felt very ashamed of himself and was only too happy and grateful to go with Elijah.
Elijah then threw his cloak over Elisha who gladly became his attendant.
Elisha remained with Elijah until he had learned from him to be a real student of the Torah and a G‑d fearing Jew, and he was very successful in all his undertakings.
When G‑d took Elijah to heaven in a storm, the mantle of prophecy descended upon Elisha.
As Elisha was on his way to Beth-El, he suddenly noticed some men acting like foolish children. When they saw him they began to mock at him, and shouting: "Baldy! Baldy!"
Elisha cursed them. As he had the spirit of prophecy over him, his curses were fulfilled.
Suddenly he heard a heavenly voice saying:
"When you insulted your master and teacher Elijah, he did not curse you. Yet with the first power of prophecy that you have, you cursed these foolish people who insulted you."
Elisha was horrified at what he had done and cried out to heaven:
"Please forgive me. I only did this thing for the honor of Heaven, I was not thinking of myself! I am deeply sorry that I have erred; I beg divine forgiveness."
Because of the sincerity of his repentance, he was granted forgiveness, and the spirit of prophecy was again bestowed upon him. His prophecies were handed down from prophet to prophet until they were written by the great prophet Jeremiah in the Book of Kings.