“Evil things do not issue forth from Above.” In the Creator’s mind, our world is a wondrous tapestry of infinite colors and forms, a symphony of uncountable instruments, a story of fathomless depth. To us, stuck within the details of that story, things can often look very ugly.

Our job is to heal that apparent ugliness, by connecting each thing to its origin above, within the mind of G‑d. We do this through a mitzvah, a prayer, a teaching, a sense of faith. The Kabbalist can do this with precision, and thereby effect great healing, for he sees with clarity the origin of each thing and every person.

Yet there is a caveat, a necessary condition before any connection can be made.


שמעתי ממורי הבעש"ט זלה"ה פי' הש"ס הנהו תרי בדחי שהם בני עוה"ב, שהיו מייחדין כל עניני בני אדם שהיו רואין בהם, והם ייחדו במלכות מעשה הזה וקשרו אותה למעלה בשרשה, ומי שהיה עצב שלא יכלו לקשרו למעלה שמחו אותו בדברים עד שייחדו וקשרו כל המדריגות שהן במלכות בשרשן כו' והבן, וע"פ שאלה נאמר לו והש"י יכפר

The Talmud tells the story of Rabbi Beroka, who stood with Elijah the prophet in the market and asked, “Is there anyone here who belongs in the World to Come?”

Elijah pointed out two brothers. So Rabbi Beroka ran after the two brothers and asked them what their business was.

They replied, “We are jesters. We make sad people laugh. And when we see two people in a quarrel, we use some humor to make peace between them.”

The Baal Shem Tov was perplexed by this story and asked for an explanation. This is what he was told:

These two jesters were able to connect every matter they saw in a person to its origin in the higher world. By doing this, any harsh heavenly decrees upon this person were automatically annulled.

But if someone was depressed, they could not make this connection. So they would cheer him up with some humorous words, until they were able to make all the connections necessary.

Keter Shem Tov 272