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The Gartel

The Gartel


The prophet Achiah of Shilo used to visit young Israel ben Eliezer — later known as the Baal Shem Tov, "Master of the Good Name" — to teach him the secrets of Torah. And one time Israel used the kabbalistic knowledge he had learned to cross the river Dniester: he threw his gartel (belt) on the water, uttered a secret Name, and crossed dry and safe. But all his life he repented for having used the holy Name of G‑d for his own convenience.

After years, the Master of the Name stood in front of a river again. But this time Jew-haters were at his heels, ready to maim and kill him. Again he threw his belt on the water and he crossed safe and dry. But he didn't use a Name, just his absolute trust in G‑d. And that was enough.

Text and image by chassidic artist Shoshannah Brombacher. To view or purchase Ms. Brombacher's art, click here.
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