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Pushcart Prophet

Pushcart Prophet


Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov was teaching his disciples when they were disturbed by a knock on the shutter. A peasant, hauling a cart of tools, peered through the window. "Need any fixing?" he cried. "Any shaky tables, broken chairs? A loose brick in the hearth, perhaps?"

"No, no," came the impatient reply from within, where all were eager to get on with the interrupted lesson. "Everything is in perfect condition. There's no need for any repairs."

"Indeed? Nothing to repair?" called the peasant. "That simply cannot be. Look well, and you're sure to find something that needs fixing!"

The Baal Shem Tov then addressed his students: "Many times have I taught you that nothing is by chance in G‑d's world; that every event and experience is purposeful, that everything one sees or hears is a lesson for one's service of the Almighty. Think of the words we just heard from this simple peasant. How profoundly relevant they are to each and every one of us! Is everything really in perfect condition? At times it might seem so; but if one truly searches his heart and evaluates his life, is he not sure to find something that requires repair...?"

From the Chassidic Masters
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Judith Berge Bethel Park, May 7, 2017

Simple Truth This simple message is telling us to examine ourselves and our possessions to see if anything needs mending or if anything appropriate is less functional or somehow inappropriate due to factors not yet considered. For example, a fourth grade reader used to be fine, but isn't right for seventh graders. An antique computer makes a fine antique but can't compete with modern ones. Bad manners are less awful when the kid is five, not fifty. Thanks, Bal Shem Tov, for making truth simple. Reply

Anonymous Los Angeles, CA February 2, 2011

Pushcart Prophet Everyone needs to remember that not one of us is perfect, not one us should ever judge another, each of us has some faucet of our being that needs to be repaired.....
Yes, EVERYONE of us.

Roxnne Perri Aventura, Florida September 3, 2004

Pushcart Prophet Today is the day of hurricane Francis. So my two beautiful, Jewish neices (estranged from their judaism) came for sheltelter in my Aventura, Florida apt. My Jewish, Yemenite, Israeli male neighbor paid us a visit (they are about the same age) and they are now in the process of becoming friends and he has invited us for Shabbos dinner. So, you think Hashem knows what he is doing? As it says, everything we see, hear and experience is Divinely Inspired. How true. Like this wonderful article, The Pushcart Prophet, we need to see in order to SEE. Reply

Learn about the life and teachings of Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov, the 18th century mystic who permanently changed the Jewish landscape.
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