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Baruch Hashem

Baruch Hashem


Every day the old water carrier passed by the study hall with his pails. Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov ("Master of the Good Name") often stood outside the front door and talked with his disciples. Whenever he saw the water carrier, he interrupted their conversation and would ask him, "Berel, my good man, how are you doing today?" The water carrier would usually offer a polite response, "Baruch Hashem, thank G‑d!" and continue on his way.

But one day the water carrier had a look of melancholy in his face. "Rebbe, it's nice of you to ask a poor man, but how should I feel? Not good! No! Day in and day out I carry these heavy pails. My back hurts, I am getting older, you know . . . My boots are in tatters, but I have no money for new ones. My family is large. The burden is too much. My children need food, shoes and clothes, and . . . ach, it's too much to even begin talking about . . . And those new houses at the end of the town want more and more water, and they are built up on the slope of the hill, and the water is so heavy, and I am so tired, so very tired . . ." And with a sigh he picked up his pails and walked away dragging his feet, with a twisted back and bent shoulders. He did not look back. The Baal Shem Tov said nothing.

A few days later the Baal Shem Tov again stood in front of the synagogue with his students when the water carrier passed by. "Berel, good to see you, how are you today?" The water carrier stood still. He beamed. "Baruch Hashem, Rebbe, I am doing fine. I have work, so I earn money to feed my family. I am blessed, because I have a large family, so many sweet children . . . I am happy that I can buy them food to eat and pay their teachers. And those new houses they recently built at the hill need a lot of water, that's extra income for me. Baruch Hashem! Thank you for asking a simple man how he is doing. Baruch Hashem, G‑d is good to me!"

The Baal Shem Tov smiled and blessed him with some encouraging words. The water carrier lifted his heavy buckets and went joyfully on his way, and the water in his pails reflected the light of the sun.

The Baal Shem Tov's disciples were puzzled. Why was the old water carrier so much happier all of a sudden, with his same pair of tattered boots and his same old pails of water?

The Master of the Good Name looked at his disciples and knew what they were thinking. "Did you hear what Berel just said?" he asked them. "He said Baruch Hashem, thank G‑d, because he knows that all blessings and everything else comes from G‑d. A few days ago he did not seem to remember that, he did not thank G‑d for his lot, so he was depressed. Even when things are difficult, there is always so much to be thankful for, so you praise and thank G‑d. You acknowledge that all you receive is from G‑d, and you feel better. Berel's pails are as heavy today as they were a few days ago, and he is still poor, but his perspective has changed. Now he sees what is important and what is not, and he is very aware of the One who provides him with everything he has. As a result, he is happy and content."

Text and image by chassidic artist Shoshannah Brombacher. To view or purchase Ms. Brombacher's art, click here.
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Anonymous USA August 21, 2013

Baruch Hashem We all at one point or another in our lives have had the same moment as the water carrier. But then, when we recognize the beauty of our G-d. His goodness. His Loving kindness. Then our hearts rejoice again. He is more valuable than all the riches in the world. His Presence is incomparable. I prefer to have my Father near me more than anything else in this world. I have had my moments of despair too. But Hashem, blessed be He, is so good to me. Reply

mina gumawid cohen dagupan, philippines November 11, 2010

the light reflected a wonderful story that is actually happening...people oft times in their desperation and wants tend to forget G-d, they only think of the unhappy and miserable moment..and they think only of hard it heavy the burden is..but the purpose of that moment is to actually feel G-d, to be able to relate to Him,..and it is only when we pray and give Him praise that the moments of darkness will gradually subside and light will come into our lives. Reply

US Amos II gulfport, ms, usa November 10, 2010

Thanks we should Jew and Christians alike remember to thank HIM for the little things and not wait on the big events in our lives.
Blessed be THE NAME Reply

ruth housman marshfield hills, ma November 9, 2010

the significance of the water carrier I think being a water carrier has a significance that goes beyond this beautiful tale of the Baal Shem Tov.

Water and the well, is deeply about where we all draw our inspiration, even the stream that is consciousness itself. We say, there is one well, one spiritual well, that all religions truly draw from, and that is deeply the river that runs out of Eden (the Zohar).

We are now living in the Age of Aquarius, or so we're told by astrologers. Aquarius was the water carrier, and it is said, there is something very "deep" surely about water, as we are also made largely of water, and I hear the ISH in Fish (ish/isha). Without agua/water, we could not survive, and I would say that spiritual thirst is the deepest, bringing us towards the Source.

yes, the message of this piece is very clear and lovely, and to reflect on this, also about water, is to see what mirrors deeply for us all, namely LOVE itself: G-d is LOVE. Reply

Julane mill valley, CA November 9, 2010

Thank you Great, wonderful, perfect reminder
Thank you
Thank G-D Reply

Mariam Bahawalpur, Pakistan November 8, 2010

Thanks Count your blessings. Thank G-d for everything. Thank you for the reminder. G-d bless. Reply

Moshie Netanyahu Kansas city, MO November 8, 2010

Beral We should all be like Beral, being thankful for what G-d has given us. Being positive in our thoughts and deeds. Reply

Kayo Tokyo, Japan via November 8, 2010

Divine gift in disguise I got Schizophrenia 17 years ago. I was devastated. But thank G-d, thanks to the illness, today, I am here in Japan studying Chassidus. Without it, I would have had very serious problems. Reply

Anonymous September 13, 2008

Very uplifiting and insightful! May we always remember to thank G-d, as we receiving everything good from him. How often we forget this. Baruch Hashem! Reply

Anonymous caracas, venezuela September 9, 2008

thats a very nice story thankyou! Reply

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