The story is told about a young man, a budding Talmudic genius, who heard that great and wondrous things were being revealed in Mezeritch by the Maggid, Rabbi DovBer, successor to the founder of Chassidism, Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov. Chassidim were not very popular in those days (circa 1770), and were even suspected of heresy by the Jewish establishment; but this young man found in Mezeritch what his soul thirsted for, and became a disciple of the Maggid.

When he returned home after his first year, he was greeted by his irate father-in-law. “What have you been doing for the last year? What have you accomplished wasting your time with those wild men?”

“I learned that G‑d creates the world,” answered the young man.

“That’s what you learned?!” yelled his father-in-law. “That is what you learned in Mezeritch?! Why, even our washerwoman knows that, and she never studied a page of Talmud in her life . . . Zelda! Come here!”

The washerwoman appeared from the next room, drying her hands, saying, “Yes, sir, what do you want, sir?”

“Tell us, please, Zelda,” he was trying to be as calm as possible, "who created the world?"

“Why . . . the Almighty, sir!”

“You see!” he turned to his son-in-law and shouted with rage, “Even she says so!”

“She says it,” said the chassid. “But I know it.”