…As I recounted some time ago, in the days of the Baal Shem Tov it was once decreed Above that a certain Jewish community was to perish. The Baal Shem Tov thereupon summoned R. Mordechai and R. Kehos, two of his colleagues from the brotherhood of hidden tzaddikim, to join him in a beis din that would strive to find ways and means by which this decree could be annulled.

At that time the soul of the Baal Shem Tov soared aloft to the World Above,1 where he saw that the decree was irrevocable. However, in the course of his return through various heavenly chambers, he perceived that an unusually bright light radiated from one of them. He discovered that this was the spiritual abode that awaited a certain villager who, while chopping wood or doing his other tasks in This World, was accustomed to reciting the entire Book of Tehillim five times every day. And that bright light was generated by the letters of those words of Tehillim.

The Baal Shem Tov went to visit him and asked him: “If you knew that by surrendering your share in the World to Come you would save an entire Jewish community, would you do that?”

Without hesitating, the villager answered: “If I have a share in the World to Come, I am giving it away.”

And the decree was annulled…