In the times of the Baal Shem Tov there lived a simple individual who strove to follow in his teacher’s holy ways. He was known to all as Reb Kopel Shivisi. The reason the word Shivisi was added to his name was a reflection of his character. Reb Kopel was a trustworthy and reliable merchant; always extremely careful in his weighing and measuring. As a result, many customers flocked to him for the simple reason that they trusted him. His sacred custom was to begin the day by first reciting the verse Shivisi Hashem lenegdi samid (“I place G‑d before me always,” [Psalms 16:8]). It was this conduct that earned him the added name Shivisi.

Once, Reb Kopel did not appear in the marketplace. His customersrefused to have their wares weighed by anyone else. In their Russian vernacular, they expressed that “If there is no Kopel Shivisi, there is no business.”

The Baal Shem Tov found depth and meaning in their words and from this derived a general lesson in serving the Creator: When the idea of shivisi (i.e., the awareness of G‑d’s holy presence) is lacking, then there can be no business (no spiritual work and transformation).

Likkutei Sippurei Hisvaaduyos,
a collection of teachings of Reb Menachem Zev Greenglass, a”h, p. 253