The Mikvah

 

The Baal Shem Tov and his personal sofer (scribe), Rabbi Tzvi, thought they were alone in the forest. They had come to this lonely place so that the Baal Shem Tov could show Rabbi Tzvi a heavenly pair of tefilin, the like of which he wanted the sofer to copy. But such an experience required many preparations, both spiritual and physical.

 

"We must first immerse ourselves in a mikve," Rabbi Tzvi thought to himself, "but where will we find a pool in this thick forest?" The Baal Shem Tov was undaunted by the lack. He could create one himself. Suddenly he summoned all his strength and cried out, "Mikve Yisrael Hashem Moshia b'eit tzara," and a pool of water of water appeared before their eyes. The Baal Shem Tov was about to enter when suddenly he stopped and looked around.

 

"We are not alone here. I sense another mortal in this vicinity." The two men combed the area and found Rabbi Ze'ev Kitziss hidden behind a thick tree.

 

"What are you doing here? Our actions are none of your business!" the Baal Shem Tov rebuked him. R' Ze'ev slipped away and nothing is known of what happened there in the forest after he left.

 

 (Pe'er LaYesharim)

 

 

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