Shivchei Baal Shem Tov #63
I heard this from Rebbe Aharon of Mezbuz, who told this to the rabbi of our community [Rebbe Gedaliah of Linitz].
The Baal Shem Tov was once traveling to Brod. The night before his arrival he stayed in a near-by village. That night the Baal Shem Tov became so frightened that his knees were knocking. In fact, they were knocking so loudly that the noise woke up the Baal Shem Tov’s secretary, Reb Tzvi Sofer! “Rebbe, why are you so frightened?”
The Baal Shem Tov answered, “My master [Achiyah the prophet] came to me [from the upper worlds]. He asked me, ‘Who is better, you or Avraham Avinu [our Patriarch]?’
“I asked him, ‘What sort of question is that? Of course Avraham Avinu is better!’
“He said to me, ‘Tomorrow you will come to Brod and they will show you tremendous honor. If, God forbid, you aren’t careful you will lose everything you have achieved.’ That’s why I’m so frightened!”
When the Baal Shem Tov arrived in Brod, the community leaders, all in their finest clothing, came out to greet him. The Baal Shem Tov began to tend the horses, rubbing them and patting them, the way people do with horses.
From this we can understand how extensive was the Baal Shem Tov’s fear of Heaven.
© Copyright 2011 O. Bergman