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Study and Theory/

Seven Flavors of Shabbat in Dry Bread

The Baal Shem Tov is Coming - Compiled and told to Children by Tikvah Sarig, pp. 46-48

Once the disciples of the Baal Shem Tov asked him to show them a man who was really righteous. The Baal Shem Tov agreed to this and told his disciples:

"Okay, I'll show you the person you wish to see, on condition that you watch him in total silence."

So they went to the synagogue on Friday night, where the Baal Shem Tov showed them a poor pauper, dressed in worn clothes, standing and praying with a happy countenance. The Jew completed his prayer and set out to his home.

The Baal Shem Tov and his disciples followed the Jew silently, and saw him entering a small and meager hut and they looked in from the window.

As the Jew entered the hut, he called out merrily:

"Shabbat Shalom, my dear wife"!

His wife answered:

"Shabbat Shalom my dear husband"!

"Please hand me, dear, the wine for kiddush"!

The woman showed him two dry loaves of bread lying on the table, under a snow-white napkin:

"We have no wine for kiddush, my dear husband, please recite the kiddush over the bread"...

So the Jew recited the kiddush over the bread and said joyfully:

"Now my love, please serve the fish"...

The woman brought a bowl of beans and dished some of it to her husband's and some - to her plate.

The couple ate and sang songs and their faces shone with pleasure.

"Now my dear, please bring clear soup with soup nuts to float in it"...

So the woman put some more beans in her husband's plate and took some for herself as well. And the two of them enjoyed their meal immensely as if they were feasting on soft and delicious meat and other delicacies.

The more they sat the more their faces shone...

After they completed their meal they stood up to dance and sang facing each other:

"Happy are we, how good is our part, how pleasant is our lot"...

When the students of the Baal Shem Tov saw them, they burst our crying and told their rabbi: "Thank you, rabbi, for showing us these poor people who suffice with little and are happy with their lot, who turn bread into wine and beans into Shabbat delicacies. And the entire land is filled with the sound of their prayers and songs".

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