Stories Archive:
#310-357 (5764)

Original translations/adaptations by Yrachmiel Tilles - co-founder of Ascent of Safed, creator of  Ascent's seminars,  editor of Ascent Quarterly, director of Kabbala Online and maintainer of this internet site and its e-mail lists.
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story #357 (s5764-51)/ 22 Elul 5764

A Silent Confrontation

When Rabbi Mordechai Dov of Hornesteipel paid his promised visit hundreds of people accompanied him.

story #356 (s5764-50) 15 Elul 5764

A Simple But Good Inscription

"I expected regular angels," apologized the Baal Shem Tov to the tzadik Rabbi Yitzchak of Drohovitch, "not angels of fire."

story #355 (s5764-49) 8 Elul 5764

A Weighty Decision

The tzaddik, Rabbi Dovid of Lelov made his living selling beer and spirits to the local gentiles.

story #354 (s5764-48) 1 Elul 5764

The Butcher's Prayer

The rabbi of the Jewish Ghetto in Krakow decided to make the "dream query" of the Kabbalah masters.

story #353 (s5764-47) 24 Menachem-Av 5764

Assessing Trees and Chickens

A follower of Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev possessed a unique skill that was eagerly sought after by area merchants.

story #352 (s5764-46) 17 Menachem-Av 5764

The Jazz Singer

Although the airline is under the impression that it staged the flight in order to make money, and the passengers think that they are on the plane in order to arrive somewhere, the chasid knows better.

story #351 (s5764-45) 10 Menachem-Av 5764

The Problem Bed

When the Seer of Lublin lay down on another's bed he would sometimes cry out: "It's prickly!"

story #350 (s5764-44) 3 Menachem-Av 5764

The Match of "Revealed" and "Concealed"

"My dear wife," Rabbi Yosef Caro said excitedly. "Even an angel does not know what Rabbi Yitzchak Luria knows!"

story #349 (s5764-43) 25 Tamuz 5764

Jet Blue Minyan

"Like all Jews who are saying Kaddish, I attend services thrice daily; the only difference is that I also need to bring nine others there with me!"

story #348 (s5764-42) 18 Tamuz 5764

A Chasid Less Sensitive than a Priest

Rebbe Shlomo of Karlin took lodgings in the home of a man who did not approve of Chasidim and their lifestyles.

story #347 (s5764-41) 11 Tamuz 5764

The Midnight Arrest

Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Shneersohn of Lubavitch answered coolly to the dreaded secret police:
"I don't know which Schneersohn you are looking for."

story #346 (s5764-40) 4 Tamuz 5764

Schreiber the Jew

The doctor had never made real contact with the observant Jews of Byalestok; in his social circle they were regarded with disdain.

story #345 (s5764-39) 27 Sivan 5764

A Higher Vision

Rabbi Kalmanson, the Lubavitcher's Rebbe's representative in Cincinnati, had drifted off to sleep shortly before 2 AM, but now the phone was ringing.


story #344 (s5764-38) 20 Sivan 5764

A Blessing For Aliyah

"Discuss the matter with Reb Leib Sarahs," said Rabbi Shneur Zalman. "Tell him that I sent you".

story #343 (s5764-37) 13 Sivan 5764

Tribal Gathering

Finally, in the Wild West he found what he was looking for, a genuine American Indian Chief.

story #342b/138 (s5764-36) 5 Sivan 5764 [repeated by popular demand from Shavuot four years ago]


“Enough!” The Shpoler Zeide called out. “That’s the final blow!”

story #342 (s5764-35) 28 Iyar 5764

Herschel Goat

The Torah idea that the Baal Shem Tov said was:It is written in Ethics of the Fathers (4:1): "Who is strong? He who conquers his selfish inclinations."

story #341 (s5764-34/ 21 Iyar)

The Silent Funeral

In the palace, Rabbi Shlomo Eliezer Alfandari quietly explained his position to the Sultan.

Story#340b/135 (s5764-33/ 14 Iyar) [repeated by popular demand from Lag B'Omer four years ago]

  Lag B’Omer Miracle at Meron

" ‘Exalted and blessed is His great name,’ and also the name of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai."

Hear this story in live audio!

story #340 (s5764-32/ 7 Iyar)

A Safed Scholar and The Mitzvot of the Holy Land

In 1810 Rabbi Yisroel of Shklov led a delegation of followers of the Vilna Gaon to Eretz Yisrael, to settle in Tsfat.

story #339 (s5764-31/ 30 Nisan)

Twice Helpful Advice

The Rebbe Maharash exclaimed, "Fool! Are you going to say 'Halelujah' on a beam?"

story #338 (s5764-30/ 23 Nisan)

Rabbi Power

Ethel's husband was disturbed to hear the words of the illustrious Rabbi Akiva Eiger about their son.

story #337 (s5764-29/ 14 Nisan)

An Alternative Route

"If he invites you also to sleep over, decline and spend the night in the Green Shul" advised the Tzemach Tzedek.

story #336 (s5764-28/ 9 Nisan)

Travel - But Not Now

"The Lubavitcher Rebbe said to submit an exact itinerary: every location where you will be and your lodgings."

story #335 (s5764-27/ 2 Nisan)

Customer Base

The Baal Shem Tov appeared to be a simple itinerant, but with a gift for telling stories.

story #334 (s5764-26/ 24 Adar)

The Penance

Rabbi Yechile-Michil of Zlotchov was shocked, but he said nothing to no one.

story #333 (s5764-25/ 17 Adar)

A Reasonably Priced Sermon

Ascending the platform i nthe synagogue, Rebbe Elimelech of Lizhensk did something very strange.

story #332 (s5764-24/ 10 Adar)

ESTHER'S STORY: Providence, a Prisoner, and a Princess

Every night before bed, despite the pressures of Soviet communism, her mother lovingly told her, "Esther, never forget; you are a Jewish girl."

story #331 (s5764-23/ 3 Adar)

The Exceptional Fast

"I'm surpised at your strange behavior," he rebuked Rabbi Yitzchak of Drobovitch."

story #330 (s5764-22/ 26 Shevat)

A Timely Loan

The Tzemech Tsedek often saw, either in dreams or a waking state, his deceased holy grandfather.

story #329 (s5764-21/ 19 Shevat)

A Day Away from Broadway

The crisis atmosphere of an attempt at Broadway is a legend of our time, and a true one.

story #328b/224 (s5764-20/ 12 Shevat) [repeated by popular demand from Tu B'Shvat two years ago]


The quality of the fruit of R. Nissim’s one and only tree were well known throughout the Tiberian region. Jews and Arabs alike would flock to purchase them.

story #328 (s5764-19/ 4 Shevat)

The Sequel

"Baba Sali was happy to see me and asked about the changes in my life."

story #327 (s5764-18/ 27 Tevet)

Investment Formula

"Let him go home if he wants to," said Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi

story #326 (s5764-17/ 20 Tevet) - see #427 for an updated and expanded version

The End of Two Treatises

Surely Rabbi Schneur-Zalman of Chabad would appreciate the depth and insight of his works.

story #325 (s5764-16/ 13 Tevet)

The Lottery Ticket

While the Seer of Lublin was still alive, Rabbi Fischel of Strickov had been a hidden person who kept to himself.

story #324 (s5764-15/ 6 Tevet)

The Final Song

I will give my portion in the World to Come to whomever can take these song notes to the Modzitzer Rebbe!"

story #323 (s5764-14/ 29 Kislev)

Dreaming of the Sleepless

"I'm a Munkatcher chassid; but I'm most certainly a follower of the Lubavitcher Rebbe."

story #322 (s5764-13/ 22 Kislev)

The Warden who Counted

"While he's reading the roll call, run in and throw the candles in the snow."

story #321 (s5764-12/ 15 Kislev)

The Moon Over The River

"I can stop the boat myself," said Rabbi Shnuer Zalman of Liadi.

story #320 (s5764-11/ 8 Kislev)

The Second Alternative

Rabbi Dov Ber of Lubavitch said, "Now I will tell you secrets of the Torah which have never been revealed.

story #319 (s5764-10/ 1 Kislev) see updated version: #459


With his acute spiritual perception, the Baal Shem Tov 's eyes suddenly riveted on the tiny, ramshackle shul.

story #318 (s5764-09/ 24 Cheshvan)

Sarah and Avraham

"Are you looking for us? Here is my baby, in my arms." (a modern Hebron drama)

story #317 (s5764-08/ 17 Cheshvan)

Avraham's Jewel

Rebbe Moshe of Kobrin always stayed at the home of the father-in-law of Rav Yosha-Ber Soloveitchik when he visited Volozhin.

story #316 (s5764-07/ 10 Cheshvan)

An Indispensable Requirement for a Blessing

In 5664, when Tsfat' sages learned that the venerable Rabbi Shlomo-Eliezer Alfandri had moved to Israel, they invited him to serve as their city's chief rabbinical judge.

story #315 (s5764-06/ 3 Cheshvan)

"Am I My Brother's Keeper?"

Rabbi Yisrael of Rhyzhin explained the miracle he did by telling a Baal Shem Tov story.

story #314 (s5764-05/ 26 Tishrei)

The Champion Lawyer

After a heated argument, both sides agreed to abide by whatever Rabbi Levi Yitschak of Berditchev would rule.

story #313 (s5764-04/ 19 Tishrei)

The Humble Dance

"The singing could be permitted on Simchat Torah, but that the people must not clap in the usual way."

story #312 (s5764-03/ 12 Tishrei)

Three Unusual Sukkah Events

""Amalek is cold," said the Tsemach Tsedek; "a Jew has warmth. Go and sleep in the sukkah"

story #311 (s5764-02/ 5 Tishrei)

Shofar of Freedom

"We were forbidden to pray out loud, to read from the Torah, or to sound the shofar."

story #310 (s5764-01/ 27 Elul, for Rosh Hashana 5764/2003)


"I received an urgent letter from the Lubavitcher Rebbe: 'What do you mean, "You refuse"?! You must go!'"

Archived Stories (click on the desired year):
Stories Archive:
#101-153 (5760)
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#310-357 (5764)
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#358-#411 (5765)
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#667-721 (5771)
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#722-771 (5772)
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