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Rav Moshe (ben Shlomo) Rokeach(1939), Kiev-Zlotchover Rebbe: A man without foreknowledge or guilty intent, had desecrated the Shabbat, inasmuch as his cart had broken downon the road, and he did not, though running quickly and out of breath, reach the town ahead of Kabbalat Shabbat.


The youthful Zlotchover punished him with hard and lengthy severities. Under these inflictions the sender, after a while, began to suffer in health.

When report of the visit of the Baal Shem Tov to the neighboring countryside reached his ears, he took courage, narrated his sin to the Master, and asked him to impose a fine. This, the Baal Shem Tov did, bidding him give a pound of candles to the House of Prayer. At this light penalty, the offender wondered not a little, fearful of the Zlotchover’s disapproval. But the Baal Shem Tov said, “Do my bidding and tell the Rabbi to visit me at Chvostov where I will be next Shabbat.”

A wheel of the Zlotchover’s wagon broke on the road to Chvostov, and he had to come on foot. He did his best to make good speed, but rush as he might, he did not reach his goal before sunset. As he reached the threshold of the Master, behold, there stood the Baal Shem Tov, with cup lifted up to make Kiddush.

The Baal Shem Tov turned to the visitor, standing on the threshold in consternation, and said, “Good Shabbat sinner, your hand, before you sinned, was heavy upon other sinners, but henceforth it will be light, for you’ve tasted of their pain and outward shame. Therefore, good Shabbat to you, and a hearty welcome!”

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