Translation:Tales of Rabbi Nachman/All

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1551799Tales of Rabbi Nachman: All (Sipurei Ma'asiyot)Nachman of Breslov

Book of

(Sipurei Ma`asiyoth)

Which we have been privileged to hear from the mouth of Rabbeinu Hakadosh, the Hidden and Concealed Light, Nachal Nove`a Mekor Chokhmah/ The Gushing Stream, The Source of Wisdom[1], HaRav Rebbe NACHMAN ztzuk"l of Breslev, great grandson of the Ba`al Shem Tov Hakadosh and composer of the books Likutei Moharan and several other compendia.

Go out and see the might of your Master[2] Who has illuminated heavenly Torah for us to enliven us as [sure as] it is this day[3], for the everlasting world[4]; and our God has not forsaken us in our servitude but has extended kindness to us[5] in each and every generation and has sent us deliverers and rabbis and tzadikei yesodei `olam/righteous ones, foundation of the world[6] to teach us the way. His first [mercies] have come to pass[7] and yet His mercies have not ceased[8] at any period or any time. And He has performed kindness for us, drawing water from the wellsprings of salvation[9], ancient things, words which are the secret of the world[10], under wonderful and awesome clothings. See and understand and look at His wonderful and awesome way, which is an inheritance to us from our holy forefathers who were during ancient times in Yisrael.

For such is the way of the upper holy ones[11], harvesters of the field[12], who raised their hands and hearts to God, to clothe and conceal the King's treasure houses in story tales according to the generation and according to the times, knowing the understanding of times, to know what Yisrael should do, until [Mashiach] arises and delivers Tziyon and returns to build the ruins of Ariel. “Now Ya`akov and Yisrael are told what God has done.”[13]

   In the year          575          l"pk [Jewish year 5575]


Lehithvada` Ulhigaloth / Let it Be Known and Revealed...
Foreword in Yiddish from the first printing, 5575/1815, Ostroh:
...that the stories in this book contain great secrets of the Torah; they contain very great things. There is no trivial word in them and even simple people can take great mussar [practical life guidance] from the stories. For these stories have a great power to awaken all people from sleep so that a person should not, Heaven forbid, sleep through his days for nothing. And whoever will look into the stories with an honest eye can see and understand a little of God’s greatness; even simple folk can also get some glimpse of hints of mussar. So a person should very well examine what is the world's purpose, and not just rely on this world. He should pray day and night, and deliver himself from the world's nonsense; let him be privileged to be as Hashem Yithbarakh wants. And furthermore there are things hidden in the stories that cannot be written or told, that would be good if he could know [even] just a bit of them. And because we once heard from his mouth saying that he had great yearning that the stories should be printed with Hebrew above and Yiddish below, therefore we have fulfilled his holy desire and we have printed it so, because common people also need to be acquainted with the stories; even if they understand scant little of what they mean and where the stories reach, a great benefit is derived for him toward the ultimate [life] purpose if he will look into them with an honest eye, because they have a great power to awaken [a person] to the Almighty, as mentioned, for the stories are not empty things, Heaven forbid. The Rebbe, rest in peace, would each time after most of the stories verify each sentence and each thing. So people should know that he did not say any wasted words, Heaven forbid. He showed just a little bit where the stories reach unto, for all these stories are secrets of the Torah through and through. Foreword in Yiddish from the second printing, 5610/1850, Lemberg (Lviv):
...that every word that stands here in this holy book is holy of holies; a great deal of the Torah’s secrets. One should not think they are simple tales, for the stories [standing] in this book were told by the great tzaddik, the highest saint, the holy rabbi, Rabbi NACHMAN, memory of the Tzaddik bring blessing; may his merit stand up for us. His intention was to teach us how to serve the Almighty. And if only we would understand the great secrets and lessons that are put in these stories, we would be devout Jews like we ought to be. And Hashem Yithbarakh should send us the Righteous Redeemer now in our times, quickly in our days, Amen.


Mah shehayah kevar nikra shemo venoda` shehu adam/[His greatness] in the past, his fame has long since been declared, and it is known that he was a [great] man[14]. Vezoth torath ha'adam/ And this is the Torah of a great man[15] of holiness, who merited to complete the image of man, ki-zeh kol-ha'adam/ for this is the entire [purpose] of man[16]. Is it not his honor, our lord, our master, and our rabbi, crown of our glory, pride of our strength, the holy and the awesome Rav, the major luminary, the upper light, the honorable and holy light, of holy renown, our master Rav NACHMAN, mention of the righteous and holy bring blessing, great grandson and nephew of the holy and awesome Rav the Godly Baal Shem Tov, mention of the righteous and holy bring blessing, whose light Yisrael have already enjoyed in his holy and wonderful compositions which have already come to light. Many are they who have seen and rejoiced, and the upright who have been gladdened[17]; the truth will make itself known.

And behold, see what else is in our sack[18]: wonderful and awesome story tales, which we have been privileged to hear directly from his holy mouth, who balanced, probed and established many similes, clothing and concealing lofty and awesome perceptions in story tales in very wonderful and awesome ways. Because so was [the custom] long ago in Yisrael, regarding redemption and regarding exchanging[19], that when they wanted to speak of the hidden things of God, they would talk in the manner of riddles and similes, and they clothed the hidden things of the Torah, the treasuries of the King, in many, many different clothes and garments, as it is conveyed after the tale of the King's Son and the Maid's Son [#11 in this book], where Rabeinu z"l said then, that in the early days, when the friends would talk and speak Kabbalah, they would speak in such language, because until Rashbi they would not speak Kabbalah openly etc. And for the most part after several stories he would reveal a little bit, a drop in the sea of some clues where the things reach to, as the things and the clues which he told after each and every story are explained below in their places. And behold, until now these things were hidden with us, but only because many have said to our souls, "Mi yir'enu tov/Who can show us anything good?"[20] — for they are many who are with us, fellow believers as us, whose souls have hoped and been consumed to constantly hear the words of the Living God which came out of the mouth from Rabeinu Hakadosh z"l, and particularly these stories he told, which they had not yet merited that they reach them except in handwritten copies via various copiers through which the errors multiplied greatly and the meaning was spoiled — and therefore their great desire compelled us and their strong hope pressed us, until we were forced to fulfill their wishes and bring them to the printhouse. And also because there was a disclosure from the mouth of our great Rabbi z"l, as one time he revealed his mind that he wanted to print story tales — and he declared it in these words before several people: "I have in mind to print a book of story tales, and it should be written above in the holy tongue [Hebrew] and below in the common tongue [Yiddish];" and he said, "Really, what can the world say against this, for anyways are they not nice stories to tell?!" etc. — such words were heard from his holy mouth explicitly, and this is what has moved us to bring them to the printhouse.

And if we would have indeed known, and had it not been hidden from our eyes, that many had arisen against him — nevertheless the truth is witness for itself, and we are obligated to do his will, and Hashem will do what is good; the one who hears will hear and who refrains will refrain. And also because, praise God, until now His mercies have helped us, for his holy compendiums have spread out within the Holy People, in the community and the assembly and Yisrael, and his words have been joy and happiness to them, and have been sweet as honey in their mouths. All will be satiated and delight from his goodness; their souls shall be satisfied as with grease and fat, and with shouting lips their mouths shall praise. And they are more who are with us than those who argue against the truth, speaking arrogantly against the Tzadik in pride and disdain, who have fabricated from their hearts things that were not on his mind; but we need not prolong and talk about this, for it is a thing of Hashem's concern. And several worlds have been turned over because of that person, because of the great controversy, which has increased in our days between the chakhamim and the tzadikim. But who can criticize the King for what has already been done?

But let this be known, that our whole intention in printing these story tales is only for anshei shelomeinu/our own people, who take refuge in his holy shade, who crave and hope and yearn to hear his holy words [Translator's note: It is clear that Rabbi Nachman wanted these tales available to everybody. Rather, there was great opposition to the printing of the stories, including the fact that some tzadikim considered the stories too high for public consumption. This comment, and others, were included so as to assuage the opposition.] And if actually the words are printed in a book, it is as if they were said before a great assembly. On the other hand, we have already seen that the words have already begun to spread in writing via many copies, and there is no difference between writing and print, and also from the start they did not speak secretly, because whoever has eyes will see, and whoever has a heart will understand, "ki lo-davar reik hu, mikem/because it is not an empty word/thing, [unless it seems empty] due to you" [Deut 32:47], because these words stand at the heights of the very heights. And we heard from his holy mouth explicitly saying that each and every utterance in these stories has astounding intentions, and whoever changes one utterance from these stories from the way he himself told them, causes much to be lacking from the story. And he said that these stories are very, very wonderful and awesome novelties, containing very extraordinarily deep ways and secrets, and they are fit to be spoken before an audience, to stand in a synagogue and tell a story from these tales, because they are very, very high and awesome novelties.

Also he whose heart is whole and who is thoroughly expert in the books of holiness, and particularly in the books of the holy Zohar and writings of the Arizal, of blessed memory, can understand and know a little bit of the hints in some stories if he puts his heart and mind to them very well.

They also have very wonderful and astounding arousal of life lessons in most places. An intelligent man will understand them on his own, because virtually all of them arouse and pull the heart very much to Hashem Yitbarakh, to return to Hashem Yitbarakh in truth for truth's sake, to delve only in Torah and devotions constantly, and to turn his face away from vanities of the world completely, as one who sees will see with the eyes of his intellect if he gazes into them in truth. However, the ultimate aim of the intentions in these stories is much too far from the knowledge of mortals. "Ve`amok `amok, mi yimtzaenu/And deep deep, who can find it out?"[21]

And the praise of the splendor of greatness of these stories ought not be prolonged, because they are exalted above our knowledge, and whoever additionally speaks in praise of their greatness and depth, detracts; we have only spoken in order to somewhat alert the heart of those of our faith in order that they not forget their wonder which he showed them from afar, like one who shows with a pointer how far these things reach, via a few hints which he revealed to our eyes after telling each and every story. For although truly some of the hints were recorded which were heard from his holy mouth, nonetheless it is clear to any intelligent person that one who hears from the mouth of a chakham/ sage himself is not like someone who sees the things in a book. And all the more so, regarding the ways of clues like this which are not understandable except by movement of the limbs, by nodding the head, squinting the eye, tilting the hand and so forth as these, through which specifically the understanding person can understand a little bit and be stymied at the sight and his eyes from afar see the greatness of Hashem and the greatness of His holy Torah which has been clothed in several different clothings as explained in all the books of holiness.

Up to here have reached a few words which encourage much. Our hearts shall “ponder in awe: Where is he that counted, where is he that weighed?”[22] "From where will our help come?"[23] "Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire?"[24] "Who will stand for us?" Let us lift our hearts with our hands to the Almighty who is in the heavens.[25] Into His hands let us commit our spirits.[26] To You, Hashem, let us raise our souls. Your mercies have helped us until here. Our help is none but You, our Support. And let the pleasantness of Hashem our God be upon us. Until the moreh tzedek/Teacher of Righteousness come to our congregation and build our glory the Holy Temple. "Look upon Tziyon, the city of our solemn gatherings."[27] "Your eyes shall see the king in his beauty."[28]. Soon in our days, Amen. These are the words of the writer, arranger, and copier, to be eaten to satisfaction and for lasting clothing.[29] Written by the insignificant Nathan, son of my lord my father our teacher the rav Rabbi Naftali Hertz y"tzv from the capital Nemyrev, son in law of the rav, the genius the charitable the famous in all corners of the land, his holiness the rav Rabbi David Tzvi, memory of the righteous bring blessing, for life of the coming world, who was av beit din of the holy community Kreminitz and its environs and of the holy community Sharigrad and of the holy community Mahlub and its environs.

* * *

Before he told the first story in this book he spoke up and said: In the story tales that the world tells, there are many hidden things and very lofty matters — but the stories have been spoiled because much is lacking from them and they are also mixed up, and they do not tell them according to the order, telling at the end what belongs in the beginning and vice-versa and so on. But really in the stories that the world tells there are very lofty concealed matters. And the Baal Shem Tov, memory of the righteous bring blessing, was able via a story tale to perform yichudim/ unifications. When he would see that the upper channels were spoiled and it was not possible to repair them via prayer he would repair them and unify them via a story tale. And more did Rabbeinu of blessed memory speak of this, and afterwards he began to tell the story tale that is on the next page, saying, “On the way I told a story” etc.

And know, the stories that Rabbeinu told, virtually all of them are completely new stories that were never before heard; only he himself told them from his heart and his holy knowledge according to the lofty perceptions that he attained in his spirit of holiness, clothing that perception in that story, the story itself being an awesome sight and very lofty perception that he attained, and seeing the place that he saw. And also sometimes he told a story from the stories the world tells but he added much to them, exchanging and repairing the order until the story was completely changed from what the world tells, as mentioned. But from those stories were not written in this book except one or two, and all the rest of the stories are completely new, never before heard.

At the time when Rabbeinu of blessed memory began involving himself in telling stories, he stated explicitly in these words: “Now I’m going to start telling story tales (Ikh vil shoyn anheyben maysiyos dertseylen),” and the intentions of his words were as if to say, “Since it has not been effective for you to return to Hashem Yithbarakh via my holy Toroth and talks and so forth” — which he busied with in great toils all his days to return us to Hashem Yithbarakh in truth for truth’s sake, and since all these have not been effective — therefore he begins to involve himself with story tales. And then at that same time he said the torah that begins “Pathach Rabbi Shim`on ve'amar `eth la`asoth laShem heferu Torathekha/ Rabbi Shimon opened and said, ‘It is time to do for Hashem’s sake; they have made void Your law.’” etc. — da oraitha de`atika/ this is the Torah of the Ancient of Days, etc. printed in the first book [Likutei Moharan] on daf 157 [#60], where he explains at the end of the essay a little of the matter of story tales, that via story tales of the true Tzaddik, people are awoken from sleep who are sunk in sleep and who slumber through their years etc., see there; and [that] there are tales that are within [the context of human experience and] years, and there are stories of “Ancient Character” which have the character of the `Atik/ the Ancient of Days etc. Take a good look there and understand and be enlightened a little from what has gone forth, how far the words of these stories reach, and what his holy intention was in them. And in truth in these stories there is very, very great arousal to Hashem Yithbarakh in most places, even according to their simple meaning, aside from the hidden things, because they are all awesome secrets and they have great power to awaken everyone to Hashem Yithbarakh. Chazak/Be strong!

Second Preface[edit]

While we were involved in the first printing of the stories, a voice of tumult we did hear, saying it is not proper to print such story tales. And to repeat their words would be only superfluous, for did we not preempt [this] in the [previous] preface with the words of Rabbeinu of blessed memory, who said that his will was to print story tales, and, “What can the world say about this, for are they anyway not wonderful story tales?” And already many, many story tales have been printed in the world, too many to count, and nobody opens his mouth chirping. Especially since most of the stories of our Admor of blessed memory tell explicitly of very wonderful arousal of mussar, for example the tale of the Prayer Leader, and the tale of the Seven Beggars. Similarly in most stories we find in them explicitly words of wisdom and mussar aside from the hidden things in them, and similarly with several stories there have already been printed remarks and small portions of wonderful and awesome clues that Rabbeinu z"l himself revealed, as explained above. On top of all this, I have decided to make a few more notes [as to] how far the stories hint, according to my frail knowledge, and whoever wishes to add, let him add.

It is known in all the books of the Zohar and the Tikkunim and in all the writings of the Ari ztz"l that “the king’s daughter” is an alias for the Shekhinah/ Divine presence and the assembly of Yisrael, as it were, and permission to speak in these terms has already been given to us from the forerunners before us, from whose mouths we receive life. And also Dawidh haMelekh a"h and Shelomoh his son used these terms very much, as it is written, “Kol kevudah bath melekh penimah/ All-glorious is the King’s Daughter, who is within” [Ps. 45:13], and many other such cases. And the whole book of Song of Songs which is holy of holies, which the whole world is not worthy of, is founded on this sod [secret or hidden meaning]. And all the writings of the Ari z"l and the books of the Zohar are filled with this, as explained there, “He who slays the serpent is given the king’s daughter, which is prayer.” And in particular in the discourse of Saba deMishpatim [The Old Man in Parashath Mishpatim], where he tells of “`ulimtha shapirtha deleith lah `einin/ the beautiful maiden who has no eyes,” and many such instances, too numerous to count. And in the Yehi ratzon/ May-it-be-Your-will recited before Tehilim/ Psalms: “...and to join the bride of youth with her lover” etc. And likewise in the Leshem yichud/ For-the-sake-of-the-unification before laying tefillin that is printed in Sha`arei Tziyon, we say “the groom” etc., see there.

And whoever looks a little in the writings of the Ari ztz"l will see there explicitly the whole foundation of the kabbalah is in this way, to unite the aspect of the groom and bride, male and female. And all the holy names and sefirot and all the devolution of the worlds are explained there according to the likeness and image of the male profile, etc.; and explained there in detail are all their limbs and all the matters of unification, relations, impregnation, birth, nursing, and growth of a baby [lit. “little one”] and a baby girl until they become grown etc. etc.. And this is explained in great detail throughout the `Etz Chayim and the Peri `Etz Chayim. And also the Idra Raba to [Zohar] Nasso and Ha'azinu speaks by this way of remez. And also the whole book of Shir HaShirim/ Song of Songs is full of this, as it specifies all the limbs of the groom as the bride praises him, and likewise specifies the members of the bride as the groom praises her. And also our Rabbis obm in the Midrashim likened mathan Torah/ the giving of the Torah to a wedding, as they said, “beyom chathunotho/ on the day of his espousals [Song 3:11] — this is mathan Torah” etc., and they said regarding the verse, “Likrath ha'Elohim/ to meet God [Ex. 19:17] — like a groom going out to meet his bride,” since the holy Shabbath is called kalah/ bride and malketha/ queen, as it is written, “Lekha dodi likrath kalah... Bo'i kala/ Go, my Beloved, to greet the Bride... Enter, Bride” etc. So it is evident that all our Rabbis obm called the inclusion and the connection of the worlds into their root, by the terminology of groom and bride, for in the image of God He made man, and all the limbs of the male and female are all the image of God, as written, “wayivra Elohim eth ha'adam betzalmo, betzelem Elohim bara otho, zakhar unkevah bara otham/ And God created the man in His image; in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them” [Gen. 1:27]. And as we say in the benediction at a marriage, “asher bara eth ha'adam betzalmo, betzelem demuth tavnitho, vehithkin mimenu binyan `adei `ad/ Who has created the man in His image, in the image of likeness of His construction, and established from him an everlasting construction,” etc. Because the man — האיש והאשה, ha'iYsh veha'ishaH/ the man and the woman — are an actual piece of God on high, and in them are included the Shem Havayah [Y-H-V-H] Barukh Hu, and if they merit, the Shekhinah dwells amidst them, for he has the Yud and she has the Hei, and all these are simple things and evident to everyone, and already the early ones have used these terms to describe Yisrael’s drawing near to their Father in Heaven in terms of the connection of man and wife, because all our work, in its upper root, alludes to the joining of the Supernal Groom and Bride which is the aspect of yichud Kudsha Berikh Hu uSh'khinteh as all the books of the holy Zohar and the writings of the Ari z"l are full of this, and also on Tish`a be'Av in the kinoth that we lament on the exile of the Shekhinah and kenesseth Yisrael, we say, “Then when [Yirmiyahu] went... he found a beautiful woman, disgraced.”[30] And similarly in the tikkun-prayer of the three night-watches which is from the Zohar Chadash, there similar terms are used, "like a woman keening over her husband" etc., see there.

From all this, and more than this, it is evident to the eyes the exile of the Shekhinah and assembly of Yisrael is an aspect of the loss of the King’s Daughter and her estrangement from her Lover etc. And look in the book of the Bahir [and] in the sections omitted from the Zohar on Bereishith for what is written there regarding, “Come my beloved, let us go out to the field,” etc.: a parable of a king who was sitting in rooms within rooms etc. and she was both wed and given to him as a present, and sometimes out of love he calls her “my sister,” because he is from the same place, and sometimes he calls her “my daughter,” because she is his daughter, and sometimes he calls her “my mother,” and thus our Rabbis obm said regarding the verse, “...upon the crown with which his mother crowned him...”[31] — he loved loved her to the point that he called her “my daughter” etc., and similarly throughout the book of Proverbs he calls the faith and the holy Torah by the name “good woman, woman of valor” and the deceitful beliefs and apostasy by the name “evil woman, promiscuous woman,” as explained in Rashi’s commentary and all the words of our Rabbis obm. And there has already been printed the story of the Baal Shem Tov obm, at the end of the book Toledoth Ya`akov Yosef, of the trader and his wife who were at sea, etc., which is founded on this predicate that the “woman who fears Hashem” is the assembly of Yisrael.

Now that Hashem has informed us of all this, through our early prophets and tzaddikim and sages, according to these words the understanding reader who wants to gaze into these stories with the honest eye for its own sake can easily understand and be enlightened by them, to find wonderful awesome things. And even if it is indeed impossible to reach their character, to understand the story’s connection from beginning to end, nevertheless he will understand a little bit of them and it will please his soul greatly.

And behold, the first story...[edit]

And behold, the first story, of the king’s daughter who was lost — it is clear that this is the sod/secret of the Shekhinah/ Divine Presence in exile. Because the exile of the Shekhinah began before the creation the world, in the secret of “the breaking of the vessels,” in the secret of “and these are the kings that reigned” etc. [Gen. 36:31]. And as soon as Adam the first man was created he needed to repair this, to raise up all the worlds to their place, to reveal His blessed kingship, immediately at the time of creation of the world, just as His kingship will soon be revealed at the coming of our Mashiach; may he come speedily in our days. However he was not vigilant against eating from the Tree of Knowledge and so forth, which corresponds to what is written in this story, that the viceroy [lit. second in the kingship] did not stand up to his test and ate the apple, and through this he damaged all the worlds, and the Shekhinah again fell down and descended amongst the Sitra Achra/ Other Side, as is known. And afterwards Noach came, and he wanted to repair; but he did not repair, because he drank and got drunk, in the secret of, “And he drank of the wine, and was drunken” etc. [Gen. 9:21]; as taught in the [kabbalistic] books, that this is the aspect of “what is man” etc. [Ps. 8:4], his having not withstood his trial and having drank from the wine, as it is written there. And from then onwards, all the tzaddikim in all the generations have been involved in this repair, until our Mashiach comes, soon in our days, when the repair will be complete.

And this story is about every man and at all times, for even in each individual man almost this whole entire story passes over him, for each member of Yisrael needs to be involved in this repair, to raise the Shekhinah from the exile, “le'ukma shekhintha me`afra/ to raise the Shekhinah out of the dirt,” to take the malkhuth dikdushah/ kingship of holiness out from amongst the idolaters and the Sitra Achra where it has been going around. For this is the secret of all our work and all the mitzvot, good deeds and Torah occupation that we do all the days of our lives, which are all founded on this pole, as explained in the [kabbalistic] writings. And even completely simple people and the masses who do not know their right and left, nonetheless they too if they are privileged to go on the straight path according to their determination, namely to shun evil and do good — because even a completely simple person knows that the Torah forbade, and if his eyes look straight ahead to shun evil and choose good — then all the repairs in the upper worlds are accomplished automatically through him, and he merits to establish the Shekhinah from its fall, in proportion with how much he merits to sanctify and purify himself.

Hence each member of Yisrael is involved in seeking and asking for the King’s Daughter, to return her to her Father so that she may return to Him as in her youth in the secret of [Lev. 22:13], “and is returned to her father’s house as in her youth; she may eat of her father’s bread.” For Yisrael as a whole are an aspect of the viceroy, because they rule over the world: just as He revives the dead and heals the sick, so do Yisrael; as they said, “Do not read it `ami/ My people but `imi/ with Me [Isa. 51:16]: ‘Just as I created the heavens and earth with my speech, so do you’” etc.; and there are many more of the like. And each person, to the extent that he merits to delve into His service, whereby he delves as it were in seeking and requesting the Shekhinah and the assembly of Yisrael, to take it out from the exile, to that extent it — as it were, the Shekhinah — is revealed to him, as it were, from out of the grip of its exile, and hides and conceals itself and comes to him in secret and reveals to him its place and dwelling and what to do for it so that he be privileged to find it. [Which] this corresponds to the king’s daughter’s revealing to the viceroy by what means he can take her out. And the means explained there are very explicitly clear according to their simple meaning (for so was the way of Rabbeinu z"l, in most of the stories, that within the connections of the stories he tells words of mussar in the simple sense, as will be clear to one who looks into them).

For, a person must choose for himself a place, and ordain for himself repentance and fasting, and constantly yearn and constantly long for Him, Blessed-be-He, that he be privileged to recognize Him; that His kingship be revealed in the world; “and let every [man who has been] made know that it is You who have made him, and let every [man who has been] formed know that it is You who have formed him, and let all that has breath in its nose say, ‘...And His kingship rules over all,’” which is the main point of erecting the Shekhinah out of the exile, when people merit to recognize His kingship in complete faith in truth, and everyone knows Him, Blessed-be-He, from little to great, “and the kingship will be Hashem’s” etc. And when a man begins to delve in this and chooses for himself a place to be alone [in meditation and conversation with God, hithbodeduth] and delve in the service of Hashem and hope and long for Him, Blessed-be-He, and sometimes merits that it continues for some time — then however when he is very close to arrive at his request, that a revelation of His kingship, Blessed-be-He, be revealed to him according to his station — then on the last day a test is summoned for him according to his station, and then on that day upon which everything depends, then the Prosecutor with all his forces fortifies himself against him in a very great surge, and enters into discussion with him and draws him to himself, and he sees that “it is a delight to the eyes, and desirable” etc. [Gen. 3] and he takes from the fruit and eats, God forbid, and he does not withstand his test in which he is required to be tried and purified then at that time. And then sleep immediately falls upon him, and sleep is the absence of the brains, when his mind and wisdom are removed from him, which enlighten his face, in the secret of “and his face fell,” and it is written, “Why is your face fallen?” [Gen. 4:5]. Look regarding this at the lesson which begins “Pathach Rabbi Shim`on” [#60 in Likutei Moharan]. There it speaks of this, that through the blemish of the craving of eating, a person loses his face which is the intellect, and then he falls into the aspect of sleep; take a good look there and you will understand, for there it speaks at length concerning story tales, through which people are awakened from sleep; see there.

And at these times, when a man is in the aspect of sleep, God forbid, what happens to him happens, which corresponds to all the troops who passed over the viceroy when he was asleep. And later he woke up and became aware that he slept so long, and he went again to the place of the king’s daughter, and she informed him how much pity there is upon him and her, that because of one day he lost what he lost, and she lightened the prohibition for him, that he need not fast, but only refrain from drinking wine, so that he should not come to sleep. And he again yearned for some long time in service of Hashem in order to take out the king’s daughter, but on the last day also did not endure the easier test, for he saw a spring of wine and inclined himself and began to be drawn to it and said to the attendant, “Have you seen? This is a spring, and how does wine come here!?” — and meanwhile he went and took a little and tasted from the wine and immediately sleep fell upon him and he slept very long. For so is the way of the Prosecutor and the cravings: when he wants to incite a kosher man who wants to distance himself from the cravings, that is when he inclines him little by little so that he should wonder and be amazed in his mind at the interest of the thing that he craves after, and as soon as he enters into discussion over the object of desire, the Prosecutor prevails over him until he makes him stumble in it, as explained in the Torah regarding the Tree of Knowledge, how the serpent spoke with the woman, “Did God verily say...? And she saw the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes etc.” Look and you will find that this is the matter in all the cravings and trials.

And whoever is truly intelligent and has mercy on his soul in truth, to rescue his soul from destruction, and wants to endure the trial — he needs to overcome will all his valor, to distract himself completely and not enter into arguments and counterarguments with the cravings at all, and not speak of, contemplate, wonder at, or be amazed at them at all, and his ideas should not alarm him at all, as written in the Alef-Beth Book [aka Sefer HaMidoth], “Do not enter in to argument and counterargument with those who wish to fool you” etc., see there, but just to divert his attention from them completely and make his mind clear with words of Torah or commerce or conversation and so forth, until he escapes from what needs to escape from. And later, such thoughts and ideas return and arise to him, and he needs to again prevail over them, distracting his mind from them, and to do this many, many times; and he needs to be very stubborn until he wins the war.

And behold, since the second time too he did not endure the test and tasted from the wine, again a long sleep fell on him and he slept very long, namely seventy years. And the concept of sleeping the whole seventy years is clear from the instruction-lesson Pathach Rabbi Shim`on/ Rabbi Shim`on in the chapter #60 mentioned above, that there are people who fall away from all the seventy faces of the Torah, which correspond to seventy years, etc. — see there; that it is impossible to arouse and awaken them except via story tales of Ancient Years etc.; take a good look there.

And the king’s daughter, who is the root of this soul, when she passes by him and sees him fall into sleep many days and years, such a long time, she weeps very much, because there is great pity on him and on her, and then she let him know her place, that now she is not in the first place but in a different place, namely on a golden mountain etc. And the hint is clear, that even though he did what he did and fell how he fell such a very long time, nonetheless the Shekhinah arouses him each time, and each time hints to him new advices how he should seek and ask for the root of his holiness, which corresponds to the king’s daughter.

And this viceroy, even though he did not endure the test two times and fell into so much sleep and all that passed over him passed over, and after such hard and extraordinary toils, travels, travails and afflictions that had passed upon him in order to find the king’s daughter, and then because of one day lost everything — and so he stumbled two times, as mentioned — despite this he did not let himself despair altogether, God forbid, but only went to seek and request the golden mountain and the castle. And after he had many more hard toils and travels and sought the mountain and castle, he found a giant man with a big tree, etc. and this man dissuaded him that surely the mountain and castle do not exist, and wanted to incite him and dissuade him so that he should go back. But the viceroy did not listen to the obstacles and discouragements and said that the mountain and castle surely exist, until the big man was forced to call and assemble all the animals etc., but they all answered that it does not exist. And then he (the big man to the viceroy) said, “Look and see with your eyes that it does not exist; and for what do you exert so much for nothing? If you will listen to my words, go back.” But he did not pay attention to this and said that it surely exists, and then the big man answered him that he should go to his brother who is appointed over the birds, and he went and exerted himself and sought him until he found him. And then the second one also dissuaded him and incited him to return, that the mountain and castle surely do not exist. But he did not listen to his words of dissuasion either, and the second one was forced to call and assemble all the birds, but they all answered that the mountain and castle do not exist in the world. And then this second one told him similarly, “See with your eyes that you toil for nothing. Go back.” But he did not give ear to the words of the second one either, and said that he was strong in his faith that it surely exists. And then the second one informed him that he should go to his brother who was appointed over the winds. And this one also dissuaded him very much, as before, and afterwards called and assembled all the winds and they all replied that it does not exist. And then this third one said to him, “Now look and see that you have toiled for nothing, because you will certainly no longer find it. Go back.” And then he saw that all the ends had been exhausted, and he did not know whether to veer right or left, in order to find her, but in himself he was strong in his mind that the mountain and castle certainly exist, where the king’s daughter was captured, and then out of his great pain and bitterness of heart he began to cry very much, and at that moment Hashem Yithbarakh had compassion on him and at the same time another wind came and informed him that it itself had carried the king’s daughter to the mountain and castle. And then he gave him a vessel from which he would get money, that he would not have hindrance due to money, and then he went there and made effort with strategies until he took her out. Fortunate is he!

And whoever reads this with an honest eye will thoroughly understand just how much a person needs to make himself valiant in the service of Hashem, and how and to what extent he needs to be very stubborn in service of Hashem: without bounds, limit, and number, each and every man according to his level and his ascents and declines, and even if what has happened with him has happened. See and understand and inspect this story, how much effort the viceroy exerted and how many travails he toiled and then fell very low by not enduring the easy test two times, until he fell into the aspect of sleep many, many years, until he pertained to the slumber of the whole seventy years, as mentioned. But despite this he did not despair, and he made these toils afterwards and did not listen to any obstacle or discouragement which they wanted to dissuade him to not seek and request her any more. And the more he strengthened himself and did not listen to the voice of dissuasions of those people, immediately it turned around, that those people were of help, for each one assembled for him the animals or the birds that he was appointed over, and if afterwards they again dissuaded him and said to him, “See, it does not exist,” and despite this he did not listen to their dissuasions, then they assisted him and each one informed him of his brother, until he came to this one who was appointee over the winds, through whom he arrived at his object of request. And this one too dissuaded him extremely much, but since he was strong in his mind and never did despair in any case, then within an easy moment the thing reversed, and the obstacles were reversed to assistances and salvations, and one wind came and informed him that he had personally carried the king’s daughter to the mountain and castle, and afterwards this very wind carried him there too, as mentioned.

See, understand and gaze on each detail of the story and understand clues and wonderful arousal, how much one needs to strengthen himself to seek, look for and request the service of Hashem constantly, as written, “Bakeshu panaw tamid/ Seek His face always” [Ps. 105:4], etc. for if indeed the essence of the story is beyond our knowledge and we do not know at all what are the golden mountain with the castle of pearls and so forth, or the rest of the concepts whether in general or in particular — nonetheless all the clues are true and made clear to an honest eye within the story, and more clues and wonderful arousals beyond these can each person get out of them if he desires. “The wise man will listen, and increase learning” [Prov. 1:5]. And similarly in the rest of the stories. (The concept of the golden mountain with the castle of pearls hints to a wonderful affluence on the side of holiness, which one needs for [a certain level of] contemplation of Torah etc. as explained in the lesson Pathach Rabbi Shim`on, #60 in Likutei Moharan; take a very good look there, for this lesson is an explanation of this story, as we understood from him z"l).

Let us go from one topic to the next and give a little attention to the story of the Sophisticate and the Simpleton [#9]. There you will see the point a bit clarified in that story, that the main purpose is to go in simplicity without any sophistries, so take a good look there at each and every utterance and find wonderful clues for strengthening yourself in the ways of simplicity, which is the main goodly purpose even in this world; all the more so in the coming world.

And similarly in the story of the Exchanged Sons [#11] and in the story of the Prayer Leader [#12], and beyond so and all the more so in the story of the Seven Beggars [#13], that by each and every of the seven, wonderful and awesome mussar beyond compare are elucidated, for each one glories in how superbly far he is from this world in the uttermost, for this one glories that he is completely blind to this world and does not look at this world at all, for the whole world does not count by him as much as an eyeblink and so forth; and the deaf one glories in that he is completely deaf to hearing any sounds of this world, which are all due to things that are lacking, for the whole world is not worth hearing the sounds of its lackings and so forth; and one glories that he does not speak any utterance that does not praise Hashem Yithbarakh, and therefore he was completely mute from the speech of this world; and similarly one glories that he does not want to spend any breath on this world, and similarly the rest; take a good look there and if you will look with an honest eye you will stand still, quake and be dumbfounded and see the wonderful marvel of the mussar and the awesome arousal to Hashem Yithbarakh in this story which is beyond compare.

And see our words in the book Likutei Halakhoth in several places for what Hashem has shined on my eyes and various clues to several of the stories. See Hilkhoth Tefillin/ laws of tefillin in relation to the story of the Seven Beggars: The first [beggar] who was blind [corresponds to a level beyond the eight partitions of the tefillin], etc.; see there in Hilkhoth Birkhoth Hashachar/ laws of morning blessings in relation to the story of the Exchanged Sons; and in Hilkhoth Tefilah/ laws of prayer in relation to the story of the Prayer Leader; and in Yoreh De`ah in Hilkhoth Tola`yim/ laws regarding worms in relation to the story of the Sixth Beggar who had no hands who tells the story of the king’s daughter who fled to the castle of water and so forth; and in Even ha`Ezer in Hilkhoth [P"U] Ishuth/ laws regarding marriage in relation to that story, regarding that it is written there that the healing of the king’s daughter is through ten kinds of music; and several other places. See there and find satisfaction with the help of Hashem Yithbarakh. And look in Hilkhoth Nedarim/ laws of vows in relation to the story of the Fourth Bay regarding the two birds; and in Hilkhoth Tzedakah/ laws of charity in relation to the story of the Third Day regarding the mute one and the spring that is above time and the heart of the world. May Hashem Yithbarakh show us the wonders of His Torah, that we may be privileged to continue to perceive true hints in all the stories and talk which we have been privileged to hear from this light.

Zoth Matzanu/This We Found[edit]

This we found in a sack of writings and its subject is an explanation of him [Rabbi Nathan] — of blessed memory — having written story tales in such common language, and here it is:

[Rabbi Nathan wrote:] Furthermore I saw fit to alert the hearts of the readers of this book of tales, that they should not grudge him [Rabbi Nachman] that sometimes crude expressions come from his mouth in the book of Story Tales, for instance, “and he got upset at her” [lit. and he became in anger at her] in the first story, and, “he started drinking” [lit. he took himself to the drink] in the story of the exchanged children, and more in other places. Let them just judge him favorably, for this was “like an error that proceeds from a ruler” [Eccl. 10:5] under great necessity because... (up to here is what we have found, and I have copied his words, obm, letter for letter):

And behold, it is plainly clear that his holy desire was to write a reason for this, but apparently he stopped in the middle due to some force, and we were never again privileged that Hashem Yithbarakh cause things to happen that he should write it himself. Praise God that we have been privileged in His great mercies that these words have been written, because for each and every utterance that he wanted to write so that it be revealed in the world, there were many obstacles against them, and because of this he was very, very rushed in his writing, as we saw with our eyes, for he was accustomed to always tells us that if he did not hurry himself to break the obstacles and write immediately, he did not know if more will be written, due to several reasons held secret by him. And now since I have heard an expression of intention from him z"l that his desire when they be printed again was to write a reason for this, I decided not to hide from print one of the many reasons that were hidden and held secret by him z"l, and this is what I heard from him z"l: That our lord, master and rebbe, Moharan, memory of the righteous and holy bring blessing, told the stories in the Yiddish that was customary in our country, and our master the rav Rabbi Nathan ztz"l the chief of his dear disciples z"l copied them in the holy tongue [Hebrew] and brought himself down intentionally into simple language in order that the concepts not deviate, for those who read them in the holy tongue, away from what he z"l told in the Yiddish that was customary among us. And this is the reason why we hear from his holy tongue such simple language as this in several places. This reason is according to what I heard from him z"l, according to the simple meaning, aside from him having secret reasons which I was not privileged to hear from him z"l. And it is proper to believe that he had additional, secret reasons, for it is known from his holy books that he was superbly eloquent, yet here he brought himself down to simple language; therefore it is proper to believe that he had a profound intention in this; and a man of faith will abound with blessings[32], Amen, so be His will.


  1. An acrostic for NaChMaN found in Prov. 18:4; see Chayei Moharan #189
  2. פוק חזי גבורתא דמריך, puq chazi gevurta d'mareikh, Bava Batra 73a
  3. kayom hazeh, Deut. 2:30, 4:20; I Kings 3:6, 8:24; Jer. 32:20, and many others
  4. `olam shekulo arokh, "the day that is entirely (i.e. truly) long," Chullin 142a; Mishneh Torah: Teshuvah 8
  5. Ezra 9:9
  6. Prov. 10:25
  7. Isa 42:9
  8. Lam. 3:22
  9. Isa. 12:3
  10. דברים שהן כבשונו של עולם, Chagiga 13a
  11. qedoshei `elyon
  12. מחצדי חקלא, mechatzdei chaqla, Zohar
  13. Num. 23:23 and Rashi there
  14. This is Eccl. 6:10, but with "shehu" instead of "asher hu."
  15. II Sam. 7:19
  16. Eccl. 12:13, the end of the last verse of Kohelet
  17. ve'yismechu, ve'yesharim ya`alozu, a phrase from Yamim Nora'im prayers
  18. cf. Gen. 44
  19. Ruth 4:7
  20. Ps. 4:7
  21. Eccl. 7:24 רָחוֹק, מַה-שֶּׁהָיָה; וְעָמֹק עָמֹק, מִי יִמְצָאֶנּוּ.
  22. Isa. 33:18
  23. Ps. 121:1
  24. Isa. 33:14
  25. Lam. 3:41
  26. Ps. 31:5
  27. Isa. 33:20
  28. ibid :17
  29. Isa. 23:18
  30. from the Kinot for the Ninth of Av:אז במלאת ספק יפה כתרצה, הן אראלם צעקו חוצה, בן חלקיהו מארמון כיצא, אישה יפת תואר מנוולת מצא... ; see Jer. 15:9
  31. Eccl. 3:11
  32. Prov. 28:22

Tale 1: The Lost Princess[edit]

On the way[1]I told [such] a story that whoever heard it had a thought of teshuvah, return. And this is the story.

[The Princess Is Lost][edit]

Once, there was a king. The king had six sons and one daughter. The daughter was very dear to him, and he would cherish (in other words, love) her exceedingly and play with her very much.

One time, while he was together with her on a certain day he became angry with her and the words, "Let the Not-Good take you away!" escaped from his mouth. At night she went to her room; in the morning no one knew where she was. Her father (the king) was very afflicted and went here and there looking for her. The viceroy [lit. second in kingship] arose because he saw the king was very distressed, and asked to be given an attendant, a horse and money for expenses, and he went to search for her. He searched hard for her, for a very long time, until he found her. (Now he tells how he searched for her until he found her.)

[The Viceroy Seeks Her a Long Time, Until He Finds Her][edit]

He went a long time, in deserts, fields and forests, and was seeking her quite a long time. He was going around in desert area and saw a way from the side. He decided, "Since I have been going for such a long time in the wilderness and cannot find her, I will follow this path; maybe I will reach a settled area." He went for a long time.

Later on he saw a castle and many soldiers standing around it. The castle was very beautiful, with the soldiers standing around it in fine order. He was afraid of the soldiers lest they not let him enter. He decided, "I will go and try," and he left the horse and went to the castle. They let him [enter], and did not hinder him at all, so he went from room to room, and they did not stop him. He came to a palace and saw the king sitting there with a crown and many soldiers standing around him. And many were playing on instruments for him and it was very pleasant and beautiful there. And [neither] the king nor any of them asked the viceroy a thing. And he saw there delicacies and good foods, and he went and ate, and went and lay down in a corner to see what would be done there.

He saw that the king called for the queen to be brought, and they went to bring her. And there was a great commotion and a great celebration, and the musicians played and sang vigorously because they were bringing the queen. And they placed a throne for her and seated her next to him. And she was the king's daughter, and he (the viceroy) saw her and recognized her. Later, the queen glanced and saw someone lying in a corner. She recognized him and rose from her throne, went to him, touched him and asked him, "Do you recognize me?" And he answered her, "Yes, I know you. You are the king's daughter who was lost."

[The Princess's Advice; the Viceroy Fails][edit]

He asked her, "How is it that you've come here?" She answered him: because that utterance slipped out from her father (namely, that "the Not-Good should take you"), and here, this is the place that is Not-Good." He told her that her father was very distressed, and that he had been searching for many years. And he asked her, "How can I take you out?" She answered him, "You cannot take me out unless you choose for yourself a place and remain there for one year; and the entire year you must yearn for me, to take me out; and whenever you have free time you must only yearn, ask and hope expectantly to take me out, and you must fast. And on the last day of the year you must fast and you must not sleep the entire twenty-four hour period [lit. from period to period]." He went and did so, and at the end of the year on the last day he fasted and did not sleep, and he arose and went there (that is, to the king's daughter, to take her out). He beheld a tree; on this tree grew very beautiful apples. He had a big craving for it and he went and ate from them. As soon as he ate the apple, he fell down and sleep overtook him, and he slept a very long time. His attendant tried to wake him, but he could not be awakened at all.

Later he awoke from his sleep and asked the attendant, "Where am I in the world?" He [the attendant] told him the whole story. "You have been sleeping a very long time. It is already several years. And I have sustained myself from the fruit." He [the viceroy] agonized very much, and went there and found her there (that is, the king's daughter). She lamented to him very much. "If you would have just come on that day you would have taken me out of here, and because of one day you lost. (In other words, because you could not restrain yourself one day and you ate the apple, because of that you lost.) In truth, not to eat is a very difficult thing, especially on the last day, when the evil inclination becomes very strong. (That is, the king's daughter said to him that now she would make the prohibition more lenient, and he would not be forbidden to eat, because it is a hard thing to abide by, etc.) Therefore choose for yourself a place again, and also stay there a year, as before, and on the last day you will be permitted to eat — only, do not sleep, and do not drink wine so that you will not sleep, because the main thing is sleep." He went and did so.

On the last day he was going there, and he saw a running spring, and its color was red and the smell was of wine. He asked the servant, "Have you seen? This is a spring, and there ought to be water in it, but its color is red and the smell is of wine!" And he went and tasted from the spring. He immediately fell down and slept many years, until seventy years. There were many troops going along, with their trains that follow behind them, and the servant hid himself because of the soldiers. After that went a carriage and covered wagons, and there sat the king's daughter. She stood next to him, went down and sat next to him and recognized him. And she tried very much to wake him, but he could not be woken. She started to lament over him, that "so many, so many great efforts and toils you tortuously made these many, many years in order to take me out, and for one day, when you could have taken me out, you completely lost," and she cried very much about this. She said, "It is a great pity on you and on me, that I am here such a long time and cannot go out," etc. Afterwards she took the scarf off her head, and wrote on it with her tears and laid it down next to him, and stood up and sat in her carriage and rode away.

[The Princess's Lament; How She Can Yet Be Found][edit]

Afterwards he awoke and asked the attendant, "Where am I in the world?" He told him the whole story, and that many troops passed through there, and that the carriage was here, and that she [the king's daughter] screamed, "It is a great pity on you and on me" etc. as before. Meanwhile, he glanced and noticed the scarf lying next to him. He asked, "Who is this from?" He answered him, "She left it behind and wrote on it with her tears." He took the scarf and raised it up against the sun and began to see the letters. He read what was written there: her lamentation and her cries, as mentioned; and (it was written there) that now, she is no longer in the castle; he should just search for a golden mountain and a pearl castle; "There, you will find me." He left the attendant behind and went alone to seek her. And he went and sought her for many years. He decided that in a settled area there cannot be a golden mountain and a pearl castle, because he was an expert in the world map [which is called kroinikes/a chronicle]. "Therefore I will go in the deserts." He went searching for her in deserts for many years.

Afterwards he noticed a very large man whose largeness was beyond human bounds and he was carrying a large tree, so large that in a settled area such a large tree would not exist, and he [the giant] asked him, "Who are you?" He answered him, "I am a man." He was amazed and said, "I have been in the wilderness such a long time now, and I have never seen a man." He told him the whole story mentioned above and that he's looking for a golden mountain and a pearl castle. He replied to him, "It certainly does not exist." And he dissuaded him and said to him, "They have convinced you with nonsense, because it certainly does not exist." He started to weep very much (the viceroy cried very much and said), "With certainty it does exist, in some place." But he dissuaded him and said, "Certainly they have convinced you with nonsense." He said, "Certainly it exists somewhere!" He said to him, "In my opinion it is nonsense, but because you are so stubborn, look — I am the appointee over all the animals. I will act for your sake and summon all the animals. Since they run all over the world, maybe one of them will know of that mountain and that castle." He summoned all the animals from small to large, all sorts of animals, and asked them. They all replied that they had not seen. He said to him, "See, they have talked nonsense into you. If you want to listen to me, turn back, because certainly you will not find [it], because it does not exist in the world." But he pressed him very much and said, "It must surely indeed be!" He said to him, "Look, I have a brother in the wilderness and he is the appointee over all the birds. Maybe they will know, since they fly high in the air. Maybe they have seen this mountain and the castle. Go to him, and tell him that I've sent you to him."

He went many, many years seeking him [the appointee over the animals] and again found a very large man, as before, and he also carried a large tree and also questioned him as before. He answered him with the whole story and that his brother had sent him to him, and he too dissuaded him [the viceroy] since, "This certainly does not exist;" and the viceroy also disputed with him, "It certainly does exist!" He told him (this man told the viceroy), "I am the appointee over all the birds; I will summon them; maybe they will know." He called up all the birds and asked all of them, from small to large. They answered him that they do not know of the mountain and the castle. He told him, "Don't you see it is certainly not here in the world? If you will listen to me, turn back, because it certainly is not here." And he pressed him and said, "It certainly is here in the world!" He told him, "Further in the wilderness is my brother; he is appointee over all the winds and they run over the whole world; perhaps they know."

He went many, many years seeking him and again found a large man, as before, who was also carrying a large tree and also questioned him, as before. He also answered him with the whole story, as before. He also dissuaded him, and the viceroy implored him likewise. He said to him (this third man to the viceroy) that he would act for his sake and summon the winds and ask them. He called them and all the winds came and he asked all of them. Not one of them knew of the mountain and the castle. He said to him (the third man to the viceroy), "Don't you see that you have been told nonsense?" The viceroy began to cry very much and said, "I know it surely does exist!"

Just then, he saw that another wind had arrived. The appointee became angry with him. "Why have you so delayed in coming? Didn't I decree that all the winds should come? Why didn't you come with them?!" He answered him, "I was delayed because I had to carry a king's daughter to a golden mountain with a pearl castle." He was overjoyed (the viceroy was very happy that he now merited hearing what he desired.) The appointee asked the wind, "What is valuable there?" (That is, "What things are precious and important there?") He said to him, "There, everything is very dear."

The appointee over the winds replied to the viceroy, "Since it is such a long time that you have been searching for her, and you have spent so much effort, and perhaps you will now have a hindrance due to money, therefore I will give you a vessel, [such] that when you put your hand into it, you will get money from there." And he summoned the wind to carry him there. The storm wind came and carried him there and brought him to the gate, and standing there were soldiers who did not let him enter the city. He put his hand into the vessel and took out money and bribed them and went into the city. It was a beautiful city. And he went to a man of means and rented food and lodging for himself, for one must remain there, for one needs to see with wisdom and intellect in order to take her out. (And how he took her out, he did not tell.) (But) in the end, he took her out. Amen, Selah.

Tale 2: The Emperor and the King[edit]


Tale 2: The Emperor and the King[edit]

[Introduction; the Betrothal][edit]

A tale. Once there was an emperor [keisar, Caesar]. The emperor had no children. And there was also one king; the king also had no children. The emperor let himself wander the earth searching: perhaps he would find some solution or treatment so that he would have children. The king also let himself travel the world. The two of them came together at one inn and they did not recognize each other. The emperor recognized in the king that he had royal mannerisms and he asked him, and he acknowledged to him that he was a king. The king also recognized in the emperor that he had royal customs, and he also acknowledged it to him. They told each other that they were traveling for children. They enacted between them that if they would come home and their wives would bear one a boy and one a girl, they would match them. The emperor traveled home and had a daughter and the king traveled home and had a son — and the match was forgotten by them. The emperor sent his daughter to study. The king also sent his son to study. They both arrived at the same teacher; they liked each other very much. They agreed between themselves to marry each other. The prince took a ring and placed it on her hand; they were espoused.

[The Separation][edit]

Afterwards, the emperor sent for his daughter and brought her home. The king also sent for his son and also brought him home. Matches were suggested for the emperor’s daughter, but she was not interested in any match on account of the bond she had already made with the king’s son. The king’s son yearned for her greatly, and the emperor’s daughter was also constantly sad. The emperor would walk her through his courtyards and palace, showing her her greatness, but she was always sad. The king’s son yearned for her so much that he became ill, and no matter how much he was asked, "Why are you ill?" he did not want to say. They asked the one who served him, "Maybe you can clarify by him?" He answered them, "I know," because the one who served him was with him there where he learned. He told them (that is, the servant told them why he was sick). The king remembered that he had already long ago made a match with the emperor, so he went and wrote to the emperor that he should prepare himself for the wedding, for the match had indeed been made long ago, as mentioned. And the emperor no longer wanted the match, but he could not brazenly refuse. The emperor wrote that the king should send his son to him, in order for him to see if he could rule countries; then he would give him his daughter. The king sent his son to him. The emperor sat him down in a room and gave him papers of government matters in order to see if he could lead a country. The king’s son was deeply yearning to see her, but he could not see her.

[The Elopement][edit]

Once time, while he was walking along a wall of mirror, he saw her and fainted. She came to him and roused him, and she told him that she does not want any other match because of the bond she already had with him. He said to her, "What can we do? Your father does not want it." She said, "Nevertheless;" she would save herself just for him. Then they took counsel: they would let themselves go by sea. So they rented a ship and set out on the sea; they traveled on the sea. Afterwards they wanted to come ashore, and they came ashore. There was a forest there, and they went into it. The emperor’s daughter took the ring and gave it to him, and she lay down to sleep. Afterwards, the king’s son saw that she would soon get up, so he put the ring next to her. Then they went to the ship.

[The Couple Get Lost][edit]

Meanwhile, she remembered that they had forgotten the ring there, so she sent him after the ring. He went there, but could not find the place. He went further and still could not find the ring. He went seeking the ring from one place to another place, until he got lost and was unable to return. She went looking for him and she too got lost. He was going along and getting further and further astray. Then he saw a path and he entered a settled area. He had nothing to do, so he became a servant. She too went and got lost. She decided she would sit by the sea. She went to the shore of the sea, and there were fruit trees there. She settled there, and during the day she would go along the sea; perhaps she would find some passersby. And she sustained herself on the fruit, and at night she would climb up a tree to be protected from wild beasts.

[The Merchant’s Son Finds the Emperor’s Daughter][edit]

The day came to pass, when there was a big merchant — a very big merchant — who had commerce throughout the entire world. And he had an only son. And the merchant was now old. Once the son said to his father, "Being that you are already old and I am still very young and your trustees do not supervise me whatsoever, what will happen? — You will die, and I will be left alone; I will not at all know what to do. So give me a ship with wares so that I can set out to sea in order to be experienced in commerce." The father gave him a ship with wares, and he went to countries and sold the wares and purchased other wares and was very successful. While he was at sea he noticed the trees where the emperor’s daughter was dwelling. They thought that it was a settlement; they wanted to go there. When they came near, they saw that they were trees; they wanted to go back.

Meanwhile, the merchant’s son looked in the sea and saw a tree there upon which was the appearance of a human being. He thought that perhaps he was misleading himself, so he told the other men who were there. They too looked and also saw the appearance of a human on the tree. They decided to draw near there. They sent a man with a small boat, and they looked in the sea in order to guide the scout so that he could hit the tree. The emissary went there and saw that sitting there was a human, and he told them. He himself [the merchant’s son] went there and saw her sitting there (that is, the emperor’s daughter) and he told her to come down. She said to him that she does not want to enter the ship unless he promises that he will not touch her until he arrives home and marries her lawfully. He promised her, and she entered with him into the ship. He saw that she could play musical instruments and speak several languages, and he rejoiced that she chanced upon him.

Afterwards as they began drawing near his house she said to him that the proper thing would be that he goes home and informs his father, relatives, and good friends, that since he is bringing such a precious woman they should all come out to greet her, and after that he would know who she is. (Because previously she had also made a condition with him that he should not ask her who she is until after the wedding, at which time he would know who she is.) He agreed to this. Further she said to him, "The proper thing is also that you should inebriate all the mariners who operate the ship, to let them know that their merchant is getting wed with such a woman," and he accorded with her. So he took very fine wine that he had on board the ship and gave it to them; they got very drunk, and he went home to inform his father and friends. And the sailors were drunk and went out from the ship and they fell and lay drunk.

[The Emperor’s Daughter Flees From the Merchant’s Son][edit]

While they were preparing themselves to go greet her with the entire family, she went and untied the ship from the shore, spread the sails and was away with the ship. And the entire family came to the ship and found nothing. The merchant was enraged at his son, and the son cried out, "Believe me! I brought a ship with wares!" etc. — but they see nothing. He said to him, "Ask the sailors!" So he went to ask them, but they lay drunk. Afterwards the sailors got up, and he asked them, but they knew nothing at all about what happened to them. They only knew that they had brought a ship with all the aforementioned, but they don’t know where it is. The merchant was very angry at his son and banished the son from his home so that he should not appear before him. The son went away wandering about. And she (that is, the emperor’s daughter) was going on the sea.

[The King by the Sea Finds the Emperor’s Daughter][edit]

The day came to pass when there was a king who had built himself a palace by the sea, for it pleased him there because of the sea air and because the ships go there. And the emperor’s daughter was going on the sea and came near to this palace of the king. The king took a look and he saw the ship going without a crew and no one was there. He thought he was deceiving himself. He ordered his men to look, and they also saw. And she came closer to the palace. She decided: what does she need this palace for? — and she started to turn around. The king sent and brought her back [from her ship which she had turned around] and brought her into his home. Now, this king did not have any wife, because he could not choose for himself, because whoever he wanted did not want him and vice versa. When the emperor’s daughter came to him she told him to swear to her that he would not touch her until he legally marries her, and he swore to her. She told him that it would be right to not open her ship and to not touch it; to just let it stand like that in the sea until the wedding, in order that everyone would then see the vast wares she had brought, so that they should not say that he had taken a woman from the market. He promised her so.

So the king wrote to all the countries to all come to the wedding. And he built a palace for her sake, and she commanded that they bring her eleven daughters of nobility to be with her. The king ordered, and they sent her eleven daughters of very high noblemen, and they built each one an individual palace, and she also had an individual palace. They would gather unto her; they would play musical instruments and play with her.

Once, she told them she would go with them on the sea. They went with her and were playing there. She told them she would honor them with good wine that she had. She gave them from the wine that was in the ship; they became drunk, fell down and remained lying. She went and unbound the ship, spread out the sails and fled with the ship. The king and his people took a look and saw that the ship was not there, and they were very panicked. The king said, "See to it that you do not tell her suddenly, for she would have great distress (for, the king did not know that she herself had fled with the ship; he thought she was in her room), and she might think that the king had given the ship to someone. Rather, they should send her one of the young noblewomen to tell her tactfully. They went to one room and found no one. And likewise in another room they also did not find anybody, and so on in all eleven rooms they also found nobody. They decided (the king and his people) to send her an elderly noblewoman at night to tell her. They came to her room and also found nobody, and they were very terrified. Meanwhile, the fathers of the young noblewomen saw they were not having letters from their daughters; they were sending letters and got no letters back. They personally got up and all went to them, and did not find any of their daughters. They were enraged and wanted to send the king to his death, for they were the royal ministers. However, they came to the decision, "What is the king guilty of that he should be sent to death? — the king transgressed as a victim of circumstance." They agreed to remove him from kingship and drive him out. They deposed him and exiled him; he went on his way.

And the emperor’s daughter who had fled was faring with the ship. Later, the young noblewomen awoke and began to play with her again as before, for they were not aware that the ship had already departed from the shore. Then they said to her, "Let’s go back home!" She answered them, "Let’s stay here a bit longer." Afterwards there arose a storm wind and they said, "Let’s go back home!" She informed them that the ship had already long left from the shore. They asked her, "Why have you done this?" She told them she was afraid the ship might be wrecked because of the storm wind; therefore she had to do so. They were faring on the sea, the emperor’s daughter with the eleven noblewomen, and were playing musical instruments, and they came across a palace. The daughters of nobility said to her, "Let’s approach the palace!" But she did not want to; she said that she also regretted having approached the previous palace (of the king who wanted to marry her).

[The Emperor’s Daughter Meets Twelve Pirates][edit]

Later, they saw some kind of island in the sea, and they drew near there. There were twelve pirates there; the pirates wanted to kill them. She asked, "Who is the superior amongst you?" They showed her. She said to him, "What do you do?" He told her they were robbers. She said to him, "We too are robbers. Only, you rob with your might, and we rob with shrewdness, for we are learned in languages and play musical instruments. Therefore what will you win if you kill us? Better to take us for wives and you will have great wealth too;" and she showed them what was on the ship (for the ship belonged to the trader’s son, with his great wealth). The pirates agreed to her words. The pirates also showed them their wealth, and brought them to all their places. And it was agreed between them that they should not marry them all at one time, but only one after the other; and a selection should be made to give each one such a noblewoman as befits him, according to his greatness.

Afterwards she told them that she would honor them with very good wine which she has on board the ship, which she does not use at all; only, the wine is kept in store by her until God brings her her match. She gave them the wine in twelve goblets and said that all of them should drink to each twelve. They drank, got drunk and collapsed. She called out to the other noblewomen, "Go and each of you kill your man." They went and killed off all of them. And they found enormous wealth there, such as cannot be found with any king. They decided that they should not take any copper or silver, only gold and precious stones, and they threw out from their ship things which are not so important, and loaded up the entire ship with precious things, with the gold and precious stones that they found there. And they came to a decision to no longer go dressed as women, and they sewed men’s clothing for themselves — German style — and went with the ship.

[The Bald King Prince; the Emperor’s Daughter is Crowned][edit]

And the day came to pass, and there was a king. The king had an only son, and he had made him a wedding and had transferred the kingdom to him. Once, he said to his father he would go on a leisurely trip with his wife on the sea so that she become accustomed to the sea air, lest at some time they would have to flee on the sea. The king’s son went with his wife and with the royal ministers and set out on a ship, and they were very merry there and played freely. Later they said they would all take off their clothes; they did so, and nothing remained on them except their shirts. And they urged everybody who could, to climb up to the mast. The prince climbed up on the mast. Meanwhile, the emperor’s daughter approached with her ship and saw this ship (of the prince with the ministers). Initially, she was afraid of going there, then she came a bit closer; she saw that they were playing intensely, so she understood that they were not pirates. She began drawing closer.

The emperor’s daughter announced to her retinue, "I can throw that bald-head guy down into the sea (that is, the prince, who was climbing up the mast)!" For the prince had a bald head. They said to her, "How is that possible? We are very far from them!" She answered them: she has a burning-lens, and with it she will cast him down. And she decided she would not knock him down until he reaches the very top of the mast, because as long as he was in the middle of the mast, were he to fall he would fall into the ship, whereas when he reaches the top then when he falls he will fall into the sea. She waited until he was up on the top of the mast. She took the burning lens and held it facing his brain until it burned his brain. He fell down into the sea. When he fell down there was a great commotion there (on the ship) and they did not know what to do. How could they return home? For the king would die of heartbreak. They decided to go to the ship that they saw (that is, to the ship of the emperor’s daughter); perhaps there would be some doctor there on board who could give them a solution. They drew close to the ship and told them (namely, the people who were on the emperor’s daughter’s ship) that they should not have any fear whatsoever for they [the men of the king’s ship] would not do any thing at all to them, and they asked, "Maybe you have here a doctor who can advise us?" And they told the whole story and how the prince had fallen into the sea.

The emperor’s daughter instructed [them] to draw him out of the sea. They went and found him and took him out. The emperor’s daughter took his pulse with her hand and said his brain had been burnt. They went and tore open his brain and saw it was as she had said, and they were awestruck (that is, it was a great novelty to them how the doctor, that is, the emperor’s daughter, had been so correct). And they requested that she go together with them to their home; she would be doctor to the king and would be very esteemed by him. She did not want to, and she said that she was not a doctor at all, only she knows such things. Now, the people of the prince’s ship did not want to return home; the two ships went together. It pleased the royal ministers very much that their queen (that is, the wife of the prince) should take the doctor (that is, the emperor’s daughter who was going dressed as a male and they thought that it was a doctor): for they saw she was exceedingly wise, therefore they wanted their queen (who was the wife of the prince who died) to marry the doctor (that is, the emperor’s daughter) and he would be their king. And their old king (that is, the father of the king) they would kill. Only, they were ashamed to tell the queen that she should marry a doctor. But the queen too was pleased to marry the doctor, only, she feared the country — perhaps they would not want him to be king. They came to the decision to make balls (that is, banquets) so that while drinking, at a time of merriment, they would be able to talk about it. They made a ball for each one of them on a separate day.

When the day came for the ball of the doctor (that is, the emperor’s daughter) he gave them of his aforementioned wine that he had and they got drunk. When they were merry, the ministers said, "How beautiful it would be if the queen would marry the doctor!" The doctor (that is, the emperor’s daughter) replied, "It would surely be very beautiful! If only they said this with a not drunken mouth!" The queen also replied, "It would be very beautiful for me to marry the doctor! If only the country would agree to it!" The "doctor" repeated, "It would surely be very beautiful! If only they proposed this with not drunken mouth!" Afterwards, when they sobered up from their drunkenness, the ministers remembered what they had said and were embarrassed before the queen for having said such things. But they decided: the queen herself had also said it! And the queen too was embarrassed before them, but she decided: they themselves had also said it! Meanwhile, they began to talk about it, and so it was agreed; they betrothed — the queen with the doctor (that is, with the emperor’s daughter whom they thought was a doctor, as mentioned) — and they went home to their country. When the country saw them coming, they rejoiced greatly, since it had been a long time since the prince was away with the ship. And they did not know where he was, and the old king had meanwhile died before they arrived. Meanwhile they noticed that their prince — who was their king — was not there. They (that is, the country) asked, "Where is our king?" They told them the whole story, that the prince had long been dead now, and that they had already taken a new king, who was accompanying them (that is, the "doctor" who was emperor’s daughter). The countrymen were very happy that they had received a new king.

[The Wedding and Conclusion][edit]

The king (that is, the emperor’s daughter) ordered to announce in all countries that whosoever was present anywhere — foreigner, guest, refugee or exiled — should all come to his wedding. Not a single one should be absent. They would receive great gifts. And the king (that is, the emperor’s daughter) also commanded to make fountains all around the city, so that anyone who wanted to drink would not have to go away to get a drink, but would be able to find a fountain next to him. And the king (that is, the emperor’s daughter) also ordered for his picture to be drawn next to every fountain, and to station guards to watch for anyone coming along and looking hard at the picture (that is, at the portrait of the king, who was the emperor’s daughter, as mentioned) and making a bad face [as someone who looks at something and is shocked or saddened]; they should grab him and put him in prison. All this was done. And these three men came along — that is, the first prince, who was the true groom of the emperor’s daughter (who had become king there), the merchant’s son (who had been banished by his father on account of the emperor’s daughter who had fled from him with the ship and all its merchandise), and the deposed king (also on account of her, who had fled from him with the eleven daughters of nobility, as mentioned). And each of the three recognized that this was her picture, and they gazed intensely and remembered and became very anguished. They were caught and placed in prison.

At the time of the wedding, the king (that is, the emperor’s daughter) commanded to bring the captives before him. The three were brought and she recognized them, but they did not recognize her, since she was dressed like a man. The emperor’s daughter spoke up and said, "You, king (that is, the exiled king, who was one of the prisoners) — you were deposed on account of the eleven daughters of nobility who were lost. Take back your daughters of nobility. Return home to your country and to your kingdom." (Because the eleven daughters of nobility were there with her here.) "You, merchant (that is, first she spoke to the deposed king; now she turned to speak to the merchant, that is, the merchant’s son) — you were banished by your father on account of the ship with its merchandise that was lost from you. Take back your ship with all the merchandise. And for your money being out so long, you now have a much greater wealth on the ship, many, many fold more than there was before" (for the same ship with all the merchandise belonging to the merchant’s son, with which she had fled, was still with her in its entirety, and in addition to this was all the wealth which she had taken from the pirates, which was extraordinary wealth, many, many fold more). "And you, prince (that is, the first prince who was truly her groom) — come here and let’s go home." They returned home. Amen and Amen.


At one point in the story, the women and emperor's daughter fashion men's clothing from the pirate's boat after killing them. They then wear the men's clothing so they could from now on disguise themselves as men. This is a hint to the man o war sea creature that resembles a boat. Because the women are not actually men. The only thing that makes them men comes from the boat. So the boat is the man. This story largely features people getting drunk on boats and falling down. The emperor's daughter gives them wine in goblets and they all get drunk. The sailors get drunk and fall down, the noblewomen, and the pirates. Also, the emperor's daughter uses a burning glass to burn the king's son's brain while he is on the mantle of a ship. This causes the king's son to also fall down just like the rest of everybody. Because of this, the wine and burning glass are linked. This is also a hint to the man o war sea creature that resembles a boat. Because the man o war shoots burning liquid that causes small fish to become knocked out. It stings people's feet if they touch it at beaches. And causes great burning pain. The cause of the king's son to fall down was because he climbed on the "boats" mantle. Which is why the emperor's daughter was able to shoot.

Tale 3: The Son Who Could Not Walk[edit]

[The Son's Trip to Leipzig, and Ambush by Robbers][edit]

A tale. Once there was a sage. Before his death he called his sons and family and left them a will: that they should water fruit trees [ilanoth]. "You may engage in other needs as well, but this you must constantly do: water trees." Afterwards the sage passed away and he left children. And he had one son who could not walk; he could stand, but he could not walk. His brothers would give him his needs for livelihood, and they gave him so much that he had leftover. He would save up for himself bit by bit whatever remained beyond his needs, until he had amassed a certain amount. He then came to the decision, "Why should I get a stipend from them? Better that I begin some commerce." And though he could not walk, he came up with the solution to hire a carriage, an assistant (ne'eman, lit. faithful or trusted one) and a wagon-driver and to travel with them to Leipzig[2], and he would be able to conduct trade even though he could not walk. When the family heard this, it pleased them very much, and they also said, "Why should we give him subsistence? Better to let him make a livelihood." And they lent him more money so that he could conduct trade.

Thus he did; he hired a carriage, an assistant and a wagon-driver, and he set out, and they came to an inn. The assistant said that they should spend the night there, but he did not want to. They pleaded with him, but he was stubborn with them. They traveled away from there and got lost in a forest and thieves ambushed them. And the thieves had come about according to a story: There was once a famine. Someone came to the city and proclaimed: Whoever wants food should come to him. Numerous people came to him. When he saw that the men who came to him were not useful to him he would reject them. To one he would say, "You can be a craftsman," while to another he said, "You can be a miller." And he chose only intelligent youths, and went with them into the forest and proposed to them that they become thieves: "Being that from here there are roads to Leipzig, to Breslau [a city in Germany] and to other places, merchants travel through here. We will rob them. We will have money." (So did the thief who had earlier made the proclamation in the city tell them.) The thieves ambushed them (that is, the one who could not walk and his men, namely the assistant and the wagon driver). The assistant and the wagon driver were able to flee and they fled; and he was left on the wagon. The thieves came to him and took from him the chest of money and asked him, "Why are you sitting?" He replied he could not walk. And they stole the chest and the horses, and he remained on the carriage.

The assistant and the wagon-driver (who had fled away) came to the decision that inasmuch as they had taken out loans from feudal landlords [poritzes], why should they return home where they could be placed in chains? Better to remain there (where they had fled) and be an assistant and wagon-driver there. Now, the one who could not walk, who remained on the wagon, as long as he had the dry bread that he had brought from home, he ate it. Then when it ran out and he had nothing to eat, he thought about what to do. He threw himself out of the carriage to eat grass. He slept alone in the field and was frightened and his strength was so taken from him that he could not even stand, only crawl, and he would eat the grass that was around him. And as long as he could reach grass and eat, he would eat there, and when the grass around him ran out so that he could no longer reach, he crawled further away and ate again. Thus he ate grass for a time.

[The Son Finds a Diamond Having Four Charms][edit]

Once, he came to an herb the likes of which he had never eaten before. This herb pleased him very much, because he had been eating grasses for a long time, so he knew them very well, and such an herb he had never seen before. He came to the decision to tear it out with its root. Under the root was a diamond. The diamond was quadrangular [Yid. firekig, Heb. meruba`] and each side had in it a different segulah [a charm or special ability]. On one side of the diamond it was written that whoever grasps that side, it would take him where day and night meet together, that is, where the sun and the moon gather in unison. When he tore out the herb with its root (which is where the diamond was) it happened that he grasped that side (that is, the side which the segulah of it was it would take him to the place where day and night come together). It took him there, where day and night come together. He looked around and now he was there!

He heard the sun and the moon talking, and the sun was complaining before the moon, "Inasmuch as there is a tree that has many branches, fruits, and leaves, and each of its branches, fruits, and leaves has a segulah — one is conducive [mesugal] to having children, another is conducive to livelihood, another is conducive to healing this sickness, another is conducive for another sickness; each tiny bit [pitsel] of the tree is conducive to something else — this tree should have been watered, and if it would be watered, it would be very specially potent [mesugal]. But not only do I not water it, I shine on it too and dry it out."

The moon answered and said, "You worry about others' worries. I'll tell you my worry. Inasmuch as I have a thousand mountains, and around the thousand mountains are another thousand mountains, and that [lit. there] is a place of demons, and the demons have chicken-like feet — they have no strength in their feet, so they take strength from my feet and because of this I have no strength in my feet. And I have a powder (that is, a dust) that is a cure for my feet, but a wind comes and carries it away."

The sun responded, "That is what you worry about?! I will tell you a cure. Inasmuch as there is a path, and many paths branch off from that path: One is the path of the tzaddikim [righteous]. Even someone who is a tzaddik here, the dust from that path is sprinkled underneath each his steps, so that with each step he is stepping on that dust. Another is the path of heretics. Even someone who is a heretic here, the dust of this path is sprinkled underneath each of his steps, as mentioned. And there is the path of the insane. Even someone who is insane here, the dust of this path is sprinkled underneath each of his steps, as mentioned. And so there are several paths. And there is a different path, being that there are tzaddikim who accept suffering upon themselves, the landlords march them in chains, and they have no strength in their feet: dust from this path is sprinkled underneath their feet so that they have strength in their feet. So go there, for there is plenty of dust there and you will have healing for your feet." (All this did the sun say to the moon.) And he heard all this. (That is, the one who had no strength in his feet heard all this.)

[The Son Is Healed, and the Robbers Repent][edit]

Meanwhile, he looked at the diamond on another side and saw that it was written there that whoever grasps that side, it would bring him to the path from which many paths go out (namely, the path mentioned above, of which the sun informed the moon). He grasped that side and it carried him away to there (that is, to the path). He placed his feet on the path whose dust was healing for the feet and he was immediately healed. He went and took the dust from all the paths and bound each dust separately in a bundle. (Namely,) he bound the dust from the path of the righteous separately, and likewise the dust of the remaining paths he bound separately; so he made himself bundles from the powders and took them with him. And he came to a decision and went to the forest where he was robbed. When he arrived there, he chose a tall tree near the path from which the thieves go out to rob. And he took the dust of the righteous and the dust of the insane and mixed them together, and spread them on the path. And he went up the tree and sat there to see what would happen with them.

He saw the robbers going out, having been sent out by the elder robber (mentioned above) to rob. When the robbers came to that path, as soon as they took a step on the powder they became tzaddikim and began to cry out for their years and days for having robbed until then and having killed numerous souls. But since it was mixed there with the powder of the insane, they became insane tzaddikim and began to argue with each other. One said, "Because of you we killed," and another said, "Because of you!" So did they argue until they killed each other. The elder robber sent more robbers, and it was also as before and they also killed each other. And so it was each time until they were all killed off, until he (namely the one who previously had no strength in his feet, who was up in a tree) understood that there were none remaining of the robbers except for him alone (namely the elder robber who commanded them all) and one other. He went down from the tree and swept up the dust from the path, and sprinkled only dust from the path of the righteous, and went to sit in the tree again.

Now, the elder robber was very puzzled that he had sent all the thieves and none of them had returned. He decided to go personally with the one that still remained with him. And as soon as he came onto the path (where the son mentioned above had sprinkled the dust of the righteous by itself), he became a tzaddik. He began to cry out to the other bandit over his soul [Heb. nafsho; Yid. seine yar un tag, his years and days], over how he had murdered so many souls and robbed so much. And he tore graves and was penitent and very remorseful. When he (the son who was sitting in the tree) saw he had remorse and was very penitent, he came down from the tree. As soon as the robber noticed a person he began to cry out, "Woe to me! I have done this and that! Woe! Give me penance!" He answered him, "Return to me the chest that you robbed from me." For, it was written by them on all the stolen goods, when it was stolen and from whom. He said to him, "I will immediately return it to you! I will even give you the troves of stolen goods that I have! Just give me penance!" He said to him, "Your penance is just to go into the town, call out and confess, 'I am the one who made the proclamation at that time [during the famine, that whoever wants food should come to me] and made many robbers, and I murdered and robbed many souls.' That is your penance." The robber gave him all his troves, and went with him into the city and did so. Judgment was passed in that town that since he had murdered so many souls, he should be hanged, so people would know: meaning, so that others would be edified.

[To the Two Thousand Mountains with the Demons][edit]

After this he (that is, the one who previously had no strength in his feet) decided to go to the two thousand mountains (mentioned above) to see what takes place there. When he arrived there he stood far from the two thousand mountains, and he saw there were many, many millions and billions of demon families, for they are fruitful and they multiply and they have children as do humans, so they are very numerous. And he saw their kingship sitting on a throne, upon which no one born of a woman (meaning, no human) had ever sat on such a throne. And he saw how they make scoffery: one tells over that he had harmed someone's baby, another tells how he had harmed someone's hand, another tells how he had harmed someone's foot, and other such scoffery.

Meanwhile, he noticed a father and mother [demon] walking and weeping. They were asked, "Why are you weeping?" They answered: They have a son, whose routine was he would go his way and would return at the same time, but now it has been a long time and he still has not come. They were brought before the king. The king ordered to send messengers throughout the world to find him. As they were returning from the king, the parents met up with someone who used to go together with their son. He asked them, "Why are you weeping?" They told him. He answered them, "I will tell you. Being that we had a little island at sea, which was our territory — the king to whom this island pertained went and wanted to build palaces there and had already laid a foundation. Your son said to me that we should harm him. We went and took away the king's strength. He got involved with doctors but they could not help him so he started getting involved with sorcerers. There was one sorcerer there who knew his family. He did not know my family, therefore he could not do anything to me — but he knew his family, so he seized him and is torturing him severely." They brought him (that is, the demon who was telling all this) to the king and he told it over before the king too. The king said: "Let them return the strength to the king [to whom the island pertained]!" He replied, "There was someone by us who had no strength and we have given away the strength to him." The king said, "Let them take that strength away from him and return it to the king!" They answered him: He has become a cloud (that is, the demon to whom they have given away the king's strength has become a cloud). The king said that they should, "Summon the cloud and bring it here." They sent an emissary for him.

[How a Demon Becomes a Cloud][edit]

He (namely, the one who previously had no strength in his feet, who has witnessed all this) decided, "I will go ahead and see how these people [i.e. these demons] become a cloud." He followed the emissary and came to the city where the cloud was. He asked the townspeople, "Why is it [such] a cloud here in town?" They answered him, "Here in town it is just the opposite; never a cloud here. Only for while has such a cloud enveloped the city." And the emissary came and summoned the cloud; it went away from there. He (that is, the one who previously had no strength in his feet) decided to follow them to hear what they were saying. He heard the messenger ask him, "How did it come to be, that you became a cloud here?" He answered him, "I'll tell you a story.

[The Sage-Elder Has No Fear of the Demons][edit]

"Once, there was a sage (Heb. an elder). And the emperor [keisar, Caesar] of the country was a big heretic, and he made the entire country into heretics. The sage went and summoned his whole family and said to them, 'Surely you see that the emperor is a big heretic and has made the entire country into heretics, and some of our family he has already made into heretics. Therefore let us set out for the wilderness so that we will be able to remain in our faith in God, blessed be He.' They agreed on this. The sage uttered a [Divine] Name; it brought them to a wilderness. This wilderness did not please him. He again uttered a Name; it took them to yet another wilderness. This wilderness too did not please him. He uttered another [noch] name; again it took him to another wilderness. This wilderness did please him. And the wilderness was close to the two thousand mountains (mentioned above). The sage went and made a circle around them so that no one would be able to come near them.

"Now, there is a tree which if it would be watered, there would not remain any of us (that is, of the demons). Therefore, some of us stand digging day and night, allowing no water to reach the tree." The other one asked, "Why do they have to stand day and night digging? Once they have dug one time then the water will be unable to come; it should suffice." He answered him, "Since there are gossipers among us, and these gossipers go and instigate disputes between the one king and the other king, and this causes wars, and the wars cause earthquakes, and the earth around the ditches falls in, which allows water to reach the tree; therefore, they must constantly stand and dig. And when there is a new king among us, they make all the mockery before him and they rejoice. One jests in how he harmed a baby and how the mother mourns over it, another shows another mockery, and similarly many various mockeries. And when the king gets into festivity he goes and takes a walk with his ministers and tries to uproot the tree. Because if this tree would not exist at all, it would be very good for us. And the king fortifies his heart exceedingly in order to uproot the tree entirely. When he approaches the tree, the tree gives a great shout, so a great fear falls on him and he must turn around.

"Once, a new king was appointed among us (that is, among the demons, for all this did the cloud tell to the emissary, as mentioned). Great mockery was done before him, as mentioned, and he waxed quite joyous and made his heart very bold, and wanted to tear out the tree completely. So he went out walking with his ministers, brazened his heart exceedingly, and ran to tear out the tree completely. When he arrived at the tree it let out a great cry at him, and a great fear fell on him; he turned around and was very angry. And he was coming back and meanwhile took a look and noticed men sitting (this was the aforementioned sage with his men). The king sent from his people to do something (that is, to harm them, as was their custom). When the sage's family saw them, they were overcome with fear. The elder (that is, the sage) called out to them, 'Do not fear.' When the demons arrived there, they were unable to come close due to the circle that was around them. He sent other messengers but they too were unable to come close. The king came in great anger and went himself and he too was unable to come close to them.

"He asked the elder to let him in to them. The elder said to him, 'Since you request it of me, I will indeed let you in, however it is not customary for a king to go alone, so I will let you in with one other.' He opened a little door for them, they entered, and he closed the circle again. The king said to the elder, 'How do you come and settle on our place?' He said to him, 'Why is it your place? It is my place!' The king said to the elder, 'You have no fear of me?' He said, 'No.' He said again, 'You have no fear at all?' And he displayed himself becoming very big, up to the sky, and wanted to swallow him. The elder said, 'I still have no fear of you at all. But if I want, you will be afraid of me.' And he went and prayed a bit, and big thick clouds formed, and there was great thunder. And thunder kills them very effectively, so all his ministers that were with him were killed, and none remained except for the king and the one who was there with him in the circle. He begged him (that is, the king begged the elder) for the thunder to cease, and it ceased.

[The Demon King Gives the Elder a Book][edit]

"The king replied and said to the elder, 'Since you are such a person, I will give you a book of all the demon families. For, there are miracle workers [ba`alei shemoth] who only know of one demon family, and even that family they do not know completely. But I will give you a book in which all the families are written. For, by the king they are all recorded, and even a newborn is also registered by the king. The king sent the one who was with him for the book. (Hence the sage did very rightly by letting him in with another, for otherwise whom would he send?) He brought him the book. He opened it and saw that inside were millions and billions of their families. The king promised the elder that they would never harm the elder's entire family, and he commanded to bring portraits of his whole family, and even if a baby was born, to immediately bring its portrait, so that they would not harm anyone from the elder's family.

"Afterwards, when the time came for the elder to leave the world, he called his sons and commanded them and said to them, 'I leave you this book. Surely you see that I have the power to use this book in holiness, and even still I don't use it; I just have faith in Hashem Yithbarakh. You too should not use it. Even if there will be one of you who will be able to use it in holiness, he still should not use it, but just have faith in Hashem Yithbarakh.' Then the sage died and the book was passed on as an inheritance and came to his grandson (his son's son). And he had the power to use it in holiness, but he just had faith in Hashem Yithbarakh and did not use it, as the elder wished.

"The gossipers that were among the demons tried to persuade the elder's grandson, 'Since you have grown daughters and are unable to support them and marry them off, therefore use this book.' And he did not know that they were trying to persuade him, and thought that his heart was advising him to do this. So he traveled to his grandfather, to his grave, and asked him, 'Being that you left a testament that we should not to use this book, but only have faith in Hashem Yithbarakh, now my heart is telling me to use it.' His grandfather (who was deceased) answered him, 'Even though you can use it in holiness, it is better that you should have faith in the Hashem Yithbarakh and not use it, and Hashem Yithbarakh will help you.' And that is what he did.

"And the day came to pass, when the king of the country where this grandson of the elder lived became ill. He got involved with doctors, but they could not heal him. Due to the high heat there in that country, the treatments did not help. The king of the country decreed that the Jews should pray for him. Our king (that is, the king of the demons) said, 'Since this grandson has the power to use this book in holiness and he still does not use it, therefore we need to do him a favor.' He commanded me to become a cloud there so that the king (of that country) would be healed by the treatments that he had already taken and the treatments he would yet take. And the grandson knew nothing about this. And that is why I have become a cloud here." (All this is what the cloud told the emissary.)

And the one who previously had no strength in his feet was following them and heard everything. The one who was a cloud was brought before the (demon) king, and the king commanded to take the strength from him and return it to the other king (from whom they had taken away his strength because he had built upon their territory, as mentioned), and they returned the strength to him. The son of the demons (whose father and mother had wept for him, as mentioned) had returned, and he arrived very afflicted and without strength, because he had been severely tortured there. He was very enraged at the sorcerer who had tortured him so much there, so he ordered his children and his family to always stalk this sorcerer. But among the demons are talkers (that is, gossipers), and they went and told the sorcerer that they were waiting to ambush him, so that he could protect himself from them. The sorcerer performed some strategy, and called upon more sorcerers who knew more families, in order to protect himself from them. The (demon) son and his family were very enraged at the tattlers for having revealed his secret to the sorcerer.

[Nothing Remains of the Demons][edit]

Once, it happened that some members of the (demon) son's family and some of the tattlers went together on the king's watch. The son's family went and made false accusations against the tattlers, and the king killed the tattlers. The remaining tattlers were enraged, and they went and made an upheaval (that is, a huge war) between all the kings. And there were hunger, infirmity, murder, and plagues among the demons. So wars were waged between all the kings, and this caused an earthquake, and all the earth [around the tree] fell in, and the tree was watered completely. None of them (that is, of the demons) survived whatsoever, and they became as if they had never existed. Amen.

[Notes Following the Story][edit]

[Rabbi Nachman's words:] "Ashrei ha'ish asher lo-halakh... lo-`amad, uvmoshav leitzim... vehayah ke`etz shathul `al-palgei mayim" — the entire story is alluded to in this chapter [Psalms 1]. Whoever has eyes, let him see, and whoever has a heart, let him understand, what on earth is happening.

[Rabbi Nathan writes:] The secret of this story is alluded to in Chapter 1 in the Psalms:

{v. 1} "Ashrei ha'ish asher lo-halakh/ Fortunate is the man who has not walked..." — the "path of the wicked" and the "path of the just." These are the aspect of the paths mentioned in the story that have the dust that they sprinkle, etc.

{v. 3} "Wehayah ke`etz shathul `al-palgei mayim, asher piryo yiten be`ito we`alehu/ And he will be like a tree planted by streams of water, which gives its fruit in its season, and its leaves...

…Wekhol-asher ya`aseh yatzliach/ and all that he does will prosper" — this refers to the tree in the story, that all of its fruit and leaves, everything in its entirety, are all very beneficial, as mentioned.

Examine and you will find more allusions:

"Fortunate is the man who has not walked" — for, initially he could not walk. "Lo-`amad/ Has not stood" — for, later on, he could not stand either. "Uvmoshav leitzim/ And in the company of scorners" refers to the settlement of the mockers who make mockery, etc., as mentioned.

{v. 4} "...Kamotz asher-tidfenu ruach/ Like chaff which the wind drives away" refers to the wind that carries away the dust.

And all this is just a few superficial allusions that he [Rabbi Nachman] enlightened our eyes with a little bit, in order to somewhat understand and comprehend the extent to which these things reach. But the things are still sealed in utter concealment, for all these stories that he [Rabbi Nachman] told are very, very high above human comprehension and hidden from the eye of all living creatures, etc.

Tale 4: The King Who Decreed Conversion[edit]

— A story of miracles —

[The King Decrees Forced Conversion upon the Jews][edit]

Once, there was a king who decreed religious exile over the country: that is, whoever wanted to remain in the country had to convert, otherwise be expelled from the country. There were some who abandoned all their goods and wealth, and they left in poverty, in order to remain in the faith and be able to be Jews. But some had pity on their wealth and remained there; they became anoosim [lit. forced, compelled]: discreetly (that is, in concealment), they practiced the religion of the Jews, but publicly (that is, in front of people) they were not allowed to conduct themselves as Jews.

[The King's Son Allows the Anoos to Be a Jew in Public][edit]

Later the king died and his son became king. And he began to rule the country very sharply (that is, forcefully; heavy-handedly) and conquered many countries; and he was very wise. And because he held the royal ministers with a tight grip (lit. very sharply in his hand), they banded together to attack him and kill him off with all his offspring.

And among the ministers was one of the anoosim. He decided, "Why did I become an anoos? Because I had pity on my possessions and my wealth. Now if the king will be killed and the country be left without a king, everyone will swallow his fellow alive, for a country cannot exist without a king." Therefore he decided to go and inform the king, without them knowing. And he went and told the king that they had conspired against him, as mentioned. The king went and probed whether it was true, and he saw it was true, and he stationed guards. On the night they fell upon him they were caught and judged, each one according to his sentence.

The king spoke up and said to the minister who was an anoos (forced convert), "What honor shall I give you for having saved me and my offspring? Shall I make you a minister (that is, a herr)? You are already a minister! Give you money? You have money! Say what honor you want; I will surely do it for you." The anoos answered, "But will you really do what I say?" The king said, "Yes, I will certainly do what you wish." The anoos said, "Swear to me by your crown and your kingdom." The king swore to him. The anoos replied, "My main honor is to be permitted to be a Jew in public — to put on tallith and tefillin in public." The king was extremely disturbed, because in his entire country there were not allowed to be any Jews. But he had no choice because of the oath he had sworn, that whatever he wished he would do for him. In the morning the anoos went and put on tallith and tefillin in public.

[The King's Son and Grandson Become King][edit]

Later that king died and his son became king. The son began to rule gently, because he saw they had wanted to eliminate his father, as mentioned. And he conquered many countries and was extremely wise. The new king ordered a convening of all astrologers to tell him what sort of thing could cause his offspring to be cut off, so that he could guard against it. The astrologers told him that his offspring would not be cut off if he just guards himself from a bull and a ram (that is, from an ox and a lamb); this was written down in the record book. The king ordered his children to also rule the country as he did, gently. Later he died.

His son became king, and he began to rule the country stringently, like his grandfather, and conquered many countries. And he fell upon a wisdom, and ordered to announce that no ox or sheep should be found in his country, so that his offspring could not be cut off. So he thought he now had no fear of anything, and he ruled the country very stringently. And he became extremely clever.

[The King's Great-Grandson Makes an Effigy, Conquers the World][edit]

The king fell upon a wisdom that he could conquer the entire world without battle, for there are seven parts in the world, for the world consists of seven parts, and there are seven planets (that is, seven luminaries that circle [that is, make a progression through] the seven days of the week) and each planet shines on one of the seven parts of the world, and there are seven kinds of metals (that is, seven different metals, namely gold, silver, copper, tin, etc.) and each of the seven planets shines on a specific metal. The king went and gathered all the seven different metals and ordered to bring him all the golden portraits of all kings, which hang in their palaces, and he made a man from this. Its head was of gold, its body of silver, and likewise the rest of the limbs, of other metals; in this man were all seven kinds of metal.

And he stationed the man on a high mountain, and all the seven planets shined in the man. And when a man needed any advice, or any commerce and did not know whether to do it or not, he would stand facing the limb of the type of metal pertaining to the part of the world where the man was from. And the man would contemplate whether to do the thing he needed or not. And if he needed to do it, that limb would light and shine and if not it would darken. (All this did the king do.) And thereby he conquered the entire world and amassed a huge amount of money.

[The King's Great-Grandson Resuppresses the Anoos][edit]

However, this effigy that he had made from the seven various metals was not able to perform unless the king cast down the haughty and raised the lowly (that is, throw down big people from their greatness and pick up little people). He went and sent orders to all generals and other ministers who held positions of authority and orders (merit badges and special privileges). They all came and he demoted them, removing their positions. Even those who had positions which they served since his great-grandfather — he took them all away. And lowly people did he raise, appointing them to their places (of the great people).

Among the ministers whom the king was casting down was the anoos. The king asked him, "What is your position?" He answered him, "My position is just to be permitted to be a Jew in public, for the favor that I did for your grandfather." The king took this from him, and he was again an anoos.

[The King's Great-Grandson's Dream; the Sage's Tradition][edit]

Once, the king lay down to sleep, and he saw in a dream the clear sky and he saw all twelve mazaloth [constellations] (that is, the stars in the sky are partitioned into twelve parts, corresponding to the twelve months; a section of stars resembles a ram, which is the mazal of Nissan, and the mazal of Iyar is called shor/bull, that is, an ox; and so each month has its mazal). And he saw the bull and the ram (that is, the ox and the lamb) that are among the mazaloth laughing at him. He awoke with great fury and was very frightened. He ordered to bring the chronicles (that is, the book wherein everything is written down), and he saw it written there that by bull and ram his offspring would be cut off, and a great terror fell over him. And he told the queen, and a great terror also fell on her and her children. And his heart pounded hard and he called for all the dream interpreters. And each one interpreted individually, but nothing would enter in his ears. And an extremely great terror fell on him.

A sage came and told him that inasmuch as he had tradition from his father that the sun has three hundred sixty-five courses (paths) and there is a place upon which all the three hundred sixty-five of the sun's paths shine and an iron rod grows there, whoever has a fear, when he comes to the rod, will be saved from the fear.

[The King's Great-Grandson's Excursion and Demise][edit]

This pleased the king very much, and he went with his wife, children and all his descendants to that place, and the sage also went with them. But in the middle of the way stands an angel who is in charge over anger. For, by anger one creates a destructive angel (that is, an angel that destroys and ruins), and this angel is appointed over all the destroyers. And he is asked the way, for there is a good (Heb. straight) path for a man, and there is a path full of mud, and there is a path full of pits, as well as other paths. And there is a path where there is fire that incinerates from four "miles" [Heb. parsa'oth] away. (They asked the angel the way, and he told them the path where the fire is.)

And the sage kept looking around to see if the fire was there, for he had a tradition from his father that the fire was there. Meanwhile he saw the fire, and he saw kings and Jews dressed in tallith and tefillin going around in the fire. (Heb. only: This was because by those kings there lived Jews in their countries, therefore they were able to pass through the fire.) The sage said to the king, "Since I have a tradition that four 'miles' from the fire one is incinerated, I will go no further. You, if you wish, go." And the king thought that since he saw other kings walking around there in the fire, he would also be able to go there. The sage replied, "I have a tradition from my father, so I do not want to go. You, if you wish, go yourself." The king went with his entire offspring. They caught the fire and he and his entire offspring were incinerated and all cut off.

[The Sage Comes Home and the Anoos Explains][edit]

When the sage came home, it was a wonder to the ministers that the king and his offspring were cut off. Had he not guarded himself from a bull and a ram? How was it that his offspring and he were cut off? The anoos replied, "Through me has he been cut off. For, the astrologers saw (that by an ox and lamb his offspring would be cut off) but they did not know what they saw. For, an ox — from its hide they make tefillin; and a lamb — from its wool they make tzitzith for the tallith. And by them was the king and his offspring cut off.

For, the kings where Jews did live in their countries, wrapped in tallith and tefillin, were able to go in the fire completely unharmed. But this king, because no Jews dressed in tallith and tefillin were allowed to dwell in his country, was therefore cut off, with his offspring. And this was the bull and the ram of the mazaloth laughing at him. For, the astrologers saw that by bull and ram would his offspring be cut off; they did not, however, know what they saw, and the king was cut off with his offspring." Amen, so let all Your enemies be obliterated, Hashem!

[Notes Following the Story][edit]

"Lamah rageshu goyim/ Why are the nations in an uproar? ...Tero`em beshevet barzel/ You will break them with a rod of iron" [Ps. 2] — the iron rod.

"...Pen-ye'enaf wetho'vedu darekh/ lest He be angry and you perish in the way," etc. And the words are extremely archaic and closed up... All this I [Rabbi Nathan] heard.

In addition I have found some more allusions from this story in this chapter:

"…Nenatekah eth-moserotheimo, wenashlikhah mimenu `avotheimo/ Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us" — bands are made of hide, the aspect of tefillin. "`Avotheimo" — `avot are cords, aspect of tzitzith, as our Rabbis obm expounded this verse in tractate Avodah Zarah [3b] regarding tzitzith and tefillin.

"Yoshev bashamayim yischak/ He Who dwells on High will laugh" — for, the bull and the ram laughed at him.

"Az yedaber eleimo ve'apo, uv'charono yevahaleimo/ Then He speaks to them in His wrath; and He panics them with His sore displeasure" — the anger, the panic and the fear mentioned above.

"Wa'ani nasakhti malki `al-tziyon har qodshi/ But I have poured/ anointed My king on Tzion, My holy mountain" — perhaps the allusion here is to the effigy that the king erected on the high mountain; zeh le`umath zeh (everything in holiness has its counterpart in evil), and this is counterpart to the king on the holy Mount Tzion, for, all the parts of the world are included there, and so forth, and this is the "mountain" there. "Nasakh" is a term as in "nasakh wayitzok/ pouring and pouring-molding" [the statue] [Gen. 35:14].

"She'al mimeni/ Ask of me" — all the advices mentioned above. "Goyim nachalathekha, wa'achuzathekha afsei-aretz/ Nations as your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for your possession" — to grasp together all ends of the earth, namely all seven parts of the world, and all the kings and nations as inheritance under him.

"`Ivdu/ Serve" — is tzitzith, "be'yir'ah/ with awe" — is tefillin, and "wegilu bir`adah/ and rejoice upon the trembling" — the trembling [of the wicked; Rashi there, citing Isa. 33:14].

The entire story is hinted in this chapter, so well-off is he who will know something of these stories, which are great secrets of the Torah throughout.

Tale 5: The King's Son Who Was Made of Precious Stones[edit]

There was once a king who had no children. He went and got involved with doctors so that his kingdom should not be turned over to strangers, but they did not help him. So he decreed on the Jews to pray for him to have children. The Jews sought a tzaddik to pray and cause it happen that the king should have children.[3] They sought and found a hidden tzaddik, and they told him to pray for the king to have children.

He replied: he knows nothing at all [gar nisht]; they informed the king (inasmuch as there was a hidden tzaddik there, but he said he knew gar nisht). The king sent a royal order for him, and they brought him before the king. The king began talking kindly with him, "You know very well that the Jews are in my hands. I can do with them what I will. Therefore I ask you with goodness, pray that I have children."

The tzaddik ensured the king that same year he would have a child, and he went home. The queen bore a daughter, and this queen's daughter was extremely beautiful. When she was four years old, she knew all the wisdoms and languages, and could play musical instruments. Kings from all countries would travel to see her, and it was a great joy for the king.

Afterwards the king very much wanted to have a son so that his kingdom should not go away to a stranger, so he again decreed on the Jews that they should pray for him to have a son. They were searching for the first tzaddik, but they could not find him, for he had already passed away.

They continued searching and they found another hidden tzaddik. And they told him that he should give the king a son, and he said that he does not know anything. Again they informed the king, and the king said to the tzaddik also as before, "You know very well the Jews are in my hand, etc." The sage (that is, this tzaddik) said to him, "But will you be able to do what I order?" The king said, "Yes."

The sage said to him, "I need you to bring all the types of gemstones (lit. good stones), because each gemstone has in it a different segulah (ability, charm)." And by the kings there is a book wherein are written all the types of gemstones. The king said, "I will spend half my kingdom in order to have a son." And the king went and brought him all the types of gemstones.

The sage took them and ground them, and took a goblet of wine and poured them in the wine. And he gave a half cup of wine to the king to drink, and the other half to the queen. And he told them that they would have a son who would be thoroughly of gemstones, and he would have in him all the seguloth of all the gemstones, and he went home.

The queen gave birth to a son, and the king rejoiced very greatly, but the son that was born was not made of gemstones. When the son was four years old, he was extremely handsome, very wise in all the wisdoms, and knew all the languages. Kings traveled to see him. Now, the princess saw that she was no longer so important, and she was jealous of him. The only consolation for her was that the tzaddik had said that he would be completely of gemstones; good that at least he was not made of gemstones.

Once, the prince was carving wood and he nicked his finger. The princess ran to bandage his finger and she saw a gemstone there. She was extremely jealous of him, and she made herself sick. Many doctors came but were unable to heal her at all. Sorcerers were called. A sorcerer was there, to whom she disclosed the truth, that she had made herself sick because of her brother, as mentioned.

And she asked the sorcerer if it were possible to perform a spell on a man to become leprous. He said, "Yes." She said to the sorcerer, "What if he asks another sorcerer to annul the spell so that he will be healed?" The sorcerer said, "If the sorcery is thrown into the water, it can no longer be annulled." She did so and threw the sorcery into the water.

The prince became very leprous. He had leprosy on his nose, on his face and on the rest of his body. The king got involved with doctors and with sorcerers, but they were of no avail. The king decreed on the Jews to pray. The Jews sought the tzaddik (who had prayed for the king to have a son, as mentioned), and brought him before the king.

Now, this tzaddik would always pray before Hashem Yithbarakh, inasmuch as he had promised the king that his son would be completely made of gemstones, and it had not been fulfilled. And he complained to the Eybishter (the Most High; God), "Have I done this for honor's sake? I have done this only for Your honor, and now, it has not been fulfilled the way I said." And the tzaddik came to the king. The tzaddik had prayed (namely, for the leprosy of the prince to be healed), but to no avail. He was informed that it was sorcery.

Now, this tzaddik was higher than all sorcery. The tzaddik came and informed the king that it was a sorcery, and that the sorcery had been thrown into the water, so the prince could not be healed except by throwing the sorcerer who performed the spell into the water. The king said, "I give you all the sorcerers to throw into the water so that my son be healed."

The princess was afraid, so she ran to the water to pull the sorcery out of the water, for she knew where it was. She fell into the water. A great tumult erupted over the princess' falling into the water. The tzaddik came and said that the prince would be healed. And he was healed, the leprosy withered up and fell off, and his entire skin peeled off. And he was entirely of gemstones, as the tzaddik had said.

Tale 6: The Humble King[edit]

A tale. There was once a king who had a wise man. The king spoke up to the wise man, "Inasmuch as there is a king whose signature declares that he is a great man of might, and a man of truth, and humble (in other words, a truthful person who does not focus on himself [lit. "hold of himself"]): mighty — I know that he is a great man of might, for the sea flows around his country, and on the sea is stationed a navy on warships with cannons and they do not allow anyone to approach, and inwards from the sea there is a great swamp (a place where one drowns) surrounding the country, through which there is only one narrow path wide enough for only one person to pass; there too cannons are positioned, so that if someone comes to attack, the cannons are fired, so it is impossible to set foot there.

"But his signing himself as being a man of truth and humble — this I do not know, and I want you to bring me this king's portrait." For the king had all the portraits of all the kings, but the portrait of that king (who signs himself in such fashion as mentioned) was not found by any king, for he is concealed from people, since he sits under a veil [Yid. forhang, Heb. killah], and he is far from his countrymen.

The wise man went to that country. He came to the realization that he must come to know the essence of the country (in other words, the "thing" of the country; how the country works). And how can he find out the country's essence? — by way of the country's jests [Yid. katoves < Slav. katavasnik prankster < Gr. katavasis descent]. Because when one needs to know [the essence of] something, one must know its jesting. For there are many types of jesting: there is one who really wants to smite the other with his words, and when the other takes notice [lit. "looks around"] he says to him, "I am joshing! (Ikh treyb katoves, lit. 'I drive a jest')" as in the verse, "Like one who wearies himself shooting firebrands... and says, 'Am I not joking?'" [Prov. 26:18-19], and so there is someone who really means a jest but still harms the other with his words. Thus there are several kinds of jesting.

Now, among all the countries, there is a country that includes all countries (that is, the country is the principle and rule for all countries), and in that country there is a city that includes all cities of that whole country that includes all the countries. And in the city is a house that includes all the houses of the entire city that embodies all cities of the country that includes all countries. And there in the house is a person who includes the entire house which includes etc. And there, there is someone who makes all the wisecracks and jesting of the entire country.

So the wise man took a large amount of money with him and went there. He saw them making all types of fun and joking. He understood from the jests that the country is full of falsehood through and through. For he saw them making fun of how people are cheated in business, and how he goes to the manistrat (lower court) and there it is utter lies and they take bribery there; and he goes to the sand [higher court, <? Ger. Gesandte, emissary]; and there as well it is utter lies. And they were all making fun and jest, enacting all these things.

The wise man understood from this jesting that the country is full of lies and deceit, lacking any truth in the land whatsoever. So he went and did some commerce in the country and allowed himself to be cheated in the exchange, and went and brought suit before the sands [Yid. sandes, Heb. `arkhaoth registrar, archivers' office < Gr. arkhi, arkhion], they being all full of falsehood and bribes. On this day he gave them bribery; the next day they didn't recognize him.

So he went to a higher sand and there too it was full of falsehood. Until he came before the senat (highest court) and there too it is falsehood and bribery throughout. Until he came to the king himself.

When he came to the king he spoke up and said, "Over whom are you king? The entire country is full of falsehood throughout, from beginning to end, and there is no truth in it here whatsoever." And he began to tell over all the falsehood of the country.

When the king heard his words he bent his ear to the veil to listen to hear his words for it was a great wonder to the king that there should exist a man who would know all the falsehood of the country. And the royal ministers who heard the wise man's words grew very angry at him but he still continues reporting all the country's falsehood.

The wise man spoke up, "One could say that the king is also like them; that he likes falsehood as the country does. But on the contrary one sees what a man of truth you are, and because of this you keep your distance from them: on account that you cannot bear the falsehood of the country." And he began to praise the king very very much.

And the king, because he was very humble — and "in the place of his greatness, there is his humility," for that is the way of a humble man, that the more he is praised and extolled, the smaller to himself and the humbler he becomes — so on account of the wise man's great praise and exaltation of the king, the king entered into great humility and extreme tininess, until he became absolutely nothing; and he could no longer withhold himself and he threw aside the veil to see the wise man: who is it that knows and understands all this?

The king's face was revealed, and the wise man saw him, depicted his portrait and brought it back to the king.

[Notes Following the Story][edit]

"Darkei Tziyon aveloth/ The paths of Tziyon are mournful" [Lam. 1:4; since the Temple has been destroyed, one is obligated to remember and mourn it, and unbridled joking and laughter are forbidden; v. S"A O"C 560. Also, there are no festivals or times when God can be "seen:" Ex. 23:15 etc.].

Tziyon is the aspect of the tziyunim [markers; placemarks] of all the countries, for they all gather there, as it is written, "wera'ah `etzem[4] adam uvanah etzlo tziyun/ and see the bone of[4] man, then shall he set up a sign by it." [Eze. 39:15].

This is [the meaning of], "Chazeih Tziyon Qiryath Mo`adeinu/ Look upon Tziyon, the city of our assemblies" [Isa. 33:20], the acronym of which is MeTzaCheiQ (jesting), for that is where all the tziyunim [signs] gathered, and whoever needed to know whether to do something or some business transaction would know it there. May it be His will that it be rebuilt speedily in our days, Amen.

Look, discern and gaze, reader, how far these matters reach. Fortunate is he who attends to and will attain knowing and grasping a little of the secrets of these stories, the likes of which have not been heard since ancient times.

And know, that all these verses and allusions that are brought after some of the stories are only hints and a scant disclosure of the subject matter, so that they might know "ki lo-davar reiq hu/ it is no empty thing," God forbid. As was heard from his holy mouth, saying that he is revealing a few mere hints from a few verses that hint to the secret of the stories, so as to know that he is not saying, God forbid, prattle. But the essential secret of the stories is far from our knowing; "`Amoq `amoq, mi yimtzaenu/ Deep-deep; who can find it out?" [Eccl. 7:24]

Tale 7: The Fly and the Spider[edit]

He [Rebbe Nachman] announced, “I'll tell you my entire trip that I had.”[5]

A tale. There was once a king who had a number of hard wars up against him, and he conquered them and took many captives. (In the midst of his words as he began telling this story he interjected and said, "You might think [mistakenly] that I will tell you everything and that you will be able to understand.") The king made a big banquet (a ball) every year on the day when he vanquished the war. There at the ball would be all the royal ministers and all the gentlewomen, as the usual way of kings goes, and comedy shows would be made and they would make fun of all the nations: of the Turk (Heb. Ishmaelites) and of all the nations. And they would imitate every nation in the way that their manner and conduct is, and they probably made fun of Jews as well.

The king ordered to bring the book in which the mannerisms and customs of every nation are recorded. And whenever the king would open up the book, he would see [Heb. only: that written in it were the practices and mannerisms of the nation] exactly as they performed the parody of them, because probably the one who performed the comedy also saw the book. While the king was poring over the book, he saw a spider crawling on the edge of the book's pages, and on the pages stood a fly. Presumably, where does a spider go? — toward a fly. Meanwhile as the spider was crawling and going toward the fly, a wind came along and lifted that page from the book; the spider could no longer go to the fly. It turned around and crawled exactly as if it were turning around and no longer wants to go to the fly. Meanwhile, the page fell back in its place and again the spider wanted to go toward the fly. Again the page lifted and did not permit it; again the spider turned back. Thus it happened several times. Afterwards again the spider went towards the fly and was crawling along until it had already gotten itself up with one foot on the page. Again the page lifted up — and the spider was already somewhat on the page — then the page lay down completely, until the spider was left between one page and another; and it was crawling around there, but kept getting left deeper and deeper until nothing whatsoever was left of it. (And the fly — I will not tell you what happened to it.)

And the king had been watching all this and was very astonished; he understood that this is no empty thing but rather he is being shown something through it (and all the ministers saw that the king is gazing and wondering at it). And the king began thinking: what does this signify? And he dozed off over the book. The king dreamed that he was holding a diamond in his hand and looking at it. An exaggerated number of people were emerging from it and he threw the diamond down out of his hand. And the usual way by kings is that over them hangs their portrait and on top of the portrait hangs the crown. He saw in the dream how the people who had emerged from the diamond took the portrait and cut off its head, then they took the crown and threw it into the mud, and they ran towards him to kill him. A page from the book upon which he was lying lifted itself and shielded him and they were unable to do anything to him so they went away, then the page returned to its place. Then again they wanted to kill him and again the page lifted itself as before. Thus it happened several times. The king very much wanted to see what sort of page is shielding him (that is, protecting him); what mannerisms are written on it; from which nation it is. But he was afraid to look and he began to scream, "Woe! Woe!" All the ministers who were sitting there heard and they wanted to wake him up; however, this is no sort of protocol, to wake up a king. They rapped around him in order to wake him, but he did not hear.

Meanwhile, a tall mountain came to him and asked him, "Why are you screaming so? It is such a long time already that I sleep and nobody at all has woken me up — and you have woken me up!" He said to him, "How shall I not scream, when they are rising up over me and want to kill me, except that this page is shielding me?!" The mountain answered him, "If this page is shielding you then you need have no fear of anything whatsoever, for many enemies rise against me as well, but this same page shields me. Come, I will show you." It showed him how around the mountain stand thousands and myriads of enemies and they make feasts and rejoice, playing musical instruments and dancing. And the joyful occasion is that some group from them, one of them thinks and arrives at some wisdom how to go up on the mountain, hence they make a big celebration and a feast with music and dancing, and thus with each group (that is, faction) from among them — "except that this page of these mannerisms that shields you shields me."

And on the mountain's peak is a tablet, and on it were written the mannerisms of the page that shields him; from which nations it is. But since the mountain is high, one cannot read the writing. However at the bottom was a tablet; there it was written that whoever has all [his] teeth — he can go up on the mountain. Hashem Yithbarakh provided that there grows such a grass there where one needs to go up on the mountain, that whoever comes there, all his teeth fall out; whether he was going by foot, riding, or driving a carriage by animals, always his teeth would fall out. Lying there were piles white with teeth, like mountains.[6]

Later the people from the diamond took the portrait and put it back together as previously, and they took the crown and washed it up, and they hung them back in their place. And the king woke up and immediately looked at the page that had shielded him — which mannerism of which nation is it? He saw that written on it is the mannerisms of Jews [Heb. Yisrael]. He began to look at the page honestly and he understood the right truth, and he came to a decision that he himself would definitely be a Jew [Heb. Yisrael]; however, what does one do to return the entire world back to the best state [machzir lemutav], to bring them all to the truth? He came to the decision that he would journey in search of a sage who would solve the dream according to its essence (that is, he should interpret the dream exactly as it is). And he took two men with him and traveled around the world, not as a king but as a simple person, and he traveled from one city to the next and he asked: where does one find such a sage who can solve his dream according to its essence? They informed him that there-and-there is found such a sage. He went there and came to the sage and told him the truth: that he is a king and he had vanquished wars, and the entire story that happened, as mentioned, and he asked him to solve his dream. The sage answered him, "I myself cannot interpret; however, there is a time on this day and in this month — then, I gather together all the spices of the Incense (that is, all the herbs from which they would make the Incense) and I make from them a compound (in other words, he mixes them all up together) and the person is smoked with the incense and this person thinks in himself what he wants to see and know, and then he knows everything."

The king resolved: since he has already in fact spent so much time on it he would wait longer until that day and that month (which the sage had told him). The day came and the sage did for him so, as described above, and smoked him with the incense. The king began to see even things that had happened to him before he was yet born, when the soul was still in the upper world (in other words, on the other world); how they led his soul through all the worlds and they announced, "Whoever has something to say for the prosecution (that is, to speak evil) against this soul, let him come." There was no one who found fault. Meanwhile someone did come and was running and shouting, "Master of the World! Hear my prayer! If this one should come upon the earth, what then have I to do any longer, and for what have You created me? And this was the Samekh-Mem[7] (in other words, the one who was shouting was the S.M. himself; he was yelling: if this soul should go down on the earth he will no longer have anything to do). He was answered, "This soul must go down on the earth, and you — give yourself advice." He went away (that is, the one who was yelling).

They led the soul further through worlds [`olamoth, pl. of `olam, a term for "world" whose root also denotes concealment; hence, the world as a clothing and concealment of the Blessed Unity] (in other words, worlds) in order to swear it in already, in order that it should go down on the earth. And he had not yet arrived (that is, the S.M., who was yelling earlier, had not come yet), so they sent an emissary after him. He came and brought with him a little oldster, a hunched-over one, with whom he was long familiar (that is, the Accuser had been acquainted with this old one from long ago), and he laughed and said, "I have already given myself an advice; this soul can now go down on the earth." They released the soul and it went down on the earth. And he (that is, the king) saw everything that happened to him from beginning to end, how he became king, the wars he had, etc.

And he took captives, and among the captives was a beautiful woman who had every kind of charm in the world. However, this charm was not from herself; rather, she would hang a diamond upon herself and the diamond had all kinds of charm, and on account of that it seemed she had all kinds of charm. And upon that mountain can no others ascend except the wise, the rich, etc. (And more than this he did not tell.)

And there is a great deal more in this. (From "And he took captives" until the end — was not written properly as he told it.)

[Notes Following the Story][edit]

Mizmor leDawidh bevorcho/ A psalm of Dawidh when he fled... Hashem, mah-rabú tsarai, rabim kamim `alai/ Hashem, how many are mine adversaries become; many are they that rise up against me...

We'atah Hashem magen ba`adi, kevodi umerim roshi/ But you, Hashem, are a shield about me: my glory and the lifter up of my head...

Qoli el-Hashem eqra weya`aneni mehar qodsho selah/ With my voice I call out unto Hashem, and He answers me from His holy mountain, Selah — the mountain mentioned above.

Ani shakhavti wa'ishanah/ I lay down and I sleep — as mentioned above.

Haqitzothi/ I awake...

Lo-ira merivevoth `am/ I will not fear a multitude of people...

Ki-hikitha eth-kol-oyvai léchi; shinnei resha`im shibbarta/ for you have smitten all my enemies on the cheek; You have broken the teeth of the wicked — for their teeth would fall out when they wanted to go up on the mountain.

`Al-amekhá virkhathékha selah/ May Your blessing be on Your people, Selah. [Psalms 3]

Stand and contemplate these wonders! If you are a living being [ba`al nefesh], take your flesh up in your teeth and place your life [nefesh] in your palm; stand trembling and amazed. Let the hairs of your head stand on edge, and return again and wonder at these words which stand in the highest of heights.

Tale 8: The Rabbi and His Only Son[edit]

A tale. There was once a rabbi who had no children. Later, he had an only son and he raised him and made him a wedding. The son would sit in an attic room and learn [i.e. study Torah], as is the way with the wealthy. He would study and pray constantly, except that he felt in himself a lacking [due to] some deficiency, but he did not know what, and he had no taste [satisfaction] in his learning and praying. He told this to two young people and they advised he should travel to a certain tzaddik [saintly Jew]. Now, this son had done a [certain] "mitzvah" [commandment or good deed] through which he had reached the aspect of the Smaller Luminary. The only son went and told his father inasmuch as he feels no taste in his service [meaning in what he serves God, namely praying, learning and other mitzvot] inasmuch that something is missing for him but he doesn't know what — therefore he wants to travel to this tzaddik about whom they had told him, as above. His father answered him, "How do you come [to decide he's worthy for you] to travel to him? You are, after all, more scholarly and more pedigreed than he. It doesn't suit you to travel to him. Desist from this way!" Until the father thus dissuaded him from traveling to the tzaddik.

The son returned to his learning and again he felt the deficiency as mentioned above, and again he took counsel with those young people. Again they gave him the advice that he should travel to the tzaddik. Again he went to his father and again his father diverted him and prevented him. This happened several times. And the son kept feeling his lack and he yearned to fill the void (in other words, to correct something so he should not be devoid), but he did not know what was missing, as mentioned earlier. He went yet again to his father and begged him direly until his father felt compelled to travel with him. For his father did not want to let his son travel alone, since he was his only son. So his father told him, "Look, I will go with you. I'll show you that [this tzaddik] is nothing at all." They harnessed the carriage and set out. The father said to his son, "With this I will make a test: if everything goes orderly, it is from Heaven, and if not, it is not from Heaven that we should travel and we will return." They set out, and they reached a small bridge, a horse fell, the carriage turned over and they nearly drowned. His father said to him, "You see that it's not going orderly and the journey is not from Heaven." They returned. Again the son returned to his studies and again he felt something lacking and he know not what. Again he implored his father, as above, and his father had to once again travel with him. As they were traveling, his father again set up a test as before: if it goes orderly (then etc., as mentioned). As they were traveling, both axles broke. His father said to him, "See, events are not [indicating] we should travel. For is it a natural occurrence that both axles should break? How many times have we traveled with this carriage and such a thing has never happened?!" Again they returned. And the son returned to his learning and so forth as above, and again he felt the deficiency as mentioned earlier, and the youths advised him to make the journey. Again the only son went to his father and again pressed him; once again he had to travel with him. The only son told his father that "we should no longer set up such a test, for this is natural that sometimes a horse falls or axles can break — unless it will be something very shocking."

They traveled and came to an inn to spend the night. They met a merchant there, and they began talking with him as merchants are wont, not telling him that they are going there (to one "good Jew" [gutter yid, a tzadik]), for the rabbi was embarrassed to say that he's traveling to that tzaddik. They were speaking about worldly matters until the conversation came around the subject of tzaddikim; where tzaddikim are found. He (the merchant) told them [in this certain place] there is a tzaddik, and there and there. They began speaking about the tzaddik to whom they are traveling. The merchant answered them, "That person (in an expression of amazement)? He is plainly a qal [lit. "light one"] (in other words, not an earnest Jew)! Just now I am traveling from him; I was there when he committed a transgression!" The father replied to his son, "Do you see, my son, what this merchant is telling [us] innocently? (In other words, he is not intending trash-talk, to speak evil of the tzaddik; only by way of the conversation did he tell it.) Look, he's coming right from there!" They returned home (that is, the father and the only son).

The son died, and appeared in a dream to his father. His father saw him standing in great anger. His father asked him, "Why are you so angry?" The son answered that he should travel to that tzaddik (to whom they had wanted to travel), "and he will tell you why I am angry." He awoke and thought to himself, "It's a coincidence." (In other words, just a dream, not a truth.) Then he again had the same dream, and again he thought, "It's a meaningless dream." When he dreamed it a third time, he understood that this is no empty thing and he traveled [to that tzaddik]. On the way he met the merchant whom he had previously encountered when traveling with his son. The rabbi recognized him and said, "Aren't you the one I saw at that inn?" He answers him, "Certainly you saw me!" [The merchant] opens up his mouth [supernaturally wide] and says to him, "If you want, I'll swallow you up!" [The rabbi] tells him, "What are you saying?!" He answered him, "Do you remember when you journeyed with your son, and the first time, a horse fell down on the bridge and you returned? Then the axles broke. Then you met me and I told you that he [the tzaddik] is a qal? Now that I have exterminated your son — now you may travel. For your son was an aspect of the Minor Luminary, and that tzaddik [whom he wanted to meet] is an aspect of the Major Luminary. If they would have assembled together, Mashiach [Messiah] would have come. And now that I have exterminated him, you are permitted to go." And as he was speaking, [the merchant suddenly] vanished. The rabbi didn't have with whom to talk, so he traveled to the tzaddik and cried out, "Woe! Woe! Such a pity for that which is lost and unfindable!" (Heb. only: May Hashem Yithbarakh return our exiled ones soon, Amen.)

[Notes Following the Story][edit]

The merchant was the Samekh-Mem[8] himself, who disguised himself as a merchant and deceived them. Then when he met the rabbi the second time, he himself taunted the rabbi for having followed his advice. For such is the way [of the yetzer hara` (evil inclination): initially he incites a person, and when the person follows him, Heaven forbid, he himself taunts the person afterwards and takes vengeance on him for having listened. May Hashem Yithbarakh save us from him and bring us back to the truth proper, Amen.

Tale 9: The Clever Man and the Simple Man[edit]


Once there were two home-owners in a city who had great wealth, large houses and two sons; that is, each one of them had a son. The two children learned together in the same schoolhouse. One of them was a khakham [clever, smart, sophisticated, wise] and the other was a tam [simple, innocent, artless, wholesome] (not that he was a fool; rather, his intellect was simple, without sophistication). The two sons loved each other very much. Even though one was khakham and the other was tam, they nevertheless loved each other very much.

Came a time when the two householders began to decline. They continued to decline until they lost everything and became destitute with nothing remaining but their houses. As the sons began to grow up, their fathers told them: We do not have enough to pay for you, to sustain you. Do for yourselves what you can.

[The Simple Man and the Clever Man Learn Trades][edit]

The tam went and learned shoemaking. The khakham, who was a bar-havana, [an astute, discerning person], didn't want to apply himself to such a common trade. He decided he would travel the world and see what to do. As he was going about the marketplace, he saw a large wagon with four horses in harness speeding through. He called out to the merchants, "Where are you from?" They answered him, "From Warsaw." "Where are you going?" "To Warsaw." He asked them, "Perhaps you need workers?" They saw that he was astute, motivated, and looked good. So they accepted him. He traveled off with them and served them very well on the way.

When they arrived in Warsaw, since he was a bar-havana, he decided, "Since I am already in Warsaw, why should I remain with these [merchants]? Maybe there is a better place than [with] them. I shall go search and see." As he walked around in the marketplace, he began to investigate and inquire about the men who had brought him, and whether there would be a better place than [with] them. They answered that these people [who had brought him] are honest people and it's good to be with them. However, it is very difficult to be with them since their business dealings are in very distant places.

So, he went on. He noticed clothing shop workers as they were going around in the marketplace, with all their customary charm, with their caps and pointy shoes and the rest of the affectations and flair in their gait and appearance. Since he was so sharp and discerning, this occupation looked very proper, being pleasant and local. So he went to the men who had brought him, gave them his praise and appreciation, but told them that it is not comfortable for him to be with them. As [for recompense] for them having brought him, he had served them on the road.

So he went and offered himself to a proprietor. And the way with servants is, at first one has to be hired for less and do the heavier work. Then later, one advances to better jobs. The proprietor would use him for very hard work, sending him off to nobility carrying merchandise in the manner of servants--prominently displaying the garments on their extended arms; this work was very hard for him. Sometimes he needed to carry the merchandise to upper floors, and this work was very hard for him. He decided, since he was a philosopher, a discerning person: "Why do I need this work? Is not the main point the ultimate purpose--to get married and make a living? I don't need to see to that yet; I will be free for that later, in the years to come. Meanwhile, it would be better to travel, visiting countries, feasting my eyes on the world."

He went about the marketplace and saw merchants riding on a large wagon. He asked them, "Where are you going?" "To Lagorna.[9]" "Would you take me there?" "Yes." They took him there. From there he traveled to Italy, and from there, to Spain.

Meanwhile, many years passed and he became even more knowledgeable on account of having been in many countries[10]. He decided, "Now, it's time to look at the ultimate purpose." He began to philosophize about what he should do. It seemed to him that he should learn goldsmithery, which is a major occupation, a nice craft, entailing great insight and very profitable. And since he was such a bar-havana and philosopher, he didn't need to study the trade many years; merely in a quarter year he received the skill, and he became quite a great craftsman, even more of an expert than the one who had trained him.

Afterwards he concluded, "Even though I have such a trade in hand, nonetheless I do not have enough with this. Today, this is an important [profession], but maybe at another time some other thing will be considered important." So went ahead and placed himself with a gem cutter. And on account of his cleverness he acquired this skill in a short time as well — in a quarter year.

Then he philosophically decided, "Even though I have two trades in hand, who knows, perhaps neither of these will remain important. It would be better for me to learn a craft that will always be important." Probing with his insight and philosophy, he determined to learn medicine, which is always needed and always esteemed. Now, the way of learning medicine is to first learn Latin, the language and its writing, as well as the wisdoms of sophistry. And this too, on account of his brilliant mind, he mastered in a short time--a quarter year--and he became a big doctor, a philosopher and expert in all fields of wisdom.

[The Clever Man Afflicted, the Simple Man Joyful][edit]

After all this, the world began to seem, in his eyes, as nil. For due to his genius, and since he was such a great craftsman and so wise and such a doctor, every person in the world was like nil to him. He decided that he would now accomplish the purpose and take a wife. He opined to himself: "If I marry here, who will know what has become of me? Let me rather go back home, so that people will see what has become of me. I left as a young boy and now I have come to such greatness." And he picked up and traveled home, experiencing great afflictions on the way. For on account of his sophistication he didn't have anything in common with people about which to converse. [He was so worldly and refined that] he found no lodging up to his standards and so, he felt constantly afflicted.

For now, let us set aside the story of the clever man; and we will begin to tell the story of the simple man. The simple man learned shoemaking, and since he was a simple person he had to study the trade a great deal until he got it, and [even then,] he did not have complete expertise in the craft. He took a wife, and he sustained himself from his work. And since he was a simple person and was not such an expert, therefore his livelihood came with a great deal of pressing and was very limited. He didn't even have time to eat because he always had to work, due to his inability to [be more proficient] in his craft. Only while he was working--when he had inserted the nail and pulled through the cobbler's thread--only then would he take a bite of a piece of bread and eat.

[The simple man's] customary behavior was to be always very joyful. He was constantly full only of happiness. And he had all the foods, all the drinks and all the clothing. He would say to his wife, "My wife, give me to eat;" and she would gave him a piece of bread and he ate. Then he would say, "Give me the sauce with buckwheat groats," and she would cut him off another slice of bread and he ate. And he would praise and say, "How very good and nice is this sauce!" Similarly he would order himself served meat and other delicacies, and for each dish, she would give him a slice of bread from which he would have great pleasure and give great praise. "How well prepared this is!" as if he had actually eaten that very dish. For he would really and truly feel, in the bread that he ate, the taste of all the foods he wanted; on account of his great temimuth [the quality of being tam; simplicity; wholesomeness; naivete; innocence] and his immense joy.

And similarly he would say, "My wife, give me a drink of beer;" she would give him water and he would praise, "How nice is this beer!" [Then he would summon,] "Give me mead;" she gave him water and he would praise it the same way. "Give me wine" or other drink; she gave him water and he would delight in and praise the drink as if he really drank [wine, etc.]

So too with clothing. He and his wife shared one peltz [Yid. pelt coat; an unfinished piece of fur used as a coat]. He would say, "My wife, give me the peltz, when he needed it namely, to go to the market. She would give him the peltz. When he needed a tulep [fancy overcoat with fine fur on the inside which rolls over onto the collar] to go out socially, he would say, "My wife, give me the tulep," and she would give him the peltz. He would take great delight in it and praise, "What a beautiful tulep this is!" When he needed a kaftan [long suit coat] for instance, to go to synagogue, he would summon and say, "My wife, give me the kaftan," and she would give him the peltz. He would praise and say, "How nice and beautiful is this kaftan!" And so too when he needed to don a yupa [a long silk robe worn for formal occasions] she would also give him the peltz, and he would also give praise and delight: "How beautiful and nice is this yupa!" And the like. Thus he was full only of joy and delight constantly.

When he would finish a shoe — and the shoe probably had three corners [i.e., it was not symmetrical] since he did not have complete proficiency in his craft — he would take the shoe in his hand and praise it highly. And he would take great pleasure from it and would say, "My wife, how beautiful and wonderful is this shoe! How sweet it is! What a honey, what a sugary shoe this is!" She would ask him, "If that is so, why do other shoemakers take three gulden for a pair of shoes, and you take only a half thaler (one and a half gulden)?" He replied, "What's that to me? That's the other person's business and this is my business. And besides, why do we have to talk about other people? Let's just start calculating how much I earn with this shoe "from hand to hand" [from his hand to the hand of the customer--i.e., considering all factors in the process of making and selling the shoe]. The leather costs me this much, tar and thread cost this much, the filling between the skins this much, and likewise other items this much; comes out that I profit ten groschen from hand to hand. And with such a profit from hand to hand, what is there to be concerned about?"

So he was only happy and cheerful at all times, but to the world he was a laughingstock; in him, they had just what they wanted--someone to mock however they pleased, for he seemed like a lunatic. People would come and start speaking with him intending to make fun and mock. And the simple man would say to them, "Just without mockery." And as soon as they answered him, "No kidding," he listened to them and started talking with them, for he did not want to further suspect witticisms — that perhaps this itself [their reply] is mockery — for he was a tam. But when he would see that their intention was indeed to ridicule, he would say, "So what if you are more clever than me? Would you not then be the real fool? For what do I amount to? So if you'll be more clever than me, you'll still be a fool!" (All this were the usual ways of the simple man. Now we will return to the original subject [i.e., the clever man].)

[The Clever Man Arrives Back in Town][edit]

In the meantime, there was a commotion--the clever man is traveling and coming here with great pomp and sophistication! The simple man also came running to greet him with great joy. He said to his wife, "Give me quick the yupa! I shall go and greet my dear friend; I will see him." She gave him the peltz and he ran to greet him. Now the clever man was riding pompously in a horse-drawn carriage; the simple man came out to greet him and welcomed him joyously, with great love, "My dear brother, how do you do? Blessed is God for bringing you and giving me the privilege of seeing you!" And the clever man, for whom the entire world was like nothing, as was stated above [that everyone and everything in the world was insignificant to him, for he considered himself above all the world] — all the more so such a person as [the tam] who seems crazy. But nonetheless, on account of their shared childhood love, he drew him close and traveled with him into town.

Now the two householders, the fathers of these two sons, had died during the time when the clever son was traveling the world. Their houses had been left [as an inheritance]. The simple son, who had remained local, moved into his father's house claiming his inheritance. The clever son, however, had been in foreign countries and had no one to receive the house. So the clever man's house became ruined and was lost--nothing remained of it. Thus the clever man had no house to enter when he arrived. He traveled to an inn but was anguished there because it wasn't up to his standards.

The simple man now found himself a new occupation--he would constantly run from his house to the clever man with love and joy. He noticed that the clever man was suffering from the lodgings. So the simple man said to the clever man, "Brother, come over to my house and stay with me! I will gather all my belongings into one bundle and you'll have my entire house at your disposal." This was agreeable to the clever man, so he moved into his house and stayed with him.

Now the clever man was always full of suffering, for he had left behind a reputation of being a wondrous sage, an artist, and a great doctor. A nobleman came and ordered him to make him a gold ring. He made him quite a wonderful ring and etched out engravings in very amazing ways. He engraved in it a tree that was a total marvel. The nobleman came and the ring did not please him at all. He had enormous suffering because he knew, in himself, that if this ring with the tree would be in Spain, it would be esteemed as an amazing work of art. And similarly, one time a great nobleman came and brought a rare precious gem, brought from distant lands. He also brought with him another gemstone with an engraved image and bid him to etch out that exact image onto the rare gemstone he had brought [from distant lands]. [The khakham] precisely engraved that exact image, except he made a mistake in one thing which nobody at all would discern except him alone. The nobleman came and took the gem and he liked it very much. But the clever man had great agony from his mistake, "As smart as I am, and this mistake should happen?!"

And similarly in his doctoring, he suffered as well: when he came to an ill person and he gave him treatments of which he knew clearly that if the patient would only survive, it would certainly have to be these treatments through which he had healed, for it was an excellent course of treatment. Then however the patient died. The public said that he died because of him, and he had huge suffering from this. Likewise, sometimes he gave an ill person treatments and the ill person became healthy, and the public said that it was a chance occurrence. So, he was always filled with pain.

Similarly, when he needed a garment. He summoned the tailor and took pains with him until he taught him to make the garment to his specifications, according to his knowledge of fashion. The tailor understood the directions and made the garment just as he wanted, except on one lapel, he erred by not shaping it well. [The khakham] suffered great anguish from that because he knew in himself that, although here it would be considered handsome, because no one would perceive [the defect], but "if I were to be in Spain with this lapel, I would be a laughingstock and I would look like an imbecile." And so he was always full of suffering.

The simple man would joyously run over to the clever man all the time; but he always found him afflicted and full of suffering. He asked him, "How could it be? A wise and wealthy person such as you — why do you always have anguish? [Look!] Am I not constantly happy?" This was a big joke in the eyes of the clever man. [The tam] seemed crazy to him. The simple man said to him, "Even plain people, when they make fun of me, are fools as well, for if they're already smarter than me, they are first fools themselves [as mentioned above]! All the more so such a clever person as you. So what if you are smarter than me?" The simple man spoke up, saying to the clever man, "May the One Who gives grant that you should come up to my level [and become a simple person]!" The clever man replied, "It is possible that I could reach your level — if my intellect would be taken away, God spare us; or if I became sick, God forbid, I could also become insane. For what are you anyway, but a madman? But that you would come up to my level? No way! It is completely impossible that you would become wise like me!" The simple man answered, "With Hashem Yithbarakh, everything is possible. It could happen in the blink of an eye that I ascend to your [level of brilliance]." The clever man made great fun of him.

[The King Sends for the Clever Man and Simple Man][edit]

Now these two sons were known in public by their nicknames: "Khakham--Clever" and "Tam--Simple." Even though there are many clever and simple people in the world, still, in this case, it was unusually apparent. For they were both from the same town, went to school together, and the one had become such an extraordinary genius, while the other was so extremely simple. Even in the public registry (the book listing the citizens) where they record everyone's given name and family name, these two were registered only by their nicknames--"Khakham" and "Tam."

One time, the king was perusing the registry and found these two recorded solely by their nicknames, "Clever" and "Simple." The king was amazed and very much wanted to see them. He realized, "If I suddenly send for them to come before me, they will be very frightened. The clever one won't know at all what to make of this, and the simple man might go crazy from fear." So, the king decided to send a khakham to the khakham and a tam to the tam. But where does one get a tam in the royal [capital] city? For in the royal city [where the king lives] the majority are smart people. However, the one who is appointed overseer of the treasury — he is intentionally a simple person. For they do not want to appoint a clever person overseer of the treasury. Perhaps through his cleverness and his intellect he will embezzle all the funds; therefore they expressly put a simple person in charge of the treasury.

So the king summoned a clever man and the above-mentioned simple man (the treasurer) and sent them to the two sons. He gave each one a letter. And he gave them an additional letter to the provincial governor under whose authority the two sons dwelt. In it, the king commanded that the governor should send letters of his own to the clever son and the simple son so that they shouldn't be frightened. He should write to them that the matter is not obligatory, that the king is not explicitly decreeing that they should come, but rather the choice is theirs: if they want, they should come. Just that the king desires to see them.

The emissaries traveled off, the clever one and the simple one, arriving at the governor, delivering the letter. The governor inquired after the two sons. They told him that the "khakham" is an extraordinarily clever person, quite a wealthy man and the "tam" is an exceedingly simple person who [believes he] has every kind of garment from the single peltz [piece of fur] as mentioned before. The governor took counsel that it is certainly inappropriate to bring him before the king dressed in a peltz. So he arranged for appropriate garments and placed them in the simple man's carriage. And he gave them the aforementioned letters.

The messengers traveled off and arrived there. They delivered the letters to them; the clever one delivered to the "khakham" and the simple one to the "tam." Now the "tam", as soon as he was delivered the letter, spoke up to emissary (who was also simple, as above) saying, "See here. I don't know what is written in the letter. Read it to me." He answered him, "I'll tell you by memory [Yid. oysveynik < Ger. auswendig; Heb. be`al peh by rote] what is written in it. The king wants you to come to him." Immediately he asked, "Are you making fun of me?" He answered him, "It is the absolute truth; no kidding." [The tam] was instantly filled with joy and ran, saying to his wife, "My wife, the king has sent for me!" She asked him, "What is it about? Why [has he sent for you?!]" He had no time to answer her at all. He immediately and joyfully rushed off to travel with the emissary, right away entering and sitting down in the carriage. There he found the above-mentioned clothes and he became happier and happier.

[The King Appoints the Simple Man as Governor, Minister][edit]

In the meantime, reports were sent that the governor was corrupt, and the king deposed him. The king made up his mind: it would be good to have a simple person be governor, for a tam would conduct the country with truth and justice, since he would not know any sophisticated or contriving ways. So, the king decided that he should make the above-mentioned simple son the governor. He issued orders that the "tam," for whom he had already sent, be appointed governor immediately upon entering the provincial capital. For that would be the route the "tam" must travel. Therefore they should watch the city gates so that as soon as the "tam" arrives, they should detain him and install him as governor. They did so. They stood over the gates and as soon as he drove through, they stopped him and told him that he had been appointed governor. He inquired, saying, "Please don't clown around with me." They answered him, "Of course! No joking at all! The "tam" immediately became governor, with authority and power.

Now that his mazal went up [mazal: constellation; lit. "flow"; one's destiny or potential as provided by God via arrangement of the constellations] — and [as the Talmud teaches,] mazal machkim[11] [as the mazal (flow) goes up, so does one's wisdom]-- the "tam" acquired a bit of discernment. Nonetheless, he did not make use of his wisdom at all but just conducted himself with his temimuth (simplicity) as before, and he led the state with temimuth, with truth and with integrity, with not a drop of corruption. For management of state requires no great intellect nor special knowledge, just uprightness and temimuth. When two people came before the "tam" for judgment, he would say, "You are innocent and you are liable," purely according to his simplicity and truthfulness, without any crookedness nor deceit. And thus he conducted everything truthfully.

The country loved him very much and he had loyal advisers who truly loved him. And on account of love, one of them advised him: "Inasmuch as you will certainly be summoned to appear before the king--and behold, he has already sent for you--and moreover, the procedure is that a governor has to come before the king. Now, even though you are very sincere and the king will not find any fault in you of your leadership of the country, still however it is the routine of the king, when he converses that he digresses into discussing philosophy and languages. Therefore, it will be pleasing and of proper etiquette if you are able to respond to him; therefore it will be good for me teach you philosophy and languages." The simple man accepted this saying, "Why shouldn't I learn the wisdom of philosophy and languages?" It immediately came to his mind that his friend, the clever man had said to him that it would be impossible in any manner that he should reach his [level]. "Here I have already arrived at his wisdom!" (And still even though he now knew wisdom, he did not use the wisdom at all, but rather conducted himself only with simplicity as before.)

Afterwards the king dispatched that the "tam", the governor, should come to him. He traveled to him. At first, the king discussed the leadership of the country with the "tam", and the king was very well pleased. For the king saw that he was conducting himself justly and with great honesty, without any wrongdoing or scheming. Then the king began speaking about wisdom and languages; the simple man replied appropriately, and the king was even more pleased. The king said, "I see that he is such a smart person and yet conducts himself with such innocence." The king esteemed him more and more, ending up making him the minister over all the ministers; mandating a special place for him to stay, and commanded to wall him about with very beautiful walls as is befitting, and gave him a writ of appointment that he be chief minister. And so it was; they built him very fine beautiful buildings in the place where the king had ordered, and he received his sovereignty with full effect.

[The Clever Man Denies There is a King][edit]

[Returning to] the khakham--the clever man. When the letter from the king came to the "khakham," he replied to the clever person who had delivered it, "Wait. Spend the night here. We'll talk it over and we'll come to a decision." That evening, he prepared him a great feast. During the meal the khakham waxed wise, analyzing with his cleverness and philosophy. He spoke up and said, "What can this mean, that such a king should send for such a lowly person as me? What am I that the king should send for me? Such a king with such authority and prestige! And me, so insignificant and despicable compared with such a great king — well, how is it conceivable that such a king should send for so unimportant a person as me? If I should say on account of my wisdom, what am I next to the king? What! The king doesn't have any wise men? Moreover, the king is certainly a great sage himself. So what is this, that the king should send for me?" He was very, very astonished by this. He spoke up, saying (that is, the original khakham, who was the simple man's childhood friend--for all this conjecture was the original khakham's monologue describing his astonishment and surprise, to which he now answers his own rhetoric, saying to the clever messenger), "You know what I say? My opinion is that it clearly must be that there is no king whatsoever in the world. That the entire world is mistaken in this foolishness; that they think there is a king. See! Understand — how can it be possible that the entire world should give itself over to depend on one man, that he should be the king? There is certainly no king in the world at all."

The clever messenger replied, "Haven't I brought you a letter from the king?" The original khakham asked him, "Did you yourself receive the letter from the king's hand directly?" He answered him, "No. Just another person gave me the letter in the king's name." He answered up, saying, "Now see with your own eyes that my words are correct--that there is absolutely no king." He returned to asking him, "Tell me, are you not from the capital city and did you not grew up there all your life? Tell me, have you ever, in all your days, seen the king?" He answered, "No." (For in fact it is so, that not everyone is privileged to see the king, for the king does not reveal himself [publicly] except on rare occasion.) The original khakham declared, "Now open your eyes and see that I am correct, that there is definitely no king whatsoever, for even you have never seen the king." Once again the messenger answered the khakham, "If it is really so, who then rules the country?" The first khakham responded, "That — I'll make clear to you, for it is [specifically] me you should ask, since I am an expert in this. I have wandered about in [many] countries; I've been to Italy. The customary practice is that there are seventy ministerial advisers [senators] who go up and lead the country for a certain time. Then the authority is given over to the next group until each and every resident takes a turn." His words started to penetrate into the clever messenger's ears until they came to agree and conclude that there definitely is no king in the world at all.

Again the original khakham spoke up, "Wait until morning and I will show you one example after another that there is no king in the world at all." The original khakham (that is the khakham who is the friend of the tam--we are always referring to him as the "original khakham;") got up early in the morning, woke his friend, the clever messenger, and said to him, "Come out with me. I will show you clearly how the whole world is mistaken and that there is really no king whatsoever. Everyone is making a huge mistake. They went through the marketplace and noticed a soldier. They got his attention and asked him, "Whom do you serve?" He answered, "The king." (They asked him,) "Have you ever, in all your days, seen the king?" "No." [The original khakham] answered up and said, "See! Could there be a foolishness like this?" They went on to an army officer and entered into conversation with him until asking him, "Whom do you serve?" He answered, "The king." "Have you seen the king?" "No." He proclaimed, "Now see with your own eyes! The matter is clear. Everyone is mistaken. There is no king at all."

The original khakham furthermore declared, "Come! Let us travel the world; I will show you more how the entire world is in great error." They went and traveled the world and wherever they arrived they always found the public in error. The matter of the king became an example for them. In other words, just like the public was in error in their belief in the existence of the king, so too everything held to be true by the populace must be mistaken. With this attitude, they traveled the world until they ran out of [money and supplies.] They began by selling one horse and then the other until they had sold everything and had to go on foot. Incessantly they kept examining the world, finding fault. They became poor vagrants, their status disintegrated, for no one would give consideration to such paupers.

[The Clever Man Meets with the Simple Man][edit]

The circumstances played out that they were wandering about until they came to the city in which the minister lived (that is, the "tam," the simple man, the friend of the "khakham," the clever man). There in that city was a genuine Baal Shem [lit. "Master of the (Divine) Name;" a holy man and miracle worker]. The Baal Shem was held in high esteem because he had done truly amazing things, and even among the nobility he was important and famous. The two clever men came into the city, walked about and came before the house of the Baal Shem. They saw many wagons stationed there--forty or fifty--with sick people. The khakham figured that a doctor must live there. He wanted to go into the house, for since he too was a great doctor, he wanted to go in to make his acquaintance. He asked, "Who lives here?" They answered him, "A Baal Shem." This filled his mouth with laughter and he said to his friend, "This is another lie and an outrageous mistake! This is even more nonsense than the mistake about the king! Brother, let me tell you about this fallacy, how very much the world is fooled by this lie.

Meanwhile they became hungry and found that they still had three or four groschen. They went into a soup-kitchen type restaurant (Yid. gorkekh, everyman's kitchen) where food is available for even three, four groschen. They ordered food and they were served. While they were eating, they talked and made fun of the "lie" and the "error" of the matter of the Baal Shem. The restaurant owner (gorkekher) heard their talk and was very annoyed, because the Baal Shem was highly esteemed there. He said to them, "Eat up what you have and get out of here." Then a son of the Baal Shem arrived there, and they kept on ridiculing the Baal Shem right in front of his son. The restaurateur growled at them for making fun of the Baal Shem in front of his son, until he lashed out, beating them with injurious blows, and shoved them out of his home. It made them furious and they wanted to seek judgment against the one who had beaten them. They decided to go to their innkeeper, where they had left their luggage, to take counsel with him as to how to obtain judgement for the above assault. They came and told him that the restaurateur had severely beaten them. He asked them, "Why [did he hit you]?" They told him that they had spoken against the Baal Shem. He responded, "It definitely is not right to hit people, but you behaved completely improperly by talking against the Baal Shem, for the Baal Shem is highly regarded here." They saw that he was not for real, that he too was in "error." They left him and went to the city clerk, (who was a gentile). They told him the story that they had been beaten. He asked, "What for?" They responded that they had spoken against the Baal Shem. The clerk beat them bloody and shoved them out of his office.

They went from this one to that one, each time to a higher authority until they came before the above-mentioned minister. There, in front of the ministry, were stationed soldiers, i.e., sentries. They announced to the minister that a person needs him, and he ordered him to enter. The khakham came before the minister who immediately recognized him, that this khakham is none other than his friend. However, the khakham did not recognize [the tam] due to his superior status.

Immediately the minister initiated, saying to him, "See my temimuth (my simplicity), to what it has brought me — to greatness such as this! And to what has your cleverness brought you?" The khakham spoke up and said, "That it turns out that you are my friend, the tam — about this we can speak later. Right now, give me a judgement against them for having hit me." He asked him, "Why [did they hit you]?" He answered him, "Because I spoke against the Baal Shem, that he is a lie and a great fraud." Answered up the tam prime minister saying, "You still adhere to your contrivances? Look, you once said you could easily reach my [level], but I could not reach yours. Now see that I have already long reached your [level], as mentioned above [that the tam had already become exceedingly wise as well] but you still have not reached mine. And I see that it is far more difficult for you to come to my temimuth [level of simplicity]." However, since the tam minister had known him from long ago when [the khakham] was still great, he ordered that he be given garments in which to be attired and he bid that he dine with him.

While they were eating, they began to converse, the khakham started trying to prove his aforementioned opinion that there is no king at all. The tam minister snarled at him, "What!? I myself have seen the king!" The khakham answered him glibly, "Do you know personally that it was the king? Do you know him, his father and his grandfather to have been kings? From where do you know that this is the king? People have told you that this is the king. They have deceived you with a lie." The tam became deeply vexed about the king, that he should deny the king's [existence].

Meanwhile someone came and said, "The Devil (Heb. `Azazel,Yid. Toivl) has sent for you (plural)." The tam shook with terror and ran and told his wife with great trepidation how the Devil had sent for him. She advised him to send for the Baal Shem. He sent for him; the Baal Shem came and gave him kame`as [amulets containing holy names] and [other] protections and told him that he need no longer fear at all. He had great faith in this.

So the khakham and the tam were again sitting together as before. The khakham asked him, "What were you so terrified about?" He answered him, "Because of the Devil, who had sent for us." The khakham ridiculed him, "You believe that there is a Devil?!" He responded, "If not, then who sent for us?" The khakham answered him, "This is definitely my brother. He wanted to be seen with me, and set up a scam to send for me." The tam asked him, "If this is so, how did he get past all the sentries?" He answered him, "He certainly bribed them, and they are saying fraudulently the lie that they did not see him at all."

Meanwhile again someone came and said as before, "The Devil has sent for you." This time, the simple man was not shaken at all and had no fear whatsoever, on account of the protections from the Baal Shem. He spoke up, saying to the khakham , "Now what do you say?" He said, "I will inform you that I have a brother who is angry at me. He has set up this scam in order to frighten me." He stood and asked the one who had come for them, "What does he look like, the one who sent for us? Which type of facial [structure] and hairstyle does he have, etc., and the like. He answered him, such and such. The khakham answered up, saying, "See! That is my brother's appearance!" The tam said to him, "Will you go with them?" He responded, "Yes. Just give me a few soldiers as zalaga (escorting guards) so that they shouldn't hurt me." He gave him a zalaga and the two clever men [the original khakham and the messenger] went with the man who had come for them. The soldiers of the zalaga returned and the tam, the minister asked them, "Where are those sophisticates?" They replied that they do not know at all how they disappeared.

The Devil had snatched those two sophisticates and carried them off to [a place of] slime and mud. There the Devil would sit on a throne amidst the muck. He threw them into the mire which was thick and sticky, literally like glue, and they were completely unable to move in the muck. They (these clever guys) screamed (at those who were afflicting them, that is the Devil and his henchmen), "Wicked ones! What are you torturing us for? Is there really a Devil in the world? You are evil, torturing us for no reason!" (For these smart men still did would not believe that there is a Devil; instead they insisted that evil thugs were persecuting them without cause.) The two sophisticates were left in the thick mire and were trying to figure out, "What is this? These are nothing but hooligans with whom we had once quarreled, and now they are afflicting us so harshly." They remained there, tortured and horribly abused for a number of years.

[The Clever Man Admits There is a King on the Earth][edit]

One time the tam--the simple man [who became the prime] minister--passed by the Baal Shem's home and was reminded of his friend, the khakham, the clever man. He went in to the Baal Shem and leaned in to him (as is the way of officials [wishing not to be overheard]), asking whether it would be possible to show him the khakham and whether he could extricate him. He said to the Baal Shem, "Do you remember the khakham whom the Devil sent for and carried away, and who has not been seen since?" He answered him, "Yes." He bid him to please show him the place [of the khakham] and to extricate him from there. The Baal Shem said to him, "I can certainly show you his place and take him out. Only no one but you and I may go." So they went together. The Baal Shem did what he knew [to transcend space and time in order to locate and go to the place] and they arrived there. He saw how they lay there in the thick muck and slime. When the khakham noticed the minister, he screamed to him, "Brother, look! They are beating and torturing me so intensely--these hooligans--for no reason!" The minister snarled at him, "Still, you hold to your contrivances and don't want to believe in anything at all?! You say these are people?? Now see here! Look! This is the Baal Shem whom you had denied. He is specifically the one who can take you out (and he will show you the truth)." The tam, the minister, beseeched the Baal Shem to take them out and show them that this is the Devil and that these are not humans.

The Baal Shem did what he did, and they were left standing on the dry land with no mire there at all. And the damaging demons became plain dust. Then the khakham saw and begrudgingly was forced to admit to everything, that there is indeed a king [and there is indeed a genuine Baal Shem], etc.

[Notes Following the Story][edit]

[Rav Nosson adds the following:] Regarding this story [Rebbe Nachman] gave over the teaching (Likutei Moharan Tinyana #12) which discusses khakhmoth (wisdoms/sophistication/cleverness) and temimuth, (innocence)--that the essence of personal wholeness is only temimuth v'pshituth (innocence and simplicity). [It further discusses] the matter of Amalek who was [the epitome of] a "khakham" [casting doubt through constant clever over-analysis], who heretically denied the main point [i.e., Hashem and the True Purpose of life] etc. (See there on the verse in Mishlei (Proverbs) 24, "ShevA` yipoL tzaddiK wekaM/ Seven [times] the tzaddik falls, but rises" — the end-letters of each word spell out `AMaLeK. For the main reason for spiritual falls is khokhmoth [cleverness--always trying to be smart in analyzing and figuring out everything]. Likewise, King Agag, who was a descendant of Amalek, even though he could see his imminent downfall when Samuel arrived...to execute him, he still did not believe, as it says (1 Sam. 15:32), "Agag went ma'adanoth" which Targum Yonatan translates as "went in a self-indulgent manner." For he still did not believe in his immanent demise. Not until the the very end did he see his vanquishment with his eyes, as then [he says], "Has the bitterness of death indeed turned unto me?" For until then, he still did not believe.

(If you will look into this tale, you will perceive wonder of wonders:) And if prayer is not as it needs to be, this is [an example of] the "three-cornered shoe" [Yid. a shikhele mit drei ecken]. Understand this well.

And see also at the end of the book the Rav's explanation, and you will see wonderful analogous commentaries.

Tale 10: The Burgher and the Pauper[edit]

[Introduction; the Dream of the Burgher and the Pauper's Wife][edit]

A tale. Once there was a burgher (that is, a [member of the] great merchant [class in Medieval Europe]) [burgh denotes a (fortified) city and is related to the word berg, mountain; see Rabbi Nathan's notes at the story's end] who was an extremely rich man and had a vast amount of merchandise. His promissory notes [vekhseln] and letters of credit [briv] circulated over the world and he had everything good. Below him lived a pauper who was an extremely poor man and had the complete opposite of the burgher (that is, the complete reverse: just as the burgher was a very rich man, so the pauper was conversely a very poor man). But both of them had no children: the burgher had no children and likewise the pauper also had no children.

Once, the burgher dreamed that people came to his house and were making packages and packages. He asked them, "What are you doing?" They replied: they will carry it all away to that very same pauper (that is, the pauper who lived under him, as mentioned). It annoyed him very much and he grew very angry that they wanted to carry away all his wealth to the pauper. To be wroth at them was impossible, for they were a good many people. So they continued making packages and packages of all his belongings, all his wares and all his goods and they carried absolutely everything away to the aforementioned pauper, leaving him nothing in the house but the bare walls; and it upset him very, very much. Meanwhile, he woke up and saw: it's a dream. And even though he saw it's only a dream and, thank God, all his belongings were with him — still all the same his heart pounded mightily and the dream could not be got out of his mind and the dream upset him severely. The pauper and his wife used to be cared for by the burgher and he would give to them often. But now after the dream he cared for them more than before. However, whenever the poor man or his wife would come into his house, his facial expression would change and he became frightened of them because he would recall the dream. And they, that is, the pauper and his wife, would often go to his house and were often with him.

One time the pauper's wife came to his house and he gave her what he gave her, and his expression changed and he became stricken with fear. She asked him and said, "I beg pardon of your honor. Tell me why it is that whenever we come to you your face becomes drastically changed." He told her the whole story: that he had had such a dream (as above) and since then his heart has been pounding him mightily (as above). She replied to him: did the dream take place on such and such a night (which she said)? He answers her, "Yes. What about it?" She replies to him, "On that night I also dreamed: that I'm a very wealthy person, and people had come to my house and were making packages upon packages. I asked them, 'Where are you bringing this?' They replied, 'To the pauper (that is, to the burgher, whom they already called a poor man now).' Therefore why do you pay attention to a dream? What for? — I also had a dream." Now the burgher has become all the more frightened and confused, since he has heard her dream as well, because it seems that his wealth and property are to be brought to the pauper and that the pauper's poverty are to be brought to him. He has become extremely panicked.

[The Wives' Trip and the Pauper's Wife's Capture; Rescue by the Burgher & the Pauper's Wife's Oath][edit]

And the day came to pass — the burgher's wife took a trip by coach, taking other wives along with her, and she took the pauper's wife too. And while traveling along on their tour, meanwhile a general and his army passed through. They got off the road and the army passed through. The general saw that women were traveling and he gave orders that one of them should be taken out, and they went and took out the pauper's wife, snatched her into the general's coach and drove away with her. Getting her back was certainly impossible now, for he had driven off with her, and especially a general with his army... And with her he rode to his country. And she was a Heaven-fearing person (that is, she had fear of God) and she was not willing to listen to him at all and she wept very profusely. They implored her a great deal and coaxed her but she was, however, an exceedingly Heaven-fearing person. And she (the burgher's wife, and the other wives) returned from their tour but the pauper's wife was not there. The pauper wept very, very much, beating his head against the wall and constantly mourning for his wife bitterly.

One day the burgher passed by the pauper's house and heard the poor man crying so bitterly and beating his head against the wall. He went in and asked him, "Why are you crying so intensely?" He answered him, "Why shouldn't I weep? What do I have left? Some people are left with wealth or with children. I have nothing at all and my wife has also been taken from me. What do I have left?" The burgher's heart was very touched [angekhapt, lit. captured] and he had great pity on the pauper on account of seeing his bitterness, his acute sorrow, and he went and did a reckless thing; it was so truly an insanity — and he went and asked in which city the general lives, and he journeyed there. Then he did a reckless [Yid. vild wild, extraordinary; Heb. mevohal me'od very panicked] thing: going into the general's house. Now, before the general there are sentries posted, but he [the burgher], on account of his severe agitation, suddenly with extreme turmoil went and paid no attention to the guards whatsoever; and the guards became shocked and extremely confused due to suddenly seeing a man beside them in great agitation, so they became very shocked: "How did this guy get here?" And due to their panic all the guards permitted him and he passed through all the guards until he went in the general's house, in the place where she [the pauper's wife] was lying. And he came and woke her up, and said to her, "Come!" When she caught sight of him she took fright. He said to her, "Come with me right away!" She went with him, and now again they passed by all the guards until they emerged outside. Only then did he first come around and realize what he had done there, such a wild thing, and he realized that for certain there would right away be a big uproar at the general's, and that's just what happened: there was a big commotion at the general's.

The burgher went and hid himself with her in a pit where there was rainwater until the commotion died down, and he tarried there with her for two days. She saw the great self-sacrifice that he has for her sake and the troubles that he suffers for her, and she swore by God that all the mazal[12]

that she has — possibly she has some kind of mazal, that she will have supreme grandeur and success [groiss gedulah un hatzlocheh] — then all her success will not be withheld from him (that is, from the burgher), and that if he should want to take for himself all her success and greatness, so that she should remain just as she was before, it would not be withheld from him whatsoever. However, how does one get witnesses there? She took the pit as a witness.

After two days he went out of there with her and went further. And he went with her further and further. And he understood that there in that place, she [Heb. he] is also being sought. He went and hid himself with her in a mikveh [ritual bath]. There once again she recalled the great sacrifice and the suffering which he endures for her sake and she once again swore as before: that all her mazal etc. as mentioned, taking the ritual bath as her witness. They were there as well for approximately two days and they went out and went further. Again he understood that they are searching here too and again he hid himself along with her. And so it happened several times, hiding himself with her each time in another place, namely in seven different waters, that is, in a pit with water and in a mikveh as mentioned, and ponds (mucky waters), a spring, rivulets (creeks), rivers and seas. And in every place where they hid she kept remembering his self-sacrifice and the troubles which he endures for her sake, and she kept swearing: that her mazal etc. as mentioned, each time taking the place as witness, as mentioned. And they kept going in this manner, always hiding themselves in those places (mentioned above), until they came to the sea. When they came to the sea — and the burgher was a great merchant and knew the sea lanes — he negotiated [lit. cut himself] to get to his country, until he traveled the way and came home with the pauper's wife and brought her back to the pauper. There was great rejoicing.

[The Burgher's Son and the Pauper's Daughter; the Match; Rise of the Pauper][edit]

The burgher, because he had done such a thing, and in addition had withstood trial (passed the test) with her (that is, he had the fear of God and did not touch her), therefore he was "remembered" (that is, "thought about" by Hashem Yithbarakh) [nifkad; see Gen. 21:1 etc.] and that year he had a son.

And she too, that is, the pauper's wife, because she withstood such a trial, both with the general and with the burgher, she therefore merited to have a daughter. And she was a supreme beauty, an extraordinarily great beauty which was unlike any human beauty whatsoever, for among mankind one never sees such beauty. Everyone [di velt, lit. the world] would say, "She should just grow to maturity!" (for it is hard for such an extraordinary novelty to reach maturity) because her beauty was absolutely extraordinary, the likes of which one doesn't see on earth. Everyone in the world would travel in and come to see her, and they would be very astonished at her beauty which was very, very extraordinary, and would give her gifts all the time out of affection, and they so kept presenting gifts until the pauper became rich.

As for the burgher, it entered his mind that he should arrange a match with the pauper due to her great beauty which was such a marvel, and he thought to himself: maybe this is what the dream will mean; that what's his is brought to the pauper and what's the pauper's to him; maybe the dream signifies this, that they will have a match; they will be mixed into one through the match.

One time, the pauper's wife came to the burgher and he told her that he has desire to have a match with her; and maybe through this the dreams will be realized, as above. She replied to him, "I've had this in mind as well, but I didn't have the boldness to talk of this, that I should be related to you through marriage. But if you want, I am certainly ready and will certainly not hold back from you, for I have already sworn that all my good and my success will not be withheld from you. And the son (of the burgher) and the daughter both learned in one schoolroom, languages and other things as was the order among them. And people would come to see the daughter on account of the exceptional novelty and kept presenting her with gifts until the pauper became rich.

And nobility would come see her and they liked her very much, and her beauty was an extreme marvel, for it was no human kind of beauty; and because of her extraordinary beauty the nobility got the idea of contracting a marriage with the pauper, and [any] minister who had a son wanted very much to contract a marriage with her. However, it would not befit the nobility to have a match with him (that is, with the pauper); they therefore needed to see to exerting themselves to make this man big (that is, the pauper), and they saw to it that he should perform a service for the emperor [Yid. keisar < Lat. Caesar].

And he was first an ensign [Rus. práporshchik, the lowest military officer rank < Slav. prápor flag] and afterwards continually higher and higher, for they saw to it to quickly promote him each time, until he rapidly became each time higher and higher, until he became a general. By now the nobility already wanted to have a match with him, however there were many nobility who wanted this, for many nobility had aimed at this [deroyf gefalen lit. fallen on it] and busied themselves with it, to continuously promote him. (Therefore he could not have a match with any of them.) And furthermore he could not have a match with any of them on account of the burgher, for it was already discussed that there would be a match with him.

And the pauper, who has now become a general — he became more and more successful. And the emperor would send him into battles and he was successful each time, and the emperor promoted him still higher each time and he was continuously very successful, until the emperor died. The entire country came to the decision to make him emperor, and all the nobility assembled together and all agreed that he should be emperor. He became emperor (that is, the aforementioned pauper has now become emperor) and he waged wars and was very successful, conquering countries, and waged more wars and was continuously successful, continually taking over countries until the other lands themselves submitted themselves under him with good will, for they saw his success is extremely great, for all the beauty of the world and all the mazal of the world was with him. So all the kings met together and agreed that he should be emperor over the entire world, and they gave him a document written with golden letters[13].

[The Ex-Pauper Emperor Reneges on the Match, but His Wife Adheres; The Emperor Schemes to Bring Down the Burgher and Eliminate His Son][edit]

And the emperor (that is, the pauper who has become emperor over the entire world) no longer wanted to have a match with the burgher, for it is not fitting that an emperor should have a match with a burgher. But his wife the empress — she did not desert the burgher. (That is, she stood by the burgher because he had risked his life for her sake, as mentioned.) The emperor therefore saw that he cannot make any match on account of the burgher, particularly since his wife supports him very, very much. Therefore he began to think thoughts about the burgher; and in the beginning he saw to it to place him in poverty and he made schemes just as if it were not from him at all, and he continually saw to it to cause him damages; and an emperor can certainly do this. He was continually caused losses and continuously beaten out of money until he became impoverished and became an absolute pauper. But she, the empress, kept adhering to the burgher.

Then the emperor realized that as long as the son is alive, (that is, the burgher's son) he can make no other match. The emperor exerted himself to rid the young man [bachur in both Yid. & Heb.: chosen one; or young man, youth, unmarried] from the earth and he thought out plans to eliminate him. And he set up false charges on him and called the judges into session to try him. The judges understood that the emperor's will was that he be eliminated from the world, and they delivered the sentence that he be put in a sack (that is, the burgher's son) and thrown into the sea.

[The Empress Saves the Burgher's Son; Her Daughter Sends Him a Note in Captivity; He Escapes and Becomes Lodged Alone in a Wilderness][edit]

As for the empress, her heart was very pained at this, however, even the empress too can do nothing up against the emperor. She went to the designees who were appointed to throw him into the sea, and she came to them and fell at their feet and pleaded with them direly that they should do for her sake and let him go, for: why does he deserve execution? So she begged them very much that they should take another captive who had to be executed and throw him into the sea, and the young man they should release. This she achieved with them; they swore that they would release him and so they did. And they took another man and threw him into the sea, but him they released (saying): "Go! Go!" And he went away. And the young man was already of mature mind [bar da`at, lit. "son of knowledge"], so he went his way.

And before this, that is, prior to the young man leaving, the empress went and summoned her daughter and said to her thus: "My daughter, you must know that this burgher's son is your groom;" and she told her daughter the entire story that happened to her, and "how the burgher sacrificed his well-being for my sake and was with me in the seven places (that is, in the seven types of water), and I swore to him every time by God that all my good would not be withheld from him, and I took those seven places as witnesses (that is, the pit, the mikveh, and all the rest of the seven types of water.)" Therefore now — you are all my good and all my mazal and my success; you are certainly his, and his son is your groom. And your father because of his haughtiness wants to kill him for no reason, but I have already made efforts to save him and have brought about that he be released. Therefore you should know that he is your groom (that is, the burgher's son), and you must not agree to any other groom in the world." The daughter accepted her mother's words, because she too was a God-fearing person, and she replied to her mother that she would certainly uphold her words.

The daughter went and sent a note to the burgher's son in prison, that she retains herself by him and he is her groom. And she sent something like a piece of a map, and she drew on it all the places where her mother had hidden with his father, which are the seven witnesses, that is, the pit, the mikveh and the rest as mentioned; that is, on it she drew something like a pit, a mikveh, and the rest of the seven types of waters. And she ordered him very, very strongly that he should guard this note very, very much, and she signed herself underneath; then things took place as mentioned: the deputies took another man, and him they released and he went on his way.

And he went and went until he reached the sea and he boarded a ship and set out upon the sea. A big storm wind came along and carried away the ship to a coast that was desert (that is, desolate) and on account of the great tempest, the ship was broken up; however, the passengers were saved and made out to dry land. And there it was a wilderness; the people from the ship went off in search of food. Each one looked for something to eat, for at that location it was not the norm that ships should arrive there, for it was desert. Therefore they did not think there, that some ship would come so that they could return home. They went along in the wilderness in search of food and became scattered here and there, each one separate. And the young man wanted to turn back but he no longer could, and the more he wanted to turn back, the farther he got, until he saw he can no longer return; so he went where he went in the wilderness. And he had in his hand a bow with which he protected himself against the vicious animals of the wilderness, and while walking he found himself something to eat there. And thus he walked and walked, until he emerged from the wilderness. And he arrived at a habitable spot that was a vacant place, and there was water there, and fruit trees around with fruit, and he ate of the fruit and drank of the water. And he resolved in his mind that he would settle down there for as long as he lives, for after all, anyhow it is already difficult for him to return to civilization, and who knows if he would again arrive at such a place if he would leave this place and go away? Therefore he wanted to dwell away there, and there live out this world. For it was good for him there, as he had fruit to eat and water to drink; and sometimes he would go out and shoot with his bow a rabbit or a deer and he had meat to eat. And he would catch fish there, for there were very good fish in the water there. It pleased him to live out his years there.

[The Emperor Proceeds to Make Other Matches with His Daughter and Makes Her a Court; She Is Courted but Refuses][edit]

As for the emperor, after the sentence had been carried out on the burgher's son and he was now free of him (for the emperor thought that they had indeed truly executed the judgment on the young man and he is no longer on the earth), now then he can already make a match with his daughter [that is, for his own daughter].

They began proposing matches to her with this king and with that king, and he made her a court in the appropriate way, and she remained there. And she took young ladies, daughters of nobility, to be her companions and she lived there, and she would play on musical instruments in their usual fashion. And whatever they proposed match to her, she always replied that she did not want any talk (that is, talk about the match) but that he himself should come (that is, he who wants to marry her). And she had very expert knowledge of the wisdom [chokhmah] of song (that is, the chokhmah to speak very beautiful lyrics with great chokhmah); and with skillful artisanship she made a place for him to come to (that is, he who wants to marry her) and stand facing her and say a song, that is, a song of desire, just as a desirer speaks to his desired (that is, words of love). Kings would come to be matched with her and they arrived at that place and they each one spoke his song.

To some of them she sent a reply through her ladies, also with a song and with affection. And to some whom she liked more, she herself responded and she would raise her voice with a song and reply to him as well words of affection. And to some whom she liked even more she would personally show herself face to face; so she showed her face and replied to him with a song with affection. But to all of them she always concluded in the end, "The waters, however, did not pass over you [Di vassern zenen aber iber dir nit ariber gigangen]." And none of them understood what she meant. And when she showed her face people would fall down due to enormous beauty, and some were left weak and some became insane on account of lovesickness due to her great beauty which was very, very extraordinary. And nonetheless, even though they became insane and were left weak, despite this kings would still come to be matched with her; and she gave them all the same answer, as above.

[The Burgher's Son Muses with the Note; the Note is Lost and He Reaches Settlement; Three Kings Betray Him][edit]

And the burgher's son remained in that same place and he made himself a place to dwell in and he lived there. And he too could play and knew the wisdom of song; he selected wood out of which musical instruments can be made and he made himself instruments, and from the veins of animals he made strings; thus he would musically accompany himself. And he would take the note that he had which she had sent him (at the time he was in captivity) and he would sing and play and remember what had befallen him, and how his father had been a burgher etc., and now he has been cast off to here. And he went and took the note and made a sign on a tree and made a place there in the tree and hid the note there, and he dwelled there for some time.

One time there was a great storm wind and it broke all the trees that were standing there. He could not recognize the tree where he had hidden the note, for when the trees were standing in their place he had a sign to recognize, but now that they had fallen the tree became mixed among the other trees which were very numerous there; he could no longer recognize the particular tree. And it was impossible to split open all the trees and look for the note, for there were very many trees. He cried exceedingly and was extremely sad and he realized that if he would stay there he would certainly become insane on account of great anguish that he had.

He came to the decision that he must go further away and whatever should happen to him, let happen — go away he must, for he is anyway in great danger due to severe anguish. So he got some meat and fruit into a sack and went wherever he would go. And he made signs in the place from which he left and he went along until he reached a settled area. He asked them, "What land is this?" They answered him. He asked if they had heard about the emperor here. They answered him, "Yes." He asked if they had heard about his daughter, the beauty. They answered him, "Yes, but no one can be matched with her (as mentioned, for she wants none of them, as mentioned)." He came to a decision, since he can't get there anyway — and he went to the king of the country and spoke his heart out entirely: And that he is her groom and because of him she wants no other match. And he cannot get there, therefore he gives over to the king all the signs that he has, that is, the seven waters mentioned above. And the king should himself go there and he will match himself with her; and he should give him money for this.

The king recognized that his words are true, for one cannot think up such things out of one's heart. The thing pleased the king. However, he decided: if he brings her here and the young man will be here, this is not good for him. Should he kill him? He did not want to do such a thing, for why should one after all kill him for the favor? Therefore the king decided he would exile him two hundred miles away. He was very upset at him exiling him for such a favor as he had done him. There as well he went to another king and told likewise too as before. (That is, the young man, the burgher's son, because it upset him that the first king exiled him, went to another king and told him as well the whole story with all the signs, so that the other should make haste to marry the beauty.) So he related to him all the signs and to this other king he added an additional sign. And he ordered him and rushed him to set out immediately; maybe he can overtake the other king, in order to get there first; and even if he does not arrive first, he still has one sign more than the first. And the second one decided as well like the first (that it is not good for him if the young man should be here); the other king also exiled him two hundred miles further. He was again very upset and he went again to a third one (that is, the young man, the burgher's son, again went to a king who was now the third, and also told him as before, the entire story); so he went another time, to a third king. He also told him the whole story, as with the others. And to the third one he gave even more signs, very good signs.

The first king got up and traveled there and arrived there at the location of the emperor's daughter, that is, the beauty. And the king composed a song and embedded in the song, with wisdom, all the places, that is, the seven aforementioned witnesses (that is, the seven types of water, which were the essential signs of her groom that she had, as mentioned). However, in accord with the science of song the seven places came out for him not in order (that is, for example he had to say the pit first and then the mikveh etc., but he said in reverse), for so it came out for him according to the wisdom of the song. And the king came up on the place (that is, on the place where the one who wanted to be matched with her had to come upon and say a song with wisdom as mentioned), and he said his song. When she heard the places (that is, the seven types of waters) it was extraordinary news for her. It felt to her that this was certainly her groom, but it was difficult for her why he said them not in order. However, notwithstanding, she thought perhaps due to the science of the song, this order came out for him. It was accepted in her heart that this is he himself. She wrote to him that she designates herself as matched with him. There was a grand celebration and a commotion inasmuch as the beauty has at last found her match, and they were already preparing for the wedding.

Meanwhile, the other one arrived (that is, the other king, to whom the young man had also divulged all the signs plus one more sign, as mentioned). And the other one also ran there and they told him that she has already made a match; but he paid no mind to this [lit. he didn't look at it] and he said: nonetheless, he still has something to tell her; that he will certainly have an effect. He came (that is, the other king) and said his song — and this other one has now arranged all the places in order, and moreover he gave one more sign in addition. She asked him, "From where does the first one know?" If he were to tell the truth it would not be good for him (that is, the other thought he cannot tell her the truth, that the young man told the first one, for it's not good for him if she should know that). So he said he doesn't know (from where the first one knew the signs). It was a big wonder to her and she was left standing bewildered, for the first one also told out all the places; and from where should a man know these signs? But notwithstanding, it felt to her that this other [second] one is her groom, for she saw that he told in sequence, and in addition one more sign; and the first one, maybe it came out to him through the science of song that he mentioned the places. Albeit, now she remained standing (in other words she could no longer give herself counsel; she stayed put and now was not willing to be matched with anyone).

And the young man, that is, the burgher's son, when the second king exiled him, was again very upset, and he went to a third king and told him the whole entire story as above, and he told him even more signs, very good signs. And in front of this third one he told out his entire heart: Inasmuch as he had a note on which all these places were drawn (that is, the seven types of water); therefore he [the king] should draw on a piece of paper all those places and bring [it] to her. And the third king also exiled the young man two hundred miles further yet, and the third one also ran there. And he got there; he was told that the other two (that is, the two kings) are there already. He replied, "Nevertheless," for he has such a thing that he will definitely have an effect. And the world [i.e. people] did not know whatsoever why she wants these kings more than others. And the third one came and said his song with very excellent signs, better than the first ones, and he showed the note (where he himself had re-drawn the places) with all the places drawn. She became very panicked (in other words, scared and disturbed), however, she did not at all know a thing to do, since regarding the first one she also thought that this is he; and then regarding the second. Therefore, she said that she would believe no longer until her very own writing itself is brought.

[The Young Man Goes Himself, but She Pays No Mind and He Returns to His Place in the Wilderness][edit]

Then the young man decided (that is, the burgher's son): how will he always be sent further away? So he made up his mind he himself would set out for there (that is, to the emperor's daughter); perhaps he will have effect. And he went and went until he got there. And he said he has something that will definitely have effect. And he approached and said his song. And he said even more signs, very good signs, and he reminded her that he had learned with her in one schoolroom, and other signs too. And he told her everything: that he had sent the aforementioned kings, and hidden the writing in a tree, and everything that had befallen him.

But she did not regard this at all (and the first three kings certainly also had to say some reasons for not having the note). And to recognize him is certainly impossible, for a long time had already passed. So she already no longer wanted to regard any signs at all until the writing of her own hand is brought, for regarding the first one she also thought that this is he for certain, and likewise regarding the second, etc.; therefore she no longer wanted any signs etc. as mentioned. And the young man (that is, the burgher's son) decided he can make no delay whatsoever here (in other words, he cannot tarry here, for it may become known that he is here; the emperor will kill him, as mentioned).

He made up his mind he would again return back to his spot in the wilderness where he was before, and there he would live out his life. And he went and traveled to get to that wilderness and he arrived there at the wilderness. Meanwhile as the above was all happening, very many years went by. And it remained in the young man's mind that he should sit away there in the wilderness and live out his years there. According to how he had evaluated the entire mortal life on earth, it was clear in his mind that it is good for him to live out his years here in the wilderness; and he lived there and ate from the fruits, etc. as mentioned.

[A Murderer Kidnaps Her; She Arrives at the Young Man's Place][edit]

Now, on the sea was a murderer, and the murderer heard that there exists such a beauty on the earth. He wanted to abduct her even though he did not need her since he was a eunuch; he only wanted to grab her in order to sell her to some king; he'll get a great deal of money for her. So the murderer began to busy himself with the thing. And a murderer is a reckless person, so he abandoned himself: if he accomplishes, he accomplishes, and if not, what will he forfeit here? For he is after all a reckless person, as the way of a murderer is. So the murderer went and bought a vast amount of wares — extraordinarily much. And he made golden birds, and they were made with craftsmanship so that one would think they live; they were just like living birds in nature. Moreover he made golden grain stalks, and the birds stood on the grain stalks and this alone was a novelty, that the birds stand on the stalks without the stalks breaking, for they were large birds. And furthermore he made devices so that a person thought that the birds make music; one clicked its tongue, one chirped, and one sang. And this was all done with cunning, for men stood there in a room that was on the ship and the men stood under the birds and the men did it all, and it was thought that the birds themselves make music, for they were cunningly made with wires; it was thought the birds themselves do all this.

And the murderer went off with all this to the land where the aforementioned emperor's daughter was. And he came to the city where she was and he brought himself to a standstill with the ship in the sea and anchored the ship and made himself out to be big merchant. People would go to him to buy expensive wares, and he stayed there a while, a quarter year and longer, and people always carried off beautiful wares that they bought from him.

The emperor's daughter also desired to buy wares from him; she dispatched to him that he should bring her merchandise. He dispatched to her: he has no need to bring merchandise to a buyer's house, even if she is an emperor's daughter; whoever needs merchandise should come to him. And no one can force a merchant into that, so the emperor's daughter decided to go to him. And her custom was: whenever she would go in the marketplace she would veil her face in order that one should not gaze at her, for people would be liable to fall down and be left in weakness etc. due to her beauty. The emperor's daughter went, covering her face, and she took her ladies with her and a watch [Yid. vakh guard, lit. wake, vigil; a squad of guards] followed her. And she came to the merchant (that is, to the murderer, who disguised himself as a merchant) and she bought some wares from him and went her way. He told her (that is, the murderer, the merchant), "If you come once more, I will show you even more beautiful articles than this, very wonderful things." And she returned home. After that she came once again and bought merchandise from him and again went home. And the murderer stayed there for a while. Meanwhile the emperor's daughter already became accustomed to visiting him; she would go to him often.

One day she came to him. He went and opened for her the room where the golden birds and so forth were located. She saw it being a very extraordinary novelty; and the other people who were with her (that is, the watch, etc.) also wanted to go in the room. He said, "No, no! I don't show this to anyone except you because you are the emperor's daughter; but for others I don't want to show this at all." She alone entered in there, and he too went in the room, and he locked the door and did a crude thing and took a sack and forcefully put her in the sack. And he took off all her clothes from her and dressed a sailor with the clothing, veiled his face, pushed him out, and said to him, "Go!" And the sailor, not knowing whatsoever what's happening to him, as soon as he emerged with his face covered, the soldiers (that is, the watch) being unaware immediately began walking with him; they thought that this is the emperor's daughter. And the sailor went along with the troop wherever they led him; and not knowing whatsoever where in the world he is, he came there into the room where the emperor's daughter lived. His face was uncovered and they noticed that this is a plainly a sailor. There was a tremendous uproar there. (And the sailor was slapped quite thoroughly in the face and was shoved out, since he is after all not responsible, for he didn't know at all.)

And the murderer took the emperor's daughter, and he knew that he would certainly be chased after. He left the ship and hid himself together with her in a pit containing rainwater until the uproar would subside. And the ship's sailors he ordered to immediately cut anchors and flee right away, for they would certainly be pursued; and the ship would certainly not be shot at on account of the emperor's daughter, for they will think that she is there on the ship. "However, they will pursue you; therefore you should flee immediately. If they catch you, so what?" — as the way of murderers is; they do not look at themselves at all (in other words, they disregard themselves). And such is what happened; there was a big outcry and they were immediately chased; however, she was not found there. And the murderer hid himself together with her in a pit of rainwater, and they lay there. And he scared her so that she wouldn't scream, in order that people should not hear. And he said to her thus: "I have risked my life for your sake in order to capture you, and if I should lose you again, my life is not worth anything at all to me: for since you are already in my hand, if I should lose you again and you be taken away from me, then my life is already worth nothing to me. Therefore as soon as you just give a yell I will strangle you right away, and let whatever happens to me happen, for I consider myself worthless in that case." She was terrified of him (in other words, the emperor's daughter who was lying in the pit with the murderer, was afraid to scream since the murderer had scared her).

Then he departed from there with her and he brought her to a city and they traveled on and traveled on, and they came to a place and the murderer understood that there too they are searching. He hid himself together with her in a mikveh. And then he went out from there too and came to another place, and there also he hid himself with her in another water, and thus he hid himself with her each time in another water, until he had hidden himself with her in all the seven kinds of waters that the burgher had hidden himself in with her mother, as mentioned, which constitute the seven witnesses, as mentioned, until he came with her to the sea. The murderer searched there for even a small boat from which they catch fish, in order to cross with her. He found a ship; he took the emperor's daughter, and he did not need her, for he was a eunuch as mentioned, but just wanted to sell her to some king. And he had fear lest she be snatched away from him, so he went ahead and dressed her in sailor's clothes; she looked like a male. And the murderer traveled with her on the sea (that is, with the emperor's daughter, whom we refer to in male terms, as the murderer disguised her thus, as mentioned).

A storm wind came and carried away the ship to a shore, and the boat was broken and they came to the shore where the wilderness was, where the young man was living. When they came there, and the pirate was expert in routes as usual, he knew that here it is desert; that no ships come here. Therefore, he no longer had any fear of any man and he let her loose. And they walked (that is, the murderer and the emperor's daughter), he this way and she that way, to find themselves some bit of food. She distanced herself from the robber and the robber went his own way, and he noticed that she isn't here beside him. He began to shout out to her, and she made up her mind and did not respond to him at all, for she thought to herself, "My end is that he will sell me. Why should I answer him? If he reaches me again, I will reply to him I did not hear, especially as he does not want to kill me, for he wants to sell me." She did not respond to him and she went further on. And the robber sought her here and there and could not find her. And he went further and still could not find her; so probably vicious animals ate her up.

And she went further and further and was able to find some food, and walked on thus until she came to the place where the young man was living (that is, the aforementioned burgher's son). And by this time she was now overgrown with hair, and in additional she was dressed as a male in sailor's clothes as mentioned. They did not recognize one another. And immediately when she came he turned very happy that another person had come here. He asked her, "Where have you come here from?" [S]he answered, "I was with a merchant on the sea" etc. She asked him, "Where did you come here from?" He also answered her, "Through a merchant." The two of them remained there.

[The Empress and Emperor's Strife, Her Banishment, and His Decline; Reversal of the Banishment; the Empress Restores the Burgher and His Wife][edit]

After the emperor's daughter was snatched away from the emperor, as mentioned, the empress lamented a great deal and struck her head on the wall over the loss of her daughter, and she ate away at the emperor with words a great deal and said to him, "Because of your pride you've wasted the young man, and now our daughter has become lost!" And she said to him, "She was our entire fortune and our entire success. Now we've lost her. What is left for me?" So she ate away at him severely. And for himself as well this was certainly also very bitter that his daughter had become lost; in addition the empress ate away at and infuriated him very much. So there were severe quarrels and bickering between them; and she would say nasty things to him until she angered him very much, until he ordered her banished. And he had judges sit trial on her; they ruled that she be banished, and she was banished. Afterwards the emperor sent out into war and was not successful; he blamed this on some general: "Because you did so, therefore you lost the war." He banished the general. After that he sent off again into war and again was not successful. He banished more generals, and so he banished a number of generals. The country saw that he was doing bizarre things: first he banished the empress, then the generals. They decided (that is, the citizens): maybe the other way around — the empress should be sent for, he should be banished and she should lead the country. They did so and banished the emperor; and the empress they took back and she led the country. And the empress immediately sent for the burgher and his wife the burgheress to be brought back (as the emperor had brought them low and made them into paupers as mentioned, etc.). And she brought them into her palace.

[The Emperor's Release and Arrival at the Same wilderness as the Young Man and His Daughter][edit]

And the emperor, while he was being sent into exile, went ahead and begged those who were leading him that they should release him, "for, after all, I have been your emperor and must certainly have done good things for you. Now do this for me and let me go, for I will certainly not turn back to the country any longer. You need have no fear. Release me. Let me go my way. Let me at least be free, the little bit of life that I have yet to live." They released him, and he went on and went on. Meanwhile several years passed by and the emperor went on and went on until he reached the sea. The wind carried away his boat too and he too reached the aforementioned wilderness, until he came to the place where the other two were living (that is, where the young man, the burgher's son, and his daughter the beauty who was now going dressed as a male, were). They did not recognize one another, for the emperor had already become overgrown with hair and already several years had passed; and they too had become overgrown with hair as mentioned. They asked him, "Where have you come here from?" He answered them, "Through a merchant." And they answered him thus as well. The three of them stayed there together, eating and drinking there, as mentioned. And they played on musical instruments there, for they all were able to play, for this one is an emperor and likewise they too were able to play.

And he, that is, the young man, was the highly capable person [Yid. beryeh] among them, for he had been there since long ago already. And he would bring them meat, and they ate, and they would burn wood there, which was more precious than gold in settled places. The young man used to prove to them that here it is good for them to live out their years. According to the benefits that people have on earth in settled places, it is better that they should stay here, living out their worldly existence here. They asked him, "What sort of good did you have, that you say it is better for you here?" He answered them and told them what had happened to him: how he had been a burgher's son etc. until he came here, and what his being a burgher's son resulted in for him. Here too he has all the good. (Thus did the young man keep saying to them.) And he kept proving to them that here it is good to live out their worldly lives.

The emperor asked him, "Have you heard of the emperor?" He answered him: he had heard. He asked him about the beauty: whether he had heard of her. He answered him also: Yes. The young man began to talk angrily and said, "That murderer!" (As one who gnashes his teeth at the other person, so did the young man talk angrily about the emperor of whom they were speaking, for he did not know that the emperor himself is talking with him.) He asked him, "Why is he a murderer?" He answered him, "Because of his cruelty and because of his arrogance I've arrived here. He asked him, "How did that happen?"

The young man made up his mind that here he has no need to fear anyone, so he spoke to him and recounted the entire story that happened to him. He asked him, "If the emperor should come into your hand would you take revenge on him now?" He answered him, "No," (for he was a good person and merciful) "on the contrary, I would provide sustenance for him just as I sustain you." Again the emperor began to sigh and groan, saying, "What an evil and bitter old age this emperor has!" For he had heard that his daughter the beauty had become lost, and he himself has been banished. Again the young man spoke up, "Because of his cruelty (in other words, mercilessness) and because of his pride he squandered himself and his daughter and I have been cast off to here — all because of him." Again he asked him (the emperor to the young man), "If he should come into your hand would you take revenge on him?" He answers him, "No. I would sustain him precisely as I sustain you." The emperor made himself known to him and informed him that he himself is the emperor, and what has befallen him. The young man fell on him, kissed him and hugged him. And she, that is, the beauty, who was also present, only in disguise, etc. was listening to everything as the two were talking to one another.

[Searching for the Note][edit]

And the young man, it was his routine that he would go every day and make a sign for himself on three trees and look for the writing there (that is, in these three of the trees). For there were millions of trees, so he would make himself a sign on those which he searched, in order that he should no longer need to search in these three trees tomorrow. Thus he kept doing every day; perhaps he would still find the writing (that is, the note she had sent him which he had lost among the trees, as mentioned). And when he would return from there he would come with wept-out eyes, for he would cry when he searched and could not find. They asked him (that is, the emperor and the beauty) asked him, "What do you look for among the trees and then come back with wept-out eyes?" He told them the entire story: insofar as the emperor's daughter (that is, the beauty) had sent him a writing; he had hidden it in one of the trees; a storm wind came, etc. as mentioned. Now he searches; maybe he'll find it. They said to him, "Tomorrow when you go look we will also go with you. Maybe we will find the note." And so it was; they went with him too. The emperor's daughter found the note in a tree, and she opened it up and saw this is her own writing from her hand. She reckoned if she immediately discloses to him that this is she herself, that if she will again remove these clothes and return again to her beauty and again be a good-looker as before, he may collapse and pass away. And she wants that it should be done in a kosher way, according to traditional practice (in other words, she cannot marry him here in the wilderness, for she needs to have a wedding with him, as it ought to be). She went and returned the writing to him and told him that she had found the writing. (In other words, she did not tell him that this is she herself; rather, she simply told him that she had found the writing.) He immediately dropped down and was left faint. They restored him to health and there was great rejoicing among them.

Later the young man said, "What use is the writing for me? How will I ever be able to find her? For surely she is now with some king (for he thought that she had been sold by the murderer, just as the emperor had told him). What use is it for me? I will live out my years here." And he went and gave her back the writing and said to her, "Here! Take the note for yourself and you go and marry her" (for she was disguised as a male). She allowed herself to go but asked him to go with her as well. "For I will certainly take her; things will be good for me; I'll give you a share of my good." (In other words, the emperor's daughter who was disguised as a male said thus to the young man.) And the young man saw that "he" is a wise man and will certainly take her; he was willing to go with him (that is, with the emperor's daughter who he thought is a male). But the emperor was left alone, for he was afraid to go back to his country. She asked him to go too: for he will surely take the beauty. "You no longer have anything to fear. (In other words she said to him, 'I will certainly seek out the beauty, so you no longer have anything to fear, for the mazal will turn back when she is found.') And you will also be ordered to return."

[The Three Set Out to the Empress, the Daughter Reveals Herself, and the Wedding Takes Place][edit]

The three set out together and they hired a ship and came to the country where the empress lives, and they came to the city where she is located and they put the ship down. The emperor's daughter figured: if she immediately informs her mother that she has come back, she may pass away. She went and dispatched to her mother inasmuch as there is a man who has knowledge of her daughter. Then she herself went to the empress and told her what had happened to her daughter, telling her the entire story. And at the end she said to him (in these terms), "And she (that is, the daughter) is also here." She told her the truth: "I myself am she!" And she informed her that her groom, that is, the burgher's son, is here too; however, she said to her mother that she wants it no other way except that her father the emperor be restored to his place. However, her mother did not want this at all, for she was very upset at him, because all this was due to him; but nonetheless she had to do it for the sake of her daughter. They wanted to bring him back (the emperor); they searched for the emperor — and he's not there at all. Her daughter told out to her that the emperor is also here with her. The wedding took place; the joy was entire. And the kingdom and the empire they took over, that is, the burgher's son with the beauty who got married; and they reigned over the face of the earth [zey zinen molekh bekipah given], that is, they reigned over the entire world, Amen and Amen.

[Notes Following the Story][edit]

Afterwards as well the old emperor had no greatness, for it [the trouble] was all because of him. The burgher had enormous greatness — he is the emperor's father, who is the essential one [ikar, the root]. The sailor was smacked and smacked in the face and expelled.

Regarding Lot it says, "Ha'hárah himmalét/ to the mountain flee for salvation" (Gen. 19:17) — this is a burgher [a play on words: Yid. barg mountain, pl. berg < Ger. Berg mountain; ME burgh city < OE burg fortified town; O. High Ger. Burg fortified castle, all from Indo-European root *bhergh], and from him comes [Heb. is born] Mashiach. [Note: Rabbi Nachman's surname was Horodenker, as his grandfather, also named Nachman, was from the Ukrainian city Horodenka, the name of which stems from Ukrainian gorod, city. Thus "Burgher" might be interpreted as an allusion to this name.]

Jews had, in Mitzrayim, signs who would be the Redeemer etc. [Heb. only: paqódh paqádh'ti (Ex. 3:16: "I have remember-remembered you;" alternately, "a chief I have appointed"?) — he who says to them these terms is the Redeemer. And it is an astounding thing, since all Yisrael knew of this — so then what is this sign? Possibly it was not transmitted except to the elders.] And upon the [Heb. final] Redeemer [Yid. to come] there are certainly signs [Yid. do, here] as well.

Mashiach will say to every Jew everything that has happened to him every single day [Heb only: to every member of Yisrael individually]. Tamar also lost the signs, as it says in the Midrash. Also when she was going to be burned the Samekh-Mem came and removed the signs from her, and the angel Gabriel came and returned them, as it says in Midrash; out from her comes Mashiach, speedily in our days, Amen.

All this the Rebbe discussed after the story so that one can make some kind of surmise how far the story reaches. So, good for one who is privileged to know the stories' secret even in the other world!

Regarding that which is explained in the story, that every one comes with his song of desire and some are replied to via an emissary etc. as mentioned — so there are a number of great people who each do what they do [Heb. only: And each says songs and so forth] and each busies himself and wants to reach {Yid.: the truth; Heb.: the desired purpose. But there is none who attains the essential true purpose completely} — except the one who is worthy/ fit/ eligible [re'ui] for it. And some are answered via an emissary, or from under [Heb. behind] the wall, or they show them the face etc. as in the story. However, in the end, when they leave this world, they answer them that they've still done nothing at all, like it is written in the story, how the beauty ultimately answers them, "Di vassern haben aber iber dir noch nit ariber gigangen," until the right leader comes — speedily in our days, Amen! This too the Rebbe z"l discussed.

Tale 11: The King's Son and the Maid's Son Who Were Exchanged[edit]

[The Switch][edit]

A Tale. There once was a king. In his home there was a bondmaid [Yid./Heb. shifchah] who served the queen. (Generally no cook may enter in the king's presence, but this bondmaid had some other service, a minor service.) The time came when the queen was supposed to have a child, and the bondmaid had to give birth at that time as well. The granny [Yid. bubbe, Heb. meyaledeth, midwife] went and switched the babies to see what will happen; what will arise from this. So she took the king's child and put him down next to the bondmaid, and the bondmaid's son she put by the queen.

Afterwards the children began to grow up, and the king's son (that is, the child who grew up at the king's whom they thought was the king's son) they promoted (that is, made great) and kept raising higher and higher until he became extremely great and was a very important person[14]. And the bondmaid's son (that is, he who was reared by the bondmaid, who in truth was the king's son) also grew up at the maid's, and both children studied together in one schoolroom. And the king's true son (who shall be called "the bondmaid's son"), his nature was drawn to the manners of royalty, except that he was brought up in the home of the servant[15]. Conversely, the bondmaid's son (who shall be called "the king's son"), his nature was drawn to a different deportment not like the bearing of a king is, except that he was brought up in the king's home so he had to act according to the manners of a royal person, because those were the manners they brought him up with.

Now the granny, because women are da`athan kaloth [lit. light minded], in other words, they cannot hold themselves back, went and spoke out the secret to some person, inasmuch as she had exchanged the children. Now, every person has a friend, and that friend has another friend, thus one person told the other until the secret was revealed, as the way of the world is, until the world was talking quietly about it, that the king's son was switched. But it was not permitted to speak about it outright, so that the king should not become aware of it, for what will the king be able to do in such a case, since he cannot correct it? For he cannot believe it, as perhaps it is a lie, so how can one reverse the exchange? Therefore one certainly may not say it out in front of the king; however, amongst themselves the public talked about it quietly.

The day arrived when someone came along and told out the secret before the king's son, inasmuch as they say about him that he was exchanged. "However, you cannot investigate this, for it does not befit you. And how can one probe such a thing? Just, I am telling it to you in order that you should know. For perhaps there will once be a conspiracy against the monarchy; the conspiracy will be able to prevail through this, for they will say that they are taking to themselves the king's son as a king, that is, the one who they say of him that he is the king's true son, as mentioned before. Therefore you need to outwit the fellow." (All this said that person to the king's son who in actual truth is the bondmaid's son, as mentioned.)

The king's son (that is, the one who is called the king's son. And the rule is that wherever simply "the king's son" is mentioned, it refers to the exchanged one. That is, he is actually the bondmaid's son, except that he is called the king's son because he was raised at the king's. And similarly with the "bondmaid's son" where a bondmaid's son is mentioned: only where "the king's true son" or "the bondmaid's true son" is mentioned, then the meaning is the actual truth.) went and began to do mischief to the other one's father (who was really his own father), and arranged everything to constantly do him evil. And he kept dealing him mischiefs one after another in order that he should have to be uprooted[16] along with his son. Now the whole time the king himself still lived, he did not yet have so much authority; nonetheless he kept dealing him woes.

Afterwards the king grew old and died, so he assumed the reign (that is, the bondmaids's son who is now called the king's son, as mentioned above); then he dealt even more evil to the other son's father (that is, to the father of the bondmaid's son who in truth was the king's son; and this father was really his own father, of the one who had taken up the reign, for they were exchanged, as above). And he dealt him evil disguised so that people would not know that it's from him, for it's unseemly in front of people, and kept dealing him mischiefs one after another.

This one [the son's father] understood that he is dealing him woes on account of the matter (that is, because the public discusses that the children were exchanged). He (that is, the bondservant, the bondmaid's husband who was constantly dealt woes in order that he should drive out his son because they say that the children were exchanged, as mentioned) spoke up and said to his son and told him the whole affair and said to him, "I have great pity on you, for any way you approach it [mimah nafshakh[17], lit. "from wherever your soul (is drawn)," possibly a double meaning here]: if indeed you are my child, of course I certainly have great pity on you; if indeed you are not my child but are in truth the king's son, there is even greater pity on you, because that one (that is, he who took over the reign) wants to expel you entirely, perish the thought. Therefore, you must pull up (that is, run away) from here."

It irritated him very much and he felt very bad about the thing. However, the king (that is, the one who became king in place of his father, because it seemed he is the king's son due to the interchange) meanwhile kept constantly dealing out woes one after another, so the son (that is, the king's true son who was exchanged) decided he must run away. His father gave him a great deal of money and he left. It upset him very much that he was driven out of his country for nothing, for he looked around him: "Why do I deserve it that I should be driven out? If indeed I am the king's son, I certainly don't deserve this, that I should be driven out. And even if I am not the king's son, I also don't deserve this, that I should be a fugitive (that is, one who has run away) for nothing. For, what is my sin? What am I guilty of here?" It upset him very much, and on account of this he took to the drink and went to brothels (that is, to houses where there are whores). And with that he wanted to spend his years, getting drunk and following after what his heart desires, because he was driven away for nothing.

And the king (that is, the false prince, the exchanged one who became king) took over the kingship strongly, and when he heard anything about people murmuring and discussing anything about it (that is, that they were switched, as mentioned) he penalized them (in other words, punished and tortured) and took his revenge on them. So he ruled with force and strength.

And the day came to pass when the king went with his noblemen on a catch ("na ulavi" [<Rus.]: that is, catching animals) and they came to a pleasant place. And a river of water was ahead of that spot, so they stopped there to rest themselves and they wanted to walk around. The king lay down for a little bit, and the deed that he had done, that he had driven away that certain person for nothing, came to his mind. For, any way you look at it[17]: if he's indeed the king's son, is it not enough that he was exchanged? Why should he in addition be driven out for nothing? And if he is not the king's son, he also does not deserve to be driven away, for what had he done wrong? The king thought himself away in this matter, and had remorse over the transgression and the great injustice that he had done. And the king could give himself no advice what he should do here. And to talk about it — one cannot do such a thing with any person at all, to take counsel with him (for one is obviously ashamed to discuss such things with people). So the king became very laden with great worry. He ordered the nobles to turn back, because since worry has befallen him there is no need to tour any more. They returned home. When the king returned home, he of course had numerous affairs and concerns, and he busied himself with his concerns and the thing left his mind (that is, the worry and the remorse that he had over the fact that he had driven away the other for no reason).

And the one who was driven away (that is, the king's true son) — well, he did what he did and squandered his money. One time, he went out alone for a walk; and he lay down and it came to his mind what had happened to him and he thought: "What has God done to me? If I am indeed the king's son I certainly don't deserve this, and if I am not the king's son I also don't deserve this selfsame thing, that I should be a fugitive and an exile." Then he reached settledness in his mind, "Just the reverse. If it is so, that Hashem Yithbarakh can indeed do such a thing, that they should exchange a king's son and such things should befall him — do I turn myself to behave this way? Is it right, what I have done? Does it befit me that I should behave thus, the way I have done?" And he began to have great anguish and very much regret the bad deeds he had done. Then he turned back home, there where he was staying, and further took to the drink. However, because he had already begun to have remorse, the thoughts of remorse and repentance which came to his mind all the time would confuse him.

[The Dream, the Job and the Forest][edit]

One time he laid himself down to sleep and the dream came to him to the effect: In such and such a place there is a fair on such and such a day; therefore he should go there, and whatever he strikes first — any gainful service — he should immediately do it, even if it won't be according to his dignity (thus went his dream). And he woke up with a start and the dream was very much in his thought. For sometimes it happens that the matter immediately goes out from the thought. But rather, this dream very much entered in his thought. Albeit, nonetheless, it seemed very hard for him to do this, and he went more to the drink. And the dream appeared to him again several times, and the dream confused him a great deal.

One time they said to him in the dream, "If you want to have pity on yourself, do thus" (that is, he should go to the fair etc. as mentioned), so now he had to carry out the dream. And he went ahead and left the remaining money he still had, leaving it at the inn where he was staying; and the good clothes which he had, he also left at the inn; and he took for himself a simple garment like merchants, that is, a coverall, and he set out for the fair and arrived there. And he got up very early and went to the fair.

A certain merchant encountered him and said to him, "Would you like to earn something?" He answered him, "Yes." He said to him, "I need to drive herds [behemoth, dumb beasts][18] here. Will you hire yourself out to me?" And he didn't have time to settle his mind, due to the dream (for the dream had been that he must take on the first gainful work etc. as mentioned), and he immediately answered, "Yes." And the merchant immediately hired him and immediately began to lord over him like a master over his servants. And he began to look around himself, what he had done, for he certainly doesn't deserve such a servitude, for he is a delicate man and now he'll have to drive herds and go by foot next to the beasts. However, one already can't have any regret, and the merchant is lording over him like a master. He asked the merchant, "How shall I go alone with the herds?" He answered, "I have more herdsmen driving my herds. You'll go together with them," and he gave over to his hands certain herds to drive. He led the herds out of the town, and there, gathered together, were the rest of the herdsmen driving beasts.

They went together; he was driving the herds, and the merchant was riding on a horse and going along with them. And the merchant was driving cruelly (that is, with anger and without compassion), and against him he was extra cruel, and he grew more and more terrified of the merchant, since he saw in him that he has extremely great cruelty and anger against him. And he feared in case he deals him a blow with his stick then he'll die instantly (for the king's [true] son was quite a frail person and on account of his sensitivity he was very terrified, thus he thought that way). So he was walking with the herds, and the merchant with them. And they came to a certain spot; they took the sack wherein lies the herdsmen's bread, and he (the merchant) gave them to eat; him too they gave from the bread and he ate.

Afterwards, they were walking by a very thick forest; two beasts from his herds (of this son who had become a herder for the merchant) walked off into the forest. The merchant yelled at him and he went after the beasts to capture them. And the beasts ran away further and he pursued them more; and since the forest was very thick, it was as soon as he entered the forest that they already could not see each other, so he immediately disappeared (that is, became hidden) from their eyes (that is, from the rest who were going with him). And he (that is, the king's [true] son) from whom the two beasts walked off, kept going and still chasing after the beasts and they kept running away. And he chased after them a great deal, until he arrived in the thick of the forest.

He made up his mind: "Either way [lit. be what will be], I'm already going to die, because if I return without the beasts I'll die through the merchant" (for on account of the great fear that he had of the merchant, it seemed to him that the merchant would kill him if he returns without the beasts). And if I'll be here I will also die by the animals of the forest." He decided, "Why should I return to the merchant? How can I come to him without the beasts?" For he had great fear of him. He went and chased further after the beasts and they kept running away. Meanwhile it became night, and such a thing he has never had, that he should have to sleep alone at night in such a thick forest. And he heard the roaring of the beasts which roared in their usual way. He made up his mind and went up on a tree and spent the night there, and he heard the sound of the beasts yelling in their usual way.

In the morning he took a look: he saw that the beasts are standing close by him. He got down the tree and went to catch them; they got away further. He went after them more and they got away more. And the beasts found themselves some grasses to eat there and they stopped to graze. He went further to catch them; they got away further. And thus he kept going after them and they run away, he goes after them more and they run away — until he has arrived in very thick forest where there were already animals[19] that have no fear whatsoever of any people, because they are far from settled places. And again it has become night and he heard the sound of the animals roaring and he was very terrified.

Meanwhile he noticed that a very large tree is standing there, and he got up on the tree. As soon as he was up on the tree he noticed: a man is lying there. He took fright but still he was relieved for the reason that he has found a human here. They asked one another, "Who are you?" "A man." "Who are you?" "A man." "From where have you come here?" He did not want to tell what had happened to him, so he answered him, "By way of the dumb beasts which I tended. Two beasts walked off here, and thereby I've arrived here." In return he asked the other man whom he found there on the tree, "From where did you get here?" He answered him, "I got here by the horse. For I was riding on a horse; I stopped to take a rest and the horse went off into the forest. I chased after it to catch it and the horse ran away further, until I arrived here."

They made up between them that they should remain together, and they agreed that even when they will come into civilization they should also remain together. And the two of them slept the night there and they heard the sound of the beasts roaring and screaming very much. Towards day he heard a very great laughter ("kha kha kha") over the entire forest (in other words, the sound of the laughter went over all the forest), for it was a very great laughter, to the extent that the tree trembled from the sound of the laughter, and he became very terrified and had great fear from it. The other person said to him (that is, the man whom he had found there on the tree), "I already have no fear of it whatsoever, for I've slept here already several nights. All nights are like this; as it gets close to day, one hears the laughter, to the extent that all the trees tremble and quake."

He was very frightened and said to the other, "It seems that here is the place of 'those people' (that is, of the demons), for in settled areas one does not hear such a laughter at all, for who has heard a laughter over the entire world?" Then immediately it became day. They took a look; they saw: the beasts of his are standing, and the horse of the other is also standing. They went down and started chasing after — this one after the beasts and that one after the horse. And the beasts ran away further, and he chases more, etc. as before. And likewise the other keeps chasing after the horse and the horse keeps running away, until they [the two men] have gone off, one from the other, and one already did not know of the other['s whereabouts].

Meanwhile he (that is, the king's son who was still chasing after the beasts) found a sack with bread. Now this is certainly very important in a wilderness, so he took the sack on his shoulders and went after the beasts.

[The Man of the Forest][edit]

Meanwhile he encountered a man. Initially he was afraid; however, still he had a little relief because has he found a person here. The man asked him, "How did you get here?" He asked the other man in return, "How did you get here?" The other man answered him, "I (with an expression of amazement) — my parents and my parents' parents were raised here. But you, how have you come here? For, no man whatsoever comes here from the settled areas." He was very frightened, for he understood that this is no human being at all, for he says his ancestors were raised here and no man from civilization comes at all here, so he understood that this is no human at all. But still he did not do anything to him whatsoever and was welcoming (that is, this man of the forest did not do any harm to the king's [true] son who was going after the beasts).

And the man of the forest said to him, "What are you doing here?" He answered: he is chasing after the dumb beasts. The man (of the forest) said to him, "Stop chasing after your sins already, for it is not beasts at all but rather your sins are leading you around like this. Enough already! You have already received yours (that is, your punishment you've already received). Now stop chasing them any more. Come with me; you will arrive at the thing that is fitting for you." He went with him, and he was afraid to speak with him and to ask him anything, for a man like this may open up his mouth and swallow him down. He followed him.

Meanwhile, he encountered his friend who was chasing after the horse. As soon as he saw him he immediately winked at him (to signal) that "this is no human being at all; don't have any dealings with him whatsoever, because this is not at all a human." And he immediately went and whispered it to him in his ear, that this is not a human being at all, etc. Meanwhile his friend (that is, the horseman) took a look and he saw: he has a sack with bread on his shoulder! He began to appeal to him, "My brother! It is already days that I have not eaten. Give me bread!" He answered him, "Here in the wilderness nothing helps, for my life takes priority; I need the bread for my sake." He began to beg him and beseech him greatly, "I'll give what I'll give you!" (Except, in the wilderness certainly no gift helps at all for bread)." He answered him, "What can you give me for bread in the wilderness?" He said to him (that is, the horseman who begged for the bread said to the herdsman, who is the king's true son), "I give away myself entirely; I will sell myself to you as a servant for the bread." He (that is, the herdsman) decided: "To purchase a man it's worth it to give him bread," and he bought him as a permanent slave. And he swore him in with oaths that he shall be a slave to him forever, even when they arrive in civilization, and he will give him bread, that is, they shall both eat from the sack of bread until it runs out.

And the both of them went together and followed the man of the forest, and the slave walked behind him (that is, the horseman who sold himself as a slave followed after the herdsman, for he was already his slave, and the two of them walked after the man of the forest). And meanwhile now it became a little bit easier for him (since he has a servant already). When he needed to lift up some object or do something else he ordered his slave to lift it or do something. So they followed together behind the man of the forest and they came to a place where there were snakes and scorpions; he grew very terrified, and on account of fear he asked the man of the forest, "How will we get past here?" He answered him, "Ella ma'i (but what then? isn't this too a wonder?)[20] — how will you enter my house?" — and showed him his house standing in the air. They went with him and he brought them over in peace, and he brought them into his house, gave them [things] to eat and to drink, and went away.

And he (that is, the king's true son who had driven the beasts) ordered his slave around for whatever he needed. It upset the slave very much that he had sold himself as a slave for the sake of a single hour when he needed bread to eat, because now he already has what to eat and just for the sake of a single hour he will be an eternal slave. And he made a big sigh and groaned, "What have I come to, that I should be a slave?" He asked him (that is, the king's true son, who was his master, asked him), "What kind of greatness did you have, that you sigh that you have come to this?"

He answered him and recounted to him to the effect: He had been a king; they said about him that he had been exchanged etc., as above (for this horseman was really the king himself, who was actually the bondmaid's son); he drove his friend away (that is, the king's true son). One time it came upon his mind that he has done not right and he regretted etc. Regrets kept coming to him constantly over the evil deed and over the great injustice that he has done against his friend. Once, the dream appeared to him that his correction is that he should throw away the kingship and go wherever his eyes will bring him, and by this he will rectify his error. He didn't want to do it, but those same dreams kept perplexing him constantly, that he should do so, until it remained in his mind that he should do so. So he threw away the kingship and went where he went until he came here. And now he'll be a slave.

Now the other one hears all this and keeps silent (that is, the king's true son who had driven beasts heard out all this that he told him), and he thought to himself, "I will know well enough how to deal with you."

At night, the man of the forest came and gave them to eat and to drink, and they spent the night there. Towards day they heard the great laughter (mentioned earlier), until all the trees trembled; it broke all the trees (the sound of the laughter). He urged him (that is, the slave urged the king's true son, who is his master) to ask the man of the forest what it is. He asked him, "What is this such great laughter, close to day?" He answered him, "This is the day laughing at the night, for the night asks the day, 'Why when you come do I have no name?' The day lets out a big laugh and then it becomes day. And this is the laughter that is heard close to day." This was a big wonder to him, for this is something extraordinary, that the day laughs at the night. (He could already ask no more, when the other answers with such language.)

In the morning again the man of the forest went away and they ate and drank there; at night he came back and they ate and drank and spent the night there. At night they heard the sound of the animals as they all screamed and roared with wild [i.e. extraordinary] sounds. The lion screamed, the leopard roared with another sound, and similarly the rest of the beasts, each beast roaring with a different sound, and the birds whistled and clicked, and so all gave voice with wild sounds. And at the beginning they became very scared; they did not listen correctly to the sound on account of fear. Later, they bowed their ears and listened; they heard it's a sound of a melody; they sing quite a nice tune which is an extraordinary novelty. They listened even more; they heard it's an extraordinarily fine melody that is quite a wild marvel which was an extremely great pleasure to hear, [such] that all the pleasures of the world are completely nothing and amount to absolutely nothing in compare to the wildly great pleasure that one has when one hears this wondrous tune. They discussed between themselves that they want already to remain here, since for eating and drinking they have, and they have such a delight that is such a marvel that all kinds of delights of the world were entirely nullified against this pleasure. The slave urged his master (that is, the king's true son) to ask him (that is, the man of the forest) what it is; he asked him.

He answered him: Inasmuch as the sun has made a garment for the moon, all the animals of the forest have spoken up to the effect that the moon does them great favors, for the animals' dominion is mainly at night only. For sometimes they need to go into a settled area, and by day they cannot, so of course the main time of their dominion is only at night. And the moon does them such a favor by shining for them at night; therefore they agreed that they should make a new melody in honor of the moon, and this is the tune that you hear. When they heard it's a melody they listened even more; they heard it's quite a lovely, sweet melody that is an extremely wild novelty.

He replied to them (that is, the man of the forest) "What — is this such a novelty for you? Ella ma'i [But what then?][20] — I have an instrument[21] which I've received from my forebears, who inherited it from their forebears' forebears, which this instrument was made with such things, with such leaves and with such colors, that when one takes the instrument and puts it on whatever beast or on whatever bird then it immediately begins to play this melody (that is, the melody that the animals played)." Then the laughter happened again and it became day; the man of the forest again went away and he (that is, the king's true son) went searching for the instrument. And he searched out the entire room and did not find, and he was fearful to go any further. And they (that is, the king's true son with his slave who is the bondmaid's son who before was king) were afraid to say to the man of the forest that he should lead them into settlement.

Later the man of the forest came and said to them that he would lead them into settlement. He led them into settlement, and he took the instrument and gave it to the king's true son and said to him, "The instrument I give to you. And with him (that is, with his slave who before was king etc.) — you will know how to deal with him." They asked him, "Where shall we go?" He said to them that they should inquire after the land that is called by this name: "The Foolish Land with the Wise King (Das Nayrishe Land un der Kluger Malchus)." They asked him, "To which side [Yid. tsayt[22]; compare with zayt further below; Heb. tzad] should we start to ask after this land?" He showed them with his hand: right here (as someone points with a finger). The man of the forest said to the king's true son, "Go there, to the land, and there you will come to your greatness."

[The Foolish Land with the Wise King][edit]

They went where they went, and they very much wished to find any animal or beast to test the instrument, whether it would be able to play (as before). However they still did not see any sort of animal. Then they arrived further into settlement. They found some beast and laid the instrument down on it and it began to play the tune (as before). So they went and went until they came to the land. And the land was walled about and one could not enter in the land except by one gateway. One must go around several miles until one comes to the gateway. They went around until they came to the gateway. When they had now arrived at the gateway, they did not want to let them enter, inasmuch as the king of the land had died; the king's son remained and the king had left a will: "Inasmuch as the land has hereto been called Das Nayrishe Land un der Kluger Malchus ("The Foolish Land with the Wise King"), now it will already be called the reverse: Das Kluger Land un der Nayrisher Malchus ("The Wise Land with the Foolish King"). And whoever will undertake that he should return the land to the first name, that is, that they will once again call the land by its first name, Das Nayrishe Land un der Kluger Malchus — the same shall become king" — therefore they do not let any man into the land except he who will undertake the same, that he should return the land to the first name. They said to him, "Can you undertake this, that you should return the country to its first name?" He certainly could not undertake this, so they could not enter. His slave urged him that they should return home. However he did not want to return because the man of the forest had said to him that he should go to this land and there he will arrive at his greatness.

[Another Horseman; Understanding One Thing From Another][edit]

Meanwhile another man arrived who was riding on a horse, and he wanted to go in but they also did not let him in on account of this (as mentioned). Meanwhile he noticed that this other man's horse is standing so he went ahead and took the instrument and laid it down on the horse and it began to play the very fine melody (as above). The horseman pleaded him very much that he should sell it to him, and he replied, "What can you give me for such a wondrous instrument?"

The horseman said to him, "Well, what can you do with this instrument except perform theatrics and take in a gulden? I however know a thing that is better than your instrument. I know a thing I've received from my parents' parents: to be an extrapolater [mevin davar mitokh davar]. That is, I know such a thing that I've received from the forebears of my forebears, that through this thing one can make inference. When somebody says just any utterance, one knows, through that which I have received, one should discern something from one thing (that is, one thing from the other). And I have not yet spoken out the thing before any man in the world. Therefore, I will teach out to you this certain thing, and you will give me this here instrument for that."

He decided (that is, the king's true son, who had the instrument) it is truly a great wonder to be an extrapolater. So he gave away the instrument to him and he (that is, the horseman) went ahead and instructed him so that he should be an extrapolater. Now the king's true son, since he has now gotten the ability to extrapolate, was walking around there by the gate of the country, and he understood that it is indeed possible for him to undertake it to return the land to its first name. For he had now after all become an extrapolater; thus he understood it is possible, even though he did not yet know just how and by what way he will be able to do this, to restore the first name to the country. But nevertheless because he had become able to extrapolate, he understood it is possible.

He made up his mind he would order himself let in and he would undertake it that he would return its first name to the country. What would he lose here? He said (to those people who did not want to let him in) that they should let him in and he will take under himself that very thing, that he would return the first name to the country. They let him in, and they informed the noblemen that there is found a man who wants to undertake it to return the land to the first name. They brought him to the noblemen of the land.

The noblemen said to him, "You should know that we too are no fools, God forbid, except the king that had been[23] — he was a very extraordinarily great sage, such that against him we were all fools. Therefore the land used to be called 'The Foolish Land with the Wise Government (malkhuth).' Then the king died; the king's son remained, and the king's son is also a wise man, except against us he is not at all smart. Therefore the land is now called conversely: 'The Smart Land with the Foolish Government.'

"The king left a will: when there will be found such a wise person that he should return the land to the first name, he shall be king. And he commanded his son that when such a man will be found, he shall step down from the reign for him: that is, when there will be found such a wise man that he will be such an extraordinarily great sage that against him everyone will be fools, he will become king, for this man will surely bring back the land once more to its first name, 'The Foolish Land with the Smart King,' for they are after all fools against him. Therefore you should know what you are taking under yourself here." (All such did the noblemen say to him.)

[The Test: The Garden and the Man][edit]

In addition they (that is, the noblemen again; this is all a continuation of their words) said to him, "The test will be whether you are this wise: Inasmuch as there is a garden that is left over from a king who had been, who was a very great sage, and the garden is quite an extraordinary novelty — metal instruments grow in it (that is, tools of ironwork), silver instruments and gold instruments — so it is an extremely wild novelty: However, one cannot go in the garden, for when a person goes in the garden then immediately they begin chasing him. So they chase and he screams and he doesn't at all know and doesn't at all see who is chasing him, and so they chase him continuously until they make him run away from the garden. Therefore, we shall see whether you are wise; if you'll be able to go into the garden."

He asked whether they beat the person who enters. They said to him: the main thing is they chase him and he doesn't at all know who they are that chase him and he has to run away in very great panic. For thus people who had gone in there told them. (All thus did the noblemen say to the king's true son.)

He got up and went to the garden. He saw there is a wall around it, and the gate is open and there aren't any guards there, for one certainly doesn't need any guards for this garden (for no one is able to go in it, as mentioned)! He (that is, the king's true son) was walking by the garden and he took a look: he noticed that standing there by the garden is a man. That is, a man was portrayed there.[24] He looked some more and he saw that above the man there is a sign, and there it is written that the man — this was a king several hundred years ago, and in the king's times there was peace, for until this king there were wars and likewise after him there were wars but in the days of this king there was peace.

He understood, because he had already gotten the ability to extrapolate, that it all depends on this man. When one enters the garden and they start to chase him, he needs not run away at all but just put himself next to the man; thereby he will be saved. Moreover even if one takes this man and inserts him inside in the interior[25] of the garden then every man will be able to enter in peace into this garden. (All this the king's true son understood because he had become able to infer.)

He got up and went inside the garden, and as soon as they started chasing him he went and put himself next to the man standing by the garden from the outside, and thereby he emerged in peace and it did not harm him at all. For, others when they entered in the garden and they started chasing them would run away in very great panic and were consequently battered, but he emerged in peace and tranquility by placing himself next to the man.

And the noblemen saw this and were astonished that he got out safely. Then he ordered (that is, the king's true son called) that they should take the man and insert him inside within the midst of the garden. They did so and then all the noblemen entered inside the garden and they passed through and got out safely.

[Another Test: The Throne and the Things Around It][edit]

The noblemen spoke up to him, "Still, even though we have seen from you such a thing, nevertheless for the sake of one thing you do not yet deserve to be given the kingship. We will try you further with one thing. Inasmuch as there is a throne here from the king who was, and the throne is very high and by the throne stand all sorts of animals and birds carved out of wood: And in front of the throne stands a little bed, and by the bed stands a table, and on the table stands a lamp. And from the throne emerge paved roads[26] and the roads are walled and the roads go out from the throne to all sides [zaytin[27]; see above[22] where it is spelled with a tzaddi], and no man knows whatsoever what it is, the matter of the throne with these roads. And these roads, when they go out and extend for some piece [i.e. distance] — a golden lion is standing there. And if some man should go to it, it will open its mouth and swallow him down. And beyond this lion the road extends even further, and likewise with the rest of the roads that go out from the throne. That is, with another road that goes out from the throne to another side it is also like that: when the road extends away a piece, a different animal is standing there, namely a leopard [Yid. lempert, Heb. lavi' lion] of ironwork. And there too one cannot go to it (as before, because it will swallow him down). And beyond the leopard the road extends further, and so it is with the rest of the roads. And these selfsame roads extend and go throughout the entire land, and no man whatsoever knows what is the thing of the throne with all these things and the roads. Therefore you shall be tested with this, whether you will be able to know the matter of the throne with all these things."

They showed him the throne and he saw that it was very high, etc. He went to the throne, took a look and understood that the throne was made of the little box's wood (that is, the instrument that the man of the forest had given him). He looked some more and he saw the throne is lacking some little rose at the top [rayzile, Heb. shoshanah], and if the throne would have this rose the throne would have the power of the little box (that is, the aforementioned instrument which had the power that when one would lay the instrument on some beast or animal it began to play, as mentioned). He looked some more and he saw that this rose which is missing at the top of the throne, this rose is lying at the bottom in the throne. One needs to take the little rose out from below and seat it above and thus the throne will have the power of the little box. For the king who had been[23] had done everything with wisdom and had disguised everything in order that no one should understand the matter — what it means — until there would come such an extraordinarily great sage who would surmise and would be able to hit upon interchanging everything and arranging all the things as needed.

And so too the little bed: he understood that one needs to move it a bit away and back from the place where it's standing. And also the table: one also needs [to move it] a bit away and back from [its] place; and one also needs the lamp a bit away and back from its place. And so too the birds and animals: one also needs to relocate them all; one should take this bird from this place and put it on that place. And thus with everything; one must reposition everything. For the king had purposely disguised everything cleverly in order that no one should know what is meant, until there would come the wise man who would be able to understand he should arrange everything properly.

And so too the lion that stands there, where that road goes out: one needs to put it yonder. And likewise all of them; one needs to relocate all of them. He ordered that they should arrange everything as needed: they should take out the little rose from below and seat it above, and likewise all the things — they should reposition all things and arrange them differently (as needed; in the way he called for).

As soon as they did so, they all began playing the exquisite melody that is quite a wild novelty, and they all did what they needed to do. So they gave him the kingship (that is, the true king's son who demonstrated all the clever things, as above). He spoke up and said to the [actual] bondmaid's son: "Now I understand that I am indeed the real son of the king and you are really the bondmaid's son."

[Notes Following the Story][edit]

Translator's note: "Y" indicates notes that appear after the Yiddish text, "H" indicates notes that appear after the Hebrew text, and "YH" indicates notes found in both.

H: (These too are the words of Rabbeinu n"y [nero ya'ir, "let his light shine"]; after he told this story he spoke up and said these words:)

Y: In former generations when they would discuss kabbalah it would be talked about in such language (as this story is). H: For until Rashbi they would not discuss kabbalah openly; only Rashbi disclosed kabbalah openly; and before, when the friends would speak kabbalah they would speak in such language: "When they placed the ark upon the oxen they began singing."[28] Now understand this.

H: For there are new states of the moon, when the moon receives innovations from the sun, and this is the aspect of when they bring the Ark to Beith Shemesh [lit. "House of the Sun," I Sam. 6], and then all the creatures bearing the Throne make a new melody, the aspect of "Mizmor shiru laShem shir chadash/ A Song: Sing to Hashem a new song," which is the song that the cows of Bashan sang. And this is the aspect of: bed, table, chair and lamp; they are the restoration of the Shekhinah. And the aspect of the garden: for Adam haRishon was driven out of the Garden, and Shabbath guarded over him, as is brought [in the books of kabbalah]. And Shabbath is the aspect of "the king unto whom peace belongs," the aspect of the aforementioned man, who is the king during whose days there was peace; and therefore he stationed himself by Shabbath. And the rest he did not explain.

H: (He spoke up and said after telling this story, in these words:) YH: This story is a big wonder, and it's entirely one: the herds etc., the throne etc. and the garden; it's all one. At times it (the aspect hinted to in the story) is called by this name, at times by this name; H: all according to the inyan/ interest and the aspect.

H: And the things are very, very deep, wondrous and awesome. (These too are the words of Rabbeinu n"y.) And there is more, but there is no need to reveal everything. There is also that the king that was in that land did something corresponding to the sun and something corresponding to the moon (that is, that these things alluded to the sun and the moon), and the moon was holding a lamp in its hand, and when the day arrives then the lamp does not shine, for "shraga betihara/ a lamp at midday"[29] etc. [is superfluous]. And this is that the night said to the day, "Why is it that when you arrive I have no name?" (as expressed above), for in the day a lamp does not avail whatsoever.

YH: The explanation of the story is like the throne which the king made, as mentioned, as the main wisdom is that one needs to know how to order the things; therefore whoever is adept in the books and his heart is whole can understand the explanation; however, the things have to be ordered well, for sometimes it is called this and sometimes it is called that, and likewise with the rest of the things, that is, with the explanation of the story, sometimes the man of the above story is called by this name, and sometimes by a different name, and similarly with the rest of the things. Fortunate is he who will be privileged to understand these things to their truth. Y: All this he himself a"h said after the story. H: Barukh Hashem le`olam, amen ve'amen/ Blessed be Hashem forever, Amen and Amen. (These are entirely Rabbeinu haKadosh's words, a"h ztz"l.)

Tale 12: The Prayer Leader[edit]

Tale 12: The Prayer Meister[edit]

[The Prayer Meister][edit]

A tale. Once, there was a Prayer Meister [Ba`al Tefilah: master of prayer; or the leader of a prayer service] who was constantly occupied only with prayer, songs and praises to Hashem Yithbarakh (the Blessed G-d). He dwelled outside of the settled areas [yeshuv], and would regularly go into them to enter into [conversation] with some person — typically people of lower stature, such as poor people, etc. He would speak to his heart about the purpose of the whole world, that truthfully there is no purpose other than being occupied with serving Hashem (G-d) every day of one's life, spending the days in prayer to Hashem Yithbarakh, with songs and praises, etc.

[The Prayer Meister] would speak with him at great length such words of [spirtual] arousal until they would enter his ears and the person would want to join him. As soon as the person would feel this desire to join, he would immediately take him and bring him to his dwelling place removed from civilization. For that Ba'al Tefilah had chosen for himself, as above, a place outside of settled areas, and there was a river there in front of him, as well as trees and fruits there too, and they would eat of the fruits and he was not strict about clothes at all. [I.e., they would not look at clothes whatsoever — how you go, you go.]

Thus did the Prayer Meister regularly venture into the settled areas to charm and persuade people to serve Hashem Yithbarakh, to join in his way of being occupied with prayer, etc. Whoever took a liking to him [and his message], he would take them away and bring them to his place outside civilization. There they would occupy themselves only with prayers, songs and praises to Hashem Yithbarakh, as well as confessionals, fasts, privations [that is, torturing one's body] and repentance, etc. The Ba'al Tefilah would give them compilations of compositions he had in matters of prayers, songs, praises, confessions, etc. and they would be involved with them constantly. Eventually, there would be found, among those people whom he had brought there, those who could now also draw people close to Hashem Yithbarakh. He would then give permission to one [of his people] that he, too would go into settled areas to be occupied with matters as above, to draw people close to Hashem Yithbarakh.

And so, the Ba'al Tefilah would constantly be occupied with this matter, every time drawing more people close [to Hashem], taking them out of civilization, as mentioned, until an impression was made in the world and the thing began to be known. For suddenly people would disappear from the country--it was unknown where they were. Thus, it would happen that suddenly one's son was missing and so forth, unknown where they were. Gradually, it became known that there exists a Prayer Meister who goes and seduces people into serving Hashem Yithbarakh. However, it was impossible to recognize or catch him, because this Ba'al Tefilah would conduct himself very craftily and would change and switch himself by each and every person with a different transfiguration. By this one he would seem like a poor man, by that one, like a trader, and by another as something else, etc.

Furthermore, when [the Ba'al Tefilah] would come to talk to people, when he understood that he could not accomplish his intent with them, he would so spin them around with words that they could not at all detect his good motives--as if his aim was not at all about his mission to draw them close to Hashem Yithbarakh. For [the way he spoke made] it impossible to realize his intent for this even though, in truth his whole objective in speaking to people was only this--to draw [people] close to Hashem Yithbarakh. For his whole preoccupation was only this. It was only when he understood that he was not influencing him that [the Ba'al Tefilah] would so spin, misguide and deceive him until he was completely unable to perceive his good intentions. The Ba'al Tefilah remained occupied with this motif until an impression and infamy was made in the world; and they longed to catch him, but it was impossible, as mentioned.

So the aforementioned Ba'al Tefilah, with his people, dwelled outside of settled areas, as above, and were involved only with matters, as above, with prayer, songs and praises to Hashem Yithbarakh, and confessions, fasts, afflictions and repentances. It was also in the Prayer Meister's purview that he could provide for each and every person that which he needed. If he understood about one of his people that, according to his [level of] brain, he needed to go dressed in gilden geshtik (gold-embroidered clothes) for serving Hashem, he supplied it for him. So too the opposite, when sometimes some rich person would draw close to him and he would take him out from settled areas, as above, he would understand that this rich person needed to go in tattered, wretched clothes, he would make him go [dressed] that way. Everything was according to [the fact] that he would know [exactly] the provisionary needs of each and every person and would supply him [correspondingly]. For these people whom [the Ba'al Tefilah] drew close to Hashem Yithbarakh, a fast or extensive self-mortification was dearer than all the world's delights, for they had more delight from the substantial self-affliction or fast than from all the world's delights.

[The Land of Riches][edit]

And the day came to pass that there was a country where there were enormous riches, such that everyone was rich. However, their way and behavior was quite disturbing--strange and weird. For everything by them was conducted according to wealth. The value of each and everyone's status was according to his wealth. That whoever has such and such thousands or tens-of-thousands has one status, and whoever has such and such [an amount of money] has another status. And so forth--the entire structure of [societal] value by them was aligned with the money each person had. And whoever has such and such thousands and tens-of-thousands — in keeping with the sum which had been determined by them — he is king. And similarly they had flags, that whoever has this much money is with this flag and has this particular status of that flag; and whoever has this much money is with another flag and has there the certain status of that flag, according to the value of his money. It had been determined by them how much money one should have to be considered of this flag with this particular status, and how much money another should have to be considered with another flag and its certain status. And so the level and status of each and everyone was completely according to the money, as had been determined by them. Furthermore, it was fixed by them, if he has [only] this much money he is a plain human, whereas if he has even less than this, he is an animal or bird, etc. So, by them they had wild animals and fowl, that is, if he has just this little money, he is called a human lion; and in a similar vein other wild animals and birds, etc., that in line with the small amount of money, he is just an animal or bird, etc. For the main thing by them was money, and the status and level of everyone was only according to the money.

Now, it was heard in the world that there is such a country, and the Ba'al Tefilah would sigh deeply over this and would say, "Who knows how far they can go and err through this?" Some men from the Prayer Meister's retinue were present, and did not ask his opinion at all, but went there to that country to restore them to the good. For they [the Ba'al Tefilah's associates] had great pity on them about having gone so off in the lust for money; especially since the Ba'al Tefilah had said that they could go further and further astray, therefore these people went to that country. Perhaps they could restore them from their nonsense.

[So, the Ba'al Tefilah's people] entered the country and approached one of them who was apparently a low-status person whom they called an animal. And they began to talk with him, that truthfully money is not a purpose at all, and the main purpose is only serving Hashem, and so forth. But he did not listen to them at all, because it was already rooted in their thinking that the main thing is only money. And so did they chat with another, and he too did not listen. And they wanted to talk with him more, but he replied, "I have no more time to talk with you." They asked him, "Why?" He replied, "Because we all must leave the country and go to another country, for we have seen that the main goal is only money, therefore it has become ingrained in us that we must go to such a country where they make money (that is, there, there is a kind of earth from which they make gold and silver). Therefore we all must now go to that country."

It also got into them that they wanted to have stars and constellations too, that is, whoever has so much and so much money, according to the amount they had determined for it, he should be a star, because since he has so much money he must have the power of the star, because the star generates the gold, because the fact that there is earth from which they make gold is, after all, due to the star that generates such earth there from which they make gold. Since the man has so much gold, he must have the power of the stars, therefore he himself is a star. And likewise they said they wanted to have constellations too. That is, when someone would have so much and so much money, however much they had determined for it, he should be a constellation. And likewise they made for themselves angels, all according to money. Until they agreed that they should have gods too, that whoever would have very much money, so many and so many thousands and myriads, however much they had determined for this, he would be a god, because since God gives him so much money, he himself is a god.

They said furthermore that they ought not dwell in the air of this world, and they must not at all be together with other people, so that they should not contaminate them, because the other people of the world are completely impure compared to them; therefore they decided that they should find for themselves very high mountains that are higher than all the world, and they should dwell there, so that they can be higher than the air of the world. They sent people to seek high mountains, and they found very high mountains. The whole country went and settled there on the high mountains; that is, on each mountain a gathering of people from the country (in other words, a city) settled, and around the mountain they made a big fortification and great trenches around the mountain, until it was impossible for any man to reach them, because there was no longer even a hidden path to the mountain, so that no other person would at all be able to reach them; and likewise on the next mountain, and so on all the mountains they always made a fortification etc. as mentioned. And they appointed guards far from the mountain, so no one would be able to reach them.

So they dwelled there on the mountains and conducted themselves as mentioned earlier, and they had many gods, that is, according to money, as mentioned. However, since wealth was the main thing for them — so much so that via great wealth a person could become a god — they had a fear of murder and theft, because anyone would be a murderer or thief in order to become a god via the money he would steal. But they said since the wealthy one is a god he will protect himself from theft and murder. And they established devotions and offerings to offer and pray to the gods, to get money through them, and they would sacrifice people and their very selves to the gods in order to be included in them and later be reincarnated as a rich [person]. Because their main creed [emunah] was in money. And they had devotions, sacrifices and incenses with which they served their gods (that is, those who had much money). But despite this the country was definitely full of murder and theft, because whoever did not believe in the devotions became a murderer and thief in order to get money, because the main thing for them was wealth, since through money one can buy anything — food and clothing — so the root of a man's life is through money; therefore money was their main creed (such was their foolish and confused thinking). And they all endeavored to not lose any money, because money was for them the fundamental creed and the god; on the contrary, they needed to try to bring money into the country from other places. Traders would go out from them to trade in other countries, in order to win money, in order to bring even more money into the country. And charity was certainly a great prohibition for them, because how can someone be permitted to give away the money that God has given him — which was for them the main thing, to have money — how can someone be permitted to give that away? So for them it was definitely forbidden to give charity.

And they had officers who were appointed to observe of everyone whether he has as much money as he says, because everyone had to show off his wealth at every moment in order to remain in the status and honor that he had according to his money (in other words all the rich people who for them were gods, stars, angels etc. due to their money would always be inspected whether he has so much money; whether he is not in vain a god and so forth, and people were appointed to constantly watch this). And sometimes among them an animal would become a person, or a person an animal. Namely when a rich person lost his money he already became a non-human — a man became an animal, because he already had no money for himself; and conversely when someone won money, so an animal became a human; and so on with the other classes, which by them was all according to money (it was that way too, as sometimes one became a non-god because he has already lost the money). And they would have the figures and portraits of the gods (that is, those who had much money), and everyone had the portraits, and they would hug and kiss them, because money was their entire devotion and religion.

And the Prayer Leader's people (who were previously there in that country) returned to their place and they told the Prayer Leader of the nonsense of the country, how they were so fooled and lost in the craving of money, and that they wanted to already leave their country for another country (where they make money as mentioned) and wanted to make stars and constellations already. The Prayer Leader spoke up and said that he feared lest they stray more and more. Then people heard that they had already made themselves gods (as mentioned).

The Prayer Leader spoke up and said, "That is what I meant; that is why I feared" (that is, by his always saying he feared lest they get further lost, he meant this). The Prayer Leader had great pity on them and came to the decision to personally go there; perhaps he would return them from their error. The Prayer Leader went there and came to the guards who stand around each mountain (as mentioned). And the guards, it would reason, were people of low status who were able to stand in the air of this world, because the people who had status from their money were not at all able to be together with the people of the world and could not stand in the world's air, so that they should not contaminate them, and they were not at all able to speak with people of the world, so that they should not contaminate them with their breath (in other words the foolish country considered the world entirely impure compared to them, as mentioned). Therefore the guards who stood outside the city were surely of low status, except the guards also had the portraits (of their gods) and would hug and kiss them all the time, because with them too was money the main object of faith.

The Prayer Leader came to one of the guards and began talking with him about the ultimate purpose, inasmuch as the only ultimate purpose is Godly devotions — Torah, prayer, good deeds etc. — and money is utter foolishness and not the ultimate purpose at all, etc. But the guard did not listen to him at all, for it was already ingrained in them for a long time that the main thing is only money, as mentioned. And likewise the Prayer Leader went to all the guards and talked with them likewise as mentioned and they did not listen to him whatsoever. The Prayer Leader came to a decision and went into the city which was on the mountain (as mentioned). When he arrived inside the city it was a great novelty to them and they asked, "How did you get in here?" since no one was able to reach them. He answered them, "Why do you ask? I am already inside the city, all the same."

The Prayer Leader began talking with one of them about the purpose of the world, that money is no purpose at all, etc. (as was his custom) but the man did not listen to him at all, and likewise another, and likewise all of them, because they were already so lost in their mistake that they already could not listen to anybody, as mentioned. And it was a wonder to the people of the city that such a man exists and should come to them and say to them such things, the complete opposite of their faith. It struck them that this man must be the Prayer Leader, because they had already heard that there is such a Prayer Leader in the world, since the matter of the Prayer Leader had already become publicized in the world (as mentioned), and people in the world would call him "Der Frummer Baal Tefilah" (the devout Prayer Leader). But catch him they could not, because he would make himself appear different to each person: to one he appeared as a merchant, to another as a pauper, etc., immediately afterwards disappearing from there (in other words, he was quickly gone away).

[The Warrior (The Strong Man)][edit]

And the day came to pass: now there was a Mighty Warrior [gibbor, lit. mighty; strong; overpowerer], unto whom other warriors [gibborim] had gathered. Now, the Warrior and his warriors were going around taking over countries, the Warrior wanting nothing else but submission (in other words, that they should be subject under him). And when the people of the country submitted to him he would release them; and if not — he would ruin them. So he went around subjugating countries, without any desire for money whatsoever — only submission; that they should be under him. And the way of the Warrior was: he would send his warriors to a country when he was still very far from it — fifty miles — for them to surrender to him; and so he was continually taking over countries.

And the merchants of the aforementioned wealthy country, who used to conduct trade in foreign countries, returned to their country and told about the Warrior, and a great terror fell on them. And even though they were willing to submit themselves under him, the thing that prevented them was they heard that he loathes money and does not want any money at all, and this was contrary to their faith, therefore they could not submit themselves under him, because for them it would be like apostasy, since he did not at all believe in their creed, that is, in money. And they were very afraid of him, and they began to perform their devotions and bring their sacrifices to their gods (that is, to those who had much money); and they would take a beastie (that is, someone with little money, who was considered by them a beast) and bring him for a sacrifice to their gods (as mentioned), and similarly they performed their other devotions (that is, the things with which they would serve their gods). And the Warrior was continually coming closer to them, and had started to send his warriors ahead [to ask]: What do they want? — after his usual custom, as mentioned. A great terror came over them and they did not know what to do.

Their own merchants gave them a suggestion: Inasmuch as they had been in a country where the entire populace were gods and traveled about with angels — that is, that country is where everyone, from the smallest to greatest, are all extraordinarily great [vild-groiss, lit. "wild-great"] wealthy people in the extreme, such that even the smallest among them is also a god according to their foolish delusion (because the smallest person in the country is exceptionally wealthy and has as much money as was reckoned by them that with that much money one becomes a god, as mentioned). And they "travel with angels" since their horses are covered with such great wealth, with gold and so forth, that the covering of one horse was worth the amount that an angel had. Thus, the riders "travel with angels," tying three pairs of "angels" to a carriage and riding with them. "Therefore you need to send to this country and they will surely help you, for they are all gods." (All this was still the advice of their merchants.) Their advice pleased them very much, for they believed that they would surely be saved by the other country, since they are all gods there, as mentioned.

And the Prayer Leader came to the decision he would go once again to that country; perhaps he would still lead them out of their folly. And he went there, came up to the guards, and began speaking with one guard in his usual way. The guard told him about the Warrior, that they are in great terror of him. The Prayer Leader asked him, "What do you have in mind to do?" The guard told him the matter mentioned above, that they want to send to the country where they are all gods etc.

The Prayer Leader made much laughter of him and said to him, "That is quite a great folly! Because they are humans like we are. And all of you, with all your gods, are all merely humans and not one of them is any god at all. There is no more than only one God in the world: He who created everything, and He alone should be served and only to Him one should pray; and this alone is the main purpose in the world." And such other words did the Prayer Leader speak with the guard. And the Prayer Leader kept speaking more of the same kinds of words with the guard, while the guard continued to not listen, because their mistaken belief had already been set within them from a long time ago, as mentioned.

However, the Prayer Leader debated with him extensively, until finally the guard answered him, "What else can I do? I am only one individual, after all (and compared to me are the numerous residents of the country)." Now this already had the semblance of some teshuvah [repentance, response], as the words which the Prayer Leader had spoken before with the guard, and the words which he spoke now, joined together until they stirred him somewhat. (Because the teshuvah that the guard had answered, "What can I do?" etc., made it known that the words of the Prayer Leader were starting to already enter his heart a little bit.)

And so the Prayer Leader went to another guard and also spoke with him in his usual way, as above; and he too did not listen to him, but in the end also replied as above, "I am one person" and so forth, as above. And so all the guards answered him this teshuvah in the end.

Afterwards the Prayer Leader entered the city and began talking with them in his usual way: inasmuch as they are all very much in complete error, and money is no goal at all; rather, the essential purpose is solely to delve in Torah and prayer and so forth. They did not listen to him, for they were all very much rooted in money from a long time ago. And they told him about the Warrior, and that they want to send to the country where they are all gods, etc. He laughed at them too and told them that was a folly and they all are only humans, etc. "And they will be unable to help you at all, because you are human and they are human, and they are no god whatsoever. There is only one God, the All-Blessed One, etc." As for the Warrior he replied to them (with a wondering expression), "Isn't this that Warrior?" (the one he knows?) They did not understand what he meant. And so he went from one to the other, and continued talking thus with them, as above. And as for the Warrior he said to everyone, "Isn't this that Warrior?" etc., as above. They did not understand his words; what he meant.

Meanwhile, a commotion broke out in the city, inasmuch as there was found someone who says such things, making laughter of their faith, and saying that there is only a single Unity, that is, Hashem Yithbarakh, the All-Blessed One, etc.; and as for the Warrior, always saying, "Isn't this that Warrior?" etc. as above. They understood that this must certainly be the Prayer Leader, because he was already notorious among them, as mentioned. They ordered for him to be sought and caught. Even though he appeared different each time (that is, at times presenting himself as a merchant, at times as a poor person, and so forth, wherefore they were not able to catch him, as mentioned), nonetheless they knew of this too, that the Prayer Leader constantly presents himself differently. They ordered an investigation into him, for him to be captured. He was sought out until they caught him, and they brought him to their elders.

When they began talking with him he told them also as above, "You are all mistaken and in great folly, and this is no purpose whatsoever (that is, money is no goal at all). Instead there exists a singular all-blessed One, namely the Creator, blessed be His name, Who has created everything. He alone should be served, and money is an utter nonsense, etc. And the country where you say they are all gods — they will be unable to help you whatsoever, for they are only human, etc."

They considered him insane, because the entire country was already so immersed in money and they were already so crazed that whoever said something contrary to their foolishness was for them a madman.

[The King and the Hand][edit]

They asked him, "What is this that you say about the Warrior, 'Isn't this that Warrior?'" as above. He answered them, "Inasmuch as I used to be with a King, and to the King a Warrior was lost; then if this is that Warrior, I am acquainted with him. And furthermore, your relying on the country where you say they are all gods — this is nonsense, because they will be unable to help you whatsoever. Just the reverse — this will be your very downfall, if you rely on them." They asked him, "Where do you know this from?"

He answered them: Insofar as the King whom he was with, had with him a Hand [yad, יד]. That is, the King had something resembling a hand with five fingers and with all the grooves (that is, all the creases and ruts) that are on a hand. And the Hand was the map of all the worlds, and all that has been since the creation of heaven and earth until the end and what will be afterwards was all depicted on the Hand. For depicted in the scratches and folds of the Hand was the diagram of all the worlds, how every world stands, with all of every world's things in detail, every thing standing out on the and as depicted on a land map (as is known to those who are used to land maps, that is, depicted on a paper is each town, every country and every bridge; and similarly other things: streams, woods etc.; and by every thing it is all written down, that this is this town and this is that country and so forth).

Thus all the worlds were depicted on the Hand by the ruts and folds of the Hand, and in the Hand's ruts were as if letters, just as letters are inscribed on a map next to each thing so that they may know what it is, that is, that they should know that here is this town and here is this stream and likewise other things. In exactly the same way by the ruts of the Hand were depicted the likeness of letters next to every thing depicted on the Hand so as to know what is every thing depicted there. The same for every separate city, every town and all the rivers, bridges, mountains and other objects (whatever is found in the world and in all the worlds): everything was depicted on the Hand by the ruts and folds on the Hand, and there were always letters standing next to every thing, that this is this thing and that is that thing, etc. Similarly all the people who go around in every country, and all their experiences (that is, everything that passes over a man during his lifetime), were all depicted on the Hand.

"And even all the paths from one country to another, and from one place to another, were written on it, and on account of that I knew the way to come in here to this town which no man can enter (because the wealthy country had dug around their cities and nobody could come to them, as above). And so if you want to send me into the other town I know that way too, all through the Hand. And also imprinted on the Hand was the way from one world to another world. For there is a path and a course on which one can ascend from earth to heaven (for, one cannot go up from earth to heaven, due to not knowing the way; but depicted there was the way to go up to heaven). So depicted there were all the paths that exist from one world to another world. For, Eliyahu ascended to heaven with this path, and that path was written there; Moshe Rabbeinu [Moses] went up to heaven with a different path, and that other path was also written there; and likewise Chanokh [Enoch] ascended to heaven with yet another path, and that path was also written there. Thus from one world to the other (farther, higher) world was all depicted by the ruts and folds of the Hand.

"Also represented on the Hand was every thing as it was at the time the world was created, as it is now, and as it will be afterwards. For instance, Sedom [Sodom] was depicted there as that city had been (while inhabited) before it was overturned; in addition depicted there was Sedom being upheaved, as a city turning over; and again depicted there was Sedom as it appears today after the upheaval. For on the Hand was depicted what was, what is, and what will be. And there on the Hand I have seen that the country of which you say they are all gods, together with all the people who come to them for help (that is, that the city should help them) will both all be obliterated." (All this the Prayer Leader told them.)

This was an extraordinary novelty to them, for it was recognized that this is true talk, because it is known that on a map all things are depicted, so they understood that his words are true since such things cannot be thought up, because one can see for himself that he can put together two ruts of the hand and a letter will become of them. For this reason they understood this is no contrived thing; hence it was an extraordinary novelty to them. They asked him, "Whereabout is the King? Perhaps he will show us a way how to find money."

He answered them (with an expression of someone awestruck and angered), "You still want money?! Don't talk about money at all!" They asked him, "Nonetheless, tell us where the King is." He answered them, "I too don't know of the King; where he is. And this is how the story happened:

[The Prayer Leader Tells the City About the King Etc.][edit]

"Once, there was a King and a Queen, and they had an only daughter. And it came near the time to marry her off, so they seated advisors to give counsel as to whom she ought be married off to. And I too (that is, the Prayer Leader, who is still relating this in front of them) was there among the advisors, because the King liked me, and my advice was that they should give her the Warrior, because the Warrior had wrought us many benefits, for he had conquered many countries; therefore he ought to be given the Queen's Daughter for a wife. My advice was very liked and they all agreed upon it, and there was a big celebration there for having found a groom for the Queen's Daughter. And they wed the Queen's Daughter with the Warrior, and the Queen's Daughter had a Child. And the Baby was quite an extraordinary beauty, being no sort of human beauty whatsoever: his hair was golden and had all the colors, his face was like the sun and his eyes were other luminaries. And the Child was born with mature wisdom, because they saw in him immediately when he was born that he is already a great sage, for when people were talking, in the place where one needs to laugh he would laugh; and so with other such things they likewise recognized him being a great sage — except not yet having the motions of an adult, namely he had not yet the faculty of speech and other such things — but this they saw right away: that he is already a big genius.

"And with the King was an Orator, that is, a speaker who is a master of language and rhetoric, who was able to talk very fine talk: very beautiful speeches, songs and praises for the King. And the Orator was on his own account a fine Orator too, but the King showed him the hidden path and the way for him to go up and get the power of the science of rhetoric, and thereby he became a very superb orator. The King also had a Sage, and the Sage was also a sage on his own account, but the King showed him the way for him to go up and get wisdom, and thereby he became an extraordinary, superb sage.

"And similarly, the Warrior was mighty on his own, but the King showed him the way for him to go and get strength, and thereby he became an extraordinary, superb warrior. For, there is a Sword that hangs in the air, and the Sword has three powers. When the Sword is lifted then all the officers of the [opposing] army flee, so as a matter of course they fall, because when the officers flee, there is no one to lead the battle, so they certainly fall. But despite this, the survivors may still be able to wage war — however, the Sword has two sharp edges, and they have two powers: through one edge they all fall down, and through the other edge they get the sickness called "dör" (wasting; consumption), namely they (the enemies whom they are fighting) become meager of flesh and lifeless, as is known of this sickness; the Merciful One spare us. So by merely making a move with the Sword in its place, the enemies are stricken with the aforementioned things, that is, by using one edge the enemies have defeat, and by using the other edge the enemies are stricken with dör, as mentioned. And the King showed the Warrior the path that there is to the Sword and from there he attained his great strength.

And to me the King also showed the way to get my thing; I got from there what I need. (In other words the Prayer Leader, who is telling all this, said that the King showed him the way from which he should get his thing, namely, prayer.)

"And likewise the King had a Faithful Friend [Ohev Ne'eman, lit. faithful one who loves] (in other words, a gutn freund, a getreuen: a good, trusty friend) who was in love with the King [vas er hat sich lieb gehat mit dem melekh; shehayah ohev eth `atzmo `im hamelekh, lit. who loved himself with the King] with a very extraordinary love. They loved each other so much that it was utterly impossible for them to be one without seeing the other for some amount of time. But nonetheless there must be times when they need to be apart, so they had portraits in which both their images were depicted. They would delight themselves (in other words, take pleasure and satisfaction with) the portraits when they could not see each other. And the images depicted how the King and his Faithful Friend love each other and hug and kiss each other with great love. And the portraits had the special ability that whoever looked at the images attained great love (in other words, one received the trait of love when looking at the images). And the Faithful Friend also received the love (that is, the amorousness) from the place which the King showed him.

"There came the time when they all went, each one to his place, to receive there his power for his thing — that is, the Orator, the Warrior, and all the King's people, each went up to his place to renew his power. And the day came to pass: there was a very great Storm Wind upon the world. And the Storm Wind mixed up the entire world, and overturned sea to dry land and dry land to sea, and wilderness to settled area and settled area to wilderness; so it overturned the entire world. And the Storm Wind went into the King's chamber and did nothing at all there (in other words, there at the King's it wrought absolutely no damage), except that the Storm Wind went in and snatched away the aforementioned Child of the Queen's Daughter. And amidst the commotion, as soon as the Storm Wind snatched away the dear Child, the Queen's Daughter followed [him] immediately (in other words, the Princess immediately started running after the Child in order to snatch him back; she too went off someplace no one knows where). So too the Queen, and so too the King: they all went after the Child, until they all became dispersed and no one knows where they are. But all of us were nowhere nearby during this, for we were gone away then, each to his place to renew his power, as mentioned; and when we came back we could no longer find them all, as mentioned. The Hand too became missing then.

"So from that time on we have all become scattered and can no longer each go to his place to renew his power, for since the entire world has been overturned we now need different paths today; therefore we have no longer gone up each to his place to renew his power. However, the impression that remains by each of us (meaning the token, that is, the little bit that has remained by each one from long ago) is also very great — and if this mighty one (which the country feared) is the King's Warrior, he is certainly a very mighty warrior." (All this the Prayer Leader told the people.)

And they heard out his words and were very amazed, and now they held the Prayer Leader fast by him and would no longer let him go from them (because perhaps the warrior upon them is the King's Warrior mentioned above, with whom the Prayer Leader is acquainted).

[The Warrior's Guard Speaks][edit]

And the aforementioned Warrior kept coming closer to the country, always sending his emissaries to them, until he reached the country. And he stationed himself below the city and sent his emissaries inside to them (for them to tell him what they want: to submit themselves or not, as above). They were very terrified of him and they begged the Prayer Leader that he should give them a suggestion. The Prayer leader told them it was necessary to inspect the conduct of this warrior in order for him to recognize thereby if this is the aforementioned Warrior of the King. The Prayer Leader left and went out towards the Warrior, and he reached the Warrior's army and began talking with one from among the Warrior's accompanying warriors (that is, with one of his sentries) (in order to examine if he is the Warrior with whom he is familiar). The Prayer Leader asked him, "What are your doings? And how have you gotten together with the Warrior?"

He answered him (that is, that same warrior replied to the Prayer Leader), "What took place was like this: It is written in their chronicles how there had been a great Storm Wind upon the world, changing sea to dry land and dry land to sea, and wilderness to settled area and settled area to wilderness, mixing up the entire world. And after the noise and upheaval, the entire world having become so mixed up, the world's people decided to make a king for themselves. They started to investigate who ought to be made king over them and they reasoned, 'Inasmuch as the essential thing is only the ultimate purpose [takhlith] therefore whoever most occupies himself with and exerts himself in the purpose of the world — he deserves to be king.' They began probing what is the purpose, and there arose several opinions among them.

"One faction said that the main object is honor, for, 'We see that the world considers honor the main thing. Because when a person is not given his respect — that is, when some word is uttered against his honor — he experiences bloodshed, because the main thing is honor, for the entire world. And even after death people are careful to give to the dead his honor, burying him with respect and so forth (and telling him, 'What is being done for you is all being done on account of your honor'). Even though after death one no longer wants any money and the dead person certainly has no desire for anything, nevertheless they are particular about the dead's honor and they guard his honor. Therefore it is honor that is the main object. They continued saying more such conjectures and deductions of that sort, that honor is the main object of the world, until it became settled among them that the main purpose is honor. Therefore they needed to search for an honorable person (that is to say, a person who attains honor) and moreover the person should also pursue honor, for since he receives honor and pursues it, and assists [human] nature which desires honor, therefore this person exerts himself and pursues after the main goal and has reached it, because the goal is, after all, honor, as mentioned; therefore such a person deserves to be king." (All this was the foolish opinion of one sect of them; and so they found foolish conjectures and deductions until they became led astray therein and said that honor is the purpose.)

Likewise all the other factions that will appear below all had foolish reasonings for their foolish notions. (Heb. only: Some of them are explained below, but Rabbeinu z"l did not want to explain all the perplexed reasonings for these beliefs, because there are some rationales in this that are so convoluted that it is possible to indeed be led astray by these false rationales; the Merciful One spare us.)

"They went searching for such a person and they went and saw an old Gypsy beggar being carried while following him were perhaps five hundred Gypsies. And the beggar was blind, hunchback and mute, and all these people followed him because they all were his relatives, for he had sisters, brothers, and seed of his loins, until there came to be so many of them, all of whom followed him and carried him. And the old beggar was very particular about his honor, for he was a very angry person and always heaped his great indignation upon them, always ordering that others should carry him and always scolding them. Hence this elderly beggar is a very 'honorable' man, because he has such an honor, and also pursues honor, because he is so strict over his honor. Therefore this beggar pleased them and they accepted him as a king. And because land also has an effect, for there is a land that engenders and is conducive to honor, and similarly there is a land that is specially suited for another trait, therefore this faction (which regarded honor as the main purpose) sought a country that engenders and is conducive to honor; and they found such a country that is conducive to it and they settled there.

"One faction said that the main object is not honor, and they conceived that the main object is murder, for, 'We see that all the things that are found on the earth — grasses and all plants and people, and all that is in the entire world — must all ultimately cease to exist. Hence the very goal of all things is to be finished off (that is, destroyed). Therefore a murderer who kills and destroys people is really bringing the world to its purpose.' Therefore they came to the conclusion that the goal is murder. They looked for a person who would be a murderer; an angry person and an extremely vengeful person, for such a person is closest to the purpose (according to their deluded mindset) and he deserves to be king. They went looking for such a person and they heard a shriek. They asked, 'What is this, such a screech?!'

"They replied to them this shriek is: someone has slaughtered his father and mother. They spoke up, 'Where else can one find such a stronghearted and angry murderer, that he should murder his own father and mother? This here man has reached the purpose (that is, the one who has slaughtered father and mother)!' And they were extremely pleased by him and they accepted him as a king over them. And they sought for themselves a country that causes (that is, brings about) murder and they chose a place among mountains where killers abide and they went there and settled there with their king.

"A faction said that he deserves to be king who has a great abundance of food and does not eat the fare of other people but only fine foods (such as milk, so that his mind should not become coarse); such a person ought to be king. However, they could not immediately find such a person who would not eat the foods of other people. In the meantime they chose for themselves a rich man who had plenty of food (and whose food was a bit finer) until they would find such a person as they want, who would not eat etc. as above. And meanwhile they made the rich man into a king until they would find such a person as they want, as above; then the rich man would descend from the reign and the other one would be taken up as a king. And they chose for themselves a country suited for this and they went and settled there.

"A faction said that a beautiful woman is fit to be king, for the main object is, after all, that the world should be inhabited with people, since for that reason the world was created. And since a beautiful woman brings about that desire, through which the habitation of the world grows greater (since more people come about), it follows she brings the world to the goal. Therefore a beautiful woman deserves to be king. They chose for themselves a beautiful woman and she became king over them. And they sought for themselves a land conducive to this, and they went there and settled there.

"A faction said that the main object is speech, because the distinction between a man and a beast is only speech, and since that is the essential in which a man is greater than a beast, therefore it is the main purpose (that is, speech). They sought for themselves a speaker (that is, a talker) who would be eloquent and who would know many languages and would always talk a great deal all the time, for such a person is at the goal. They went and found a French lunatic who was going around and talking to himself. They asked him if he knows languages, and he knew several languages. Now such a man has certainly already reached the goal (according to their foolish deluded ideas), since he is a master of language, knows many languages and talks a great deal — for he talks even to himself, after all! Therefore they were very pleased by him and they accepted him as a king. And they chose for themselves a land conducive to this and they went and settled there with their king. And he surely led them on the straight path!

"A faction said that the main purpose is happiness. For, when a boy is born, people are happy; when there is a wedding, people are happy; when conquering a country, people are happy. It follows that the main purpose of everything is only happiness. Therefore they sought a man who would always be happy, for he is, after all, at the goal, and he should be king over them. They went searching and they saw a gentile going along with a disgusting shirt and carrying a bottle of brandy while following him were several other gentiles. And this gentile was very happy because he was very drunk. They saw that this gentile is very happy and has no concern whatsoever, and they liked him very much, this gentile, because he has reached the goal, since the goal is only happiness. They accepted him as a king over them, and surely he led them on the right path! And they chose for themselves a land conducive to this, that is, where there are vineyards so that they should make wine, and from the seeds of the grapes they would make brandywine; and nothing whatsoever of the grape bunches should go to waste, because this for them was the main purpose: to drink and go drunk and always be happy, even though one doesn't know at all about what, for they had nothing at all to be happy about. Nevertheless it was the main purpose for them to be always happy. And they chose for themselves a land conducive to this, as above, and they went and settled there.

"A faction said that the main thing is wisdom. They sought for themselves a great sage and made him a king over them, and they sought for themselves a land conducive to wisdom and they went and settled there.

"A faction said that the main goal is to attend to oneself with food and drink, which is called pilevin [Yid. < Ger. pflegen], in order to enlarge his limbs [evarim]. And they sought a ba`al evarim [lit. master of limbs], that is, someone who has large limbs and nurses himself to grow his limbs (that is, the members of the body), for since he has big limbs he has, after all, a larger portion in the world because he takes up more space in the world. So this man is closer to the purpose because the purpose is, after all, to grow the limbs; therefore such a person ought to be a king. They went and found a tall man (which is called a veynger [Yid.]); they were pleased by him, because he has, after all, large limbs and is at the goal. They accepted him as a king and they sought a land conducive to this and they went and settled there.

"And there was a different group that said that all these things are no goal at all; instead the right purpose is to only be involved in prayer to Hashem Yithbarakh and to be a humble person and a lowly person etc. (in other words, one should not deem anything of oneself), etc. And they sought for themselves a prayer leader, and they made him a king over them." (One will understand by himself already that all the previous factions were all gravely mistaken and deluded in great folly, each faction in their folly through their foolish hypotheses and foolish deductions. Only this last faction hit the truth proper — so, fortunate are they!)

All this was related by one of the strongmen before the Prayer Leader. And he went on to tell him that they (namely the strongmen who joined themselves to the Warrior as mentioned) — they are from the faction of the limb-masters mentioned above (that is, the faction that said that the main object is only to nurse oneself to grow his limbs) who had taken up as a king over themselves a master of limbs (that is, a large person, as mentioned).

"And the day came to pass, and a company [machneh, camp] of them were going along (in other words, a great deal of the ample-limbed people were going along) with wagons in train (which are called ibez [< Ukr. oboz, train]) bringing along food, drink and other such things. Now, of these large-limbed ones the world was certainly very afraid, for they were large and mighty men, and whoever encountered them was sure to step off the road. Meanwhile, as the camp of the ample-limbed was going along like that, up against them from the opposite direction came a big Warrior [lit. mighty one] (and this was the Warrior who now goes with them). And this Warrior did not step off the road for them and he went into the camp and dispersed them here and there, and the people of the camp were terrified of him. And he (that is, the Warrior) went inside among the aforementioned wagons which trailed behind them and ate up everything that was there. This was an extraordinary novelty to them (that he is such a mighty man that he is not afraid of them whatsoever and entered among them and ate up all that was on the wagons) so they immediately fell down before him, saying immediately, 'Hail [lit. live] the king (meaning they immediately made him a king)!' because he certainly deserves the reign, according to their notion that the main accomplishment is someone who is ample-limbed, as mentioned. And (their) king will certainly forgo the kingship for him because since he is so strong and so well-limbed that he certainly deserves the reign. And so it was: they took him up as king (that is, the Warrior who came against them, as mentioned). And this is the Warrior with whom we now go about conquering the world. But he says (that is, the Warrior who has now become king over them) that he means something else in his going about conquering the world, for he does not at all intend that the world should be under him; instead he means something else." (All this, one of the strongmen told the Prayer Leader who had asked him how they had joined the Warrior; he answered him all this.)

[The Prayer Leader and Warrior Reunite; the Prayer Faction][edit]

Asked the Prayer Leader, "Wherein is the strength of the Warrior who is now your king?" He answered him, "Inasmuch as there was a country that did not want to submit themselves under him, the Warrior took his Sword which he has, and his Sword has three powers: when it is lifted, all the army officers flee" etc. (and he recounted the three powers explained above, from which the King's Warrior got his strength, as mentioned).

When the Prayer Leader heard this, he realized that this is definitely the King's Warrior mentioned above. The Prayer Leader asked if it were possible to be seen by the Warrior who is their king. They answered him it must be announced for approval before him. They went and announced, and he summoned that he should come in, and the Prayer Leader entered to the Warrior. When the Prayer Leader entered to the Warrior, they recognized each other and there was very great rejoicing between them over their being privileged to reunite together. And between them was rejoicing and crying (happiness and weeping), for they recalled the King and his men — they cried over that — therefore between them was rejoicing and crying. The Prayer Leader began to discuss with the Warrior by what experiences they had arrived here.

The Warrior told the Prayer Leader that from the time that there was the Storm Wind — when they all became dispersed — when he returned from where he went to renew his power and did not find the King with all his people, as mentioned, he then let himself go wherever he would go. And he passed by them all: that is, he understood he was at the place where the King is and where all his people are. That is, he was at a certain place and he understood that there is certainly where the King is found, however he was unable to seek and find him. And similarly he passed by another place, understanding that the Queen is certainly there, however he was unable to seek and find her; and thus he passed by all the King's people.

"Only you have I not passed by!" (That is, the Warrior who is telling this said to the Prayer Leader that he passed by all the places of all the people; only the place of the Prayer Leader did he not pass by.)

The Prayer Leader replied to him saying, "I passed by all their places, and by your place as well. For, I was passing by a certain place and I saw the King's crown standing there and I understood that the King is certainly here, however I was unable to seek and find him. And so I went further and passed by a sea of blood and I understood that this sea is certainly made from the tears of the Queen who weeps over all this and the Queen is certainly here, however I could not seek and find her. And so I passed by a sea of milk and I understood that the sea is certainly made from the milk of the Queen's Daughter whose son was lost, and the milk pressured her and from this the sea of milk came to be; and the Queen's Daughter is certainly here, however I was unable to seek and find her. And so I went further and saw the golden hairs of the Child laid out, and I did not take from them whatsoever, and I knew that the Child is certainly here, however it was not possible to seek and find him. And so I went further and was passing by a sea of wine and I knew that this sea is certainly made from the speech of the Orator, who stands and speaks consolations before the King and the Queen, and then turns his face and speaks consolations to the Queen's Daughter, and from his speech the sea of wine comes to be (as written, W'chikekh keyayin hatov/ And the roof of your mouth is like the finest wine [Song 7:10]), however I could not find him. And so I went further, and I saw a stone standing there upon which was etched out just like the Hand with its ruts (that is, just like the Hand with all the furrows etc. which had been at the King's, as mentioned), and I understood that the Sage (of the King) is certainly here and the Sage has engraved for himself the shape of the Hand on the stone, but it was not possible to find him. And so I went further and I saw arranged on a mountain the golden tables, the credenzas [display cupboards] and the rest of the King's treasures, and I understood that the King's Treasurer [lit. Warden Over the Treasures] is certainly here, however it was impossible to find him." (All this the Prayer Leader told over to the Warrior.)

Replied the Warrior, "I too passed by all these places, and I did take from the golden hair of the child, for I took seven hairs that had all sorts of colors, and they are very dear to me. And I settled down and sustained myself with whatever possible, with grass and so forth, until I had nothing whatsoever to sustain myself. I let myself go where I would go, and when I went away from my place, I forgot my bow there." The Prayer Leader replied, "I saw your bow! And I knew that it was certainly your bow, but I could not find you."

The Warrior went on telling the Prayer Leader that, "When I went away from the place, I went until I encountered the troops mentioned above (that is, the troop of the ample-limbed mighty men mentioned above), and I entered in their midst, because I was very hungry and wanted to eat; and as soon as I entered among them they immediately took me up as a king, as mentioned. And now I go conquering the world, and my intention is: perhaps I will be able to find the King and his people mentioned above."

The Prayer Leader began discussing with the Warrior: "What to do with these people!?" That is, with the country that is so fallen into craving money until they have gone out to such extraordinary folly that those who have much money are gods for them; and so forth the other follies the country has.

The Warrior answered the Prayer Leader that he had heard from the King that one can take out from any craving someone who has fallen into it except someone who has fallen in the lust for money; it is impossible to extract him from it by any means. "Therefore you will have no effect on them whatsoever, for it is impossible to extract them from this at all. Albeit through the way that there is to the Sword mentioned above" — from where he gets his power as mentioned — "only through this way can one extract from the lust of money someone who has sunk into it." (So he had heard from the King.)

The Warrior remained together with the Prayer Leader for a while, and as for the country which had beseeched the Prayer Leader that he should go out to the Warrior on their behalf, as mentioned, they extended the time. That is, the Prayer Leader convinced the Warrior that he should give them a span (that is, until which he should do nothing at all to them). He alloted them time, then they made signs between themselves, that is, the Prayer Leader and the Warrior exchanged signs so that one would be able to get information from the other, then the Prayer Leader went off on his way.

As the Prayer Leader went on he saw people going along and entreating God, Blessed is He, praying and carrying prayer books. He was afraid of them and they were frightened of him too. He stood to pray, and they also stood to pray. Then he asked them, "Who are you?" They answered him, "Inasmuch as when there was the Storm Wind, the world separated into many factions, these choosing this thing, and those choosing that thing (just as all the different factions are explained above). At that time we chose for ourselves that the main purpose is only to be constantly involved in prayer to Hashem Yithbarakh. We sought and found a master of prayer and made him a king."

When the Prayer Leader heard this it pleased him exceptionally, for this is what he himself wants. He began to talk with them and showed them the order of his prayers and his books and his ideas he had regarding prayers. When they heard his talk their eyes opened and they saw the greatness of the Prayer Leader. They immediately made him a king over them, for their king deferred the kingship to him since they saw that he is quite a great man [Heb. that he is set apart on a very, very high level]. The Prayer Leader taught them and opened their eyes and showed them how pray to Hashem Yithbarakh, and he made them into very great complete tzaddikim, for they had been tzaddikim before as well since they had involved themselves only in prayer, albeit the Prayer Leader opened their eyes until they became extremely great tzaddikim. The Prayer Leader sent a letter to the Warrior and informed him how he was privileged and had found such people as he wants and had become king over them.

[The Treasurer (The Warden Over the Treasures)][edit]

Now the aforementioned country (that is, the wealthy land for whom money was the main object etc. as mentioned) continued occupying themselves with their devotions (that is, they kept doing wild things and offering sacrifices to their gods, that is, to those who had much money, as mentioned), and the time that the Warrior had granted them was already about to run out. They were very frightened and they did their devotions and offered sacrifices and incense and involved themselves in their prayers which they prayed to their gods. They caught a "little critter" [a chayeleh], that is, such a person who has little money, and offered him for a sacrifice to their gods. And it remained their opinion that they must perform their first plan which they had been given, that they should send to the country where they are all gods there, because they have very extraordinary riches there (which according to their opinion entails that they are all gods) and that country would certainly save them, since they are all gods after all, as mentioned. They did so, and they sent emissaries there to that country.

Meanwhile on the way as the emissaries were going they went astray and they noticed a man walking with a stick, whose stick came to more than all their gods. That is, his stick was set with very expensive diamonds so that the stick was worth more than the riches of all their gods. Should one put together all the riches of their gods and even of the gods of that country they're going to, the stick would be worth more than all their riches. Furthermore the man was walking with a hat in which there were diamonds so that the hat was also worth extraordinarily much. As soon as the emissaries noticed this man they immediately fell down before him in kneeling and prostration (that is, they bowed profusely before him), because according to their foolish opinion this man is a god over all gods, for he has such extraordinarily great riches. (And this man whom they encountered was the King's Treasurer mentioned above.)

The man said to them, "This here is a novelty for you!? Come with me — I'll show you riches!" He led them atop the mountain where the King's treasury was laid out in order and he showed them the treasure. As soon as they saw the treasure they immediately fell down with bowing and prostration, because he is, after all, a god over all gods (according to their foolish and deluded opinion, as for them the essence of creed was money, as mentioned). Albeit they brought no sacrifices, for in accordance with their belief that he is such a god etc. they certainly would have offered themselves to him, however (when these emissaries went out) the emissaries were warned that on the way they should offer no sacrifices, for they were afraid that should they want to offer sacrifices along the way, none of them would remain, for maybe one of them will find a treasure on the road. Maybe one of them will enter an outhouse and find a treasure there (Heb. only: which would be a god for him); he will want to sacrifice himself to it, and none of them will remain; therefore the country warned the emissaries that on the way they should offer no sacrifices whatsoever. [Heb. only: Therefore these emissaries did not offer sacrifices to this aforementioned Warden. But this was clear for them: that he was a god over all gods, since he possessed such astounding and vast wealth.]

The emissaries came to the decision: Why should they any longer go to those other gods, that is, to the country they were sent to, where they are greatly wealthy people whom they considered to be gods? Isn't it better that this man will surely be able to better help them, for he is, after all, a god above all of them (according to their crazed notion), since he has such extraordinary, great riches more than them all (many, many times over)? Therefore they beseeched this man that he should go with them into their country. He was amenable with them and went with them and entered their country. There was a great celebration in the country, that they had acquired such a god, for they were already sure now that through him they would have a deliverance, for he is such a god, since he has, after all, such great fortune. The man (who was the King's Treasurer, as mentioned, who was accepted by the countrymen as God) ordered that until there would be a proper order in the country, no one in the meantime should offer any sacrifices. (For this Warden was in fact a great tzaddik, for he was of the King's people, who were all very great tzaddikim. The Warden certainly loathed the foolish practices of the country but he was still incapable of leading them out of their evil way; however, for the time being he ordered them that in any case no sacrifices should be brought.) The countrymen started beseeching him regarding the aforementioned Warrior of whom they were very terrified, and the Warden also replied to them, "Could this be the Warrior (whom he knows)?"

The Warden got up and went out to the Warrior and asked the Warrior's people if it were possible to be seen by him, and they said they would announce it. They announced it. He ordered [for] him [to be] let in, and the Warden entered before the Warrior. They recognized each other, and there was celebration and crying between them, as above (that is, they were very happy that they were privileged to find each other but they still wept very much: how can the rest of the aforementioned people be brought as well?). The Warrior spoke up to the Warden, "Our kosher Prayer Leader is also here, and I have already seen him, and he has already become a king!" (Heb. only: And they told each other how it had evolved that they arrived here.) The Warden told the Warrior that he had passed by everyone, that is, by the King's place and all the aforementioned people; only by the two of them did he not pass, that is, by the place of the Prayer Leader and the Warrior he did not pass. The Warden talked with the Warrior about the country that has become so errant and so deluded in money that they have fallen into such nonsense.

The Warrior answered the Warden that which he had told the Prayer Leader, that he had heard from the King that whoever has fallen into the craving of money cannot be taken out of it by any means except by that way as mentioned. Again they extended time: that is, the Warden convinced the Warrior that he should give the country yet another date. The Warrior gave them another date. Then they made signals between themselves — the Warden and the Warrior — and the Warden went away from the Warrior and returned to that country. (Now, the Warden certainly kept rebuking them severely over their evil way in which they had become so abased in (craving) money, but he could not lead them out of it, since they were already very deep-rooted in it. But nonetheless since the Prayer Leader and the Warden had talked with them very much, they had already become a little confused and kept saying, "Aderaba (Just the reverse)! Take us out of it!" Even though they still held themselves fast in their foolish notion and did not want [to get] out of their nonsense at all, nevertheless they kept saying when they were rebuked, "Aderaba — if it is indeed so that we are mistaken, please (na) take us out of our error!")

The Warden replied to them, "I will give you a suggestion (against the Warrior). I know the Warrior's power and from where he gets his strength." And he told them the matter of the Sword, mentioned above, from where the Warrior gets his strength. "Therefore I will go with you to the place of the Sword, and by this you will be able to stand up against the Warrior (for you will also get strength from there)." And the Warden's intention was: when they arrive at the Sword's place they will already be out from their money craving (for by means of that way to the Sword, thereby a person gets out of the money craving, as mentioned). The country accepted his advice and sent their magnates who to them were gods and they went together with the Warden to the Sword. (And the gods, that is, their magnates who went with the Warden, certainly went dressed in gold and silver jewelry since this was the main thing for them). So they went together, the Warden and the country's magnates whom they called gods.

[To the Place of the Sword, and the Conclusion][edit]

The Warden made the thing known to the Warrior, inasmuch as he is going with them to seek the place of the Sword and his intention is maybe he will be privileged on the way to find the King and his people. The Warrior replied, "I too will go with you." The Warrior disguised himself (so that the people going with the Warden should not know that he himself is the Warrior) and also went with the Warden. They decided (the Warden and the Warrior) they would inform the Prayer Leader of this as well. They informed him, and The Prayer Leader replied he will also go with them. The Prayer Leader went to them and the Prayer Leader ordered his people before he went away that they should pray about this, that Hashem Yithbarakh should make their venture successful; that they should be privileged to find the King and his people. For the Prayer Leader had always kept praying about this, that the King and his people should be found, and always kept ordering his people that they should also pray about this, and he had composed prayers for them which they should pray for this; and now that he wanted to go the Warden and the Warrior so that they should go together to search for the King and his people, he urged them even more to pray for it constantly that they should be privileged to find them. The Prayer Leader came to the Warden and the Warrior and there was certainly great rejoicing among them — celebration and weeping, as before. They, all three, went together, that is, the Warden, the Warrior and the Prayer Leader, with the "gods," that is, the country's magnates (who were called "gods" in their country) going with them.

[The Sage][edit]

They went and went, and they came to a certain country, and there were guards there standing around the country. They asked the sentries, "What sort of country is this, and who is your king?" The guards replied: Inasmuch as when there was the Storm Wind, at which time the world became separated into numerous factions (that is, into many opinions, as each sect had a different opinion, as mentioned), then the people of the country chose for themselves that the main thing is wisdom, and they took up for themselves a great sage as a king. Not long ago they found quite an exceptionally great wise man, who is strangely an extraordinarily great sage. The king relinquished the kingship to him and they took him up as king, since for them the main thing was wisdom. The three of them said (that is, the Warden, the Warrior and the Prayer Leader) that it appears that this must be our Sage (that is, the King's Sage). They asked if it were possible to be seen by him, and they answered them, "It must be announced." They went and announced, and he ordered them to come in. They (that is, the three of them) entered in to the Sage, who had become king in the country. They recognized each other, for this sage was indeed the King's Sage mentioned earlier. There was certainly great celebration there — rejoicing and weeping, for they wept, "How to be privileged to find the King and the others as well?!"

[The Hand][edit]

They asked the Sage if he knows anything about the King's Hand. He answered them that the Hand is with him, but since the time that they had become dispersed by the Storm Wind — from that time onward he does not want to gaze at the Hand at all, because the Hand belongs exclusively to the King. Albeit, he had carved out the Hand's form on a stone in order to use it a little for his thing (i.e. wisdom); but upon the Hand itself he doesn't look at all.

They discussed with the Sage how he had come here, and he told them that since the time the Storm Wind happened, he went where he would go (and as he went he passed by everyone [Heb. only: of the King's people]; only by the three of them, that is, by the place of the Prayer Leader, the Warrior, and the Warden he did not pass by), until this country found him and took him up as a king; and now in the meantime he must guide them according to their way, according to their sophistries, until later he will lead them out to the truth proper.

They talked with the Sage regarding that country that had become so deluded about money, etc., and they said, "If we had been thrown around and dispersed for nothing more than on account of that country, in order that we should correct them and turn them to the truth, it would also be worth it, for they have become so deluded." Because in truth, all the aforementioned factions, each one having chosen its nonsense, this one wanting honor, and this one murder, etc. — they have all become deluded and need to be led out to the proper goal. For even the sect that had chosen for itself that the main thing is wisdom, they too have not reached the true purpose and also need to be led out from that, for they have clung to alien and heretical wisdoms. Still, one can more easily lead [people] out of all [the other] follies, except these ones are so deluded in the idolism of money and are so fallen into it that it is impossible to extract them from it. And the Sage also replied to them that he too had heard from the King that it is possible to extract someone who has fallen into any craving, but from the craving of money it is impossible to extract, other than by the way that there is to the Sword, as mentioned. The Sage said he too would go with them, and they all four went along, and the "gods" (that is, the wealthy ones of the country) went with them too.

[The Orator][edit]

They came to a certain country and they also asked the watchmen, "What sort of country is this and who is your king?" They answered them: Inasmuch as when the Storm Wind occurred, then the people of this country chose for themselves that the main purpose is speech. They took up an eloquent talker as a king. Later they found quite a superb, eloquent bard and orator; they accepted him as a king, because the king relinquished the kingdom to him because he is so eloquent. They realized, "This must surely be our King's Orator." They also asked if it were possible to be seen by the king. They answered them, "We must announce it." They announced it, and he ordered that they should come in. They entered to the king, and that was the King's Orator. They recognized each other, and there was also great rejoicing and weeping between them. The Orator also went with them as well and they went further in search; maybe they would find the rest of them, for they saw that Hashem Yithbarakh is helping them; that they successively find their friends. And they attributed all this to the merit of their kosher Prayer Leader who is always praying for this, and through his prayers they were privileged to always find their friends. They went onward; maybe they will find the rest in addition [noch].

[The Faithful Friend][edit]

They went along and they came to a certain country, and they also asked, "What sort of country is this and who is your king?" They answered them that they are of the faction that had chosen for itself that the main goal is to go drunk and be happy. They had taken up for themselves some drunkard as a king because he is always happy, but later they found a man sitting in a sea of wine and he pleased them very much more, because this is certainly a very big drunkard, for he's seated in a sea of wine. They took him up as a king. They also asked to interview with him and they [the guards] went and announced it. They entered to the king, and this was the King's Faithful Friend who had been sitting in the sea of wine that had come about from the talk of the Orator who consoles them, as mentioned. (And the countrymen reasoned that he is a great drunk since he sits in a sea of wine, so they took him up as a king.) When they entered to him, they recognized each other, and between them was a great rejoicing and weeping, as before. And the Faithful Friend went with them as well.

[The Queen's Daughter][edit]

They went onward and came to a certain country. They asked the watchmen, "Who is your king?" They answered that their king is a beautiful woman, insofar as she leads to the goal, because the goal is habitation of the world (that is, that the world should be inhabited with people, as mentioned). And initially they had a beautiful woman as a queen; then they found a beauty who is a very exceptional beauty and they accepted her as a queen. They realized: this must surely be the Queen's Daughter. They also asked to interview with her, and they went and announced, and they entered to the queen and recognized that this is the Queen's Daughter herself. And the rejoicing that was there is certainly unimaginable. They asked, "How have you come here?" She told them that after the Storm Wind happened and had snatched away the dear boy-Child out of the crib as mentioned, immediately in that frantic moment she ran after the Child but did not find him. The milk pressured her and from this the sea of milk came about. Then the country found her and accepted her as king over them. And there was a great celebration there. But they also wept severely over the dear boy-Child who's not there, and over her father and mother whom she [the Queen's Daughter] doesn't know about. But now already the country has a king too, because already here is the husband of the Queen's Daughter who has become queen here — for the Warrior himself is her man — so now the country has a king!

The Queen's Daughter asked the Prayer Leader for the time being to go in her country and meanwhile cleanse of their repulsive vice, because since for them the main purpose was a beautiful woman, they were certainly very defiled and deep in this lust, therefore she asked the Prayer Leader to meanwhile go cleanse them of it a little in the meantime (that is, he should tell them mussar/exhortation, so that they should not be so deep in this craving of promiscuity), so that they should not be so crude in this vice, because beyond it being a craving, it was additionally for them just like a creed that this is the goal (because all the factions that had each chosen its bad thing as the purpose, as mentioned — for each of them the thing was just as a creed that this is the purpose), therefore she asked the Prayer Leader to go and cleanse them a little in the meantime.

[The Child][edit]

Then they all went searching for the rest. They went along and they came to a certain country, and they also inquired, "Who is your king?" They answered them that their king is a one year old, for they are from the faction that had chosen for themselves that whoever has an abundance of food and is not nourished from what other people eat — he deserves to be a king. They temporarily accepted a wealthy man as king. Then they found a man who was sitting in a sea of milk, and they were very pleased by him, because this man was nourished his whole life from milk and was not nourished from what other people eat, therefore they took him up as a king. And for that reason he is called a "ben shanah/ one-year-old," since he lives on milk like a one year old. They realized that this is surely their Child. They requested to interview with him; and they went and announced. They entered to him and they recognized each other, for he also recognized them, even though he was only a little child when he was snatched away — nevertheless because he was a mature sage since his birth, since he was born with a complete wisdom, as mentioned, therefore he recognized them; and they of course recognized him. There was certainly a very great celebration there, albeit they still wept that they did not know of the King and the Queen. And they asked him, "How did you get here?" He told them that when the Storm Wind had snatched him away, it carried him away where it carried him and he was there in that place and sustained himself with what he found there, until he came to the sea of milk. He understood that this sea was certainly made from his mother's milk, for the milk certainly pressured her, and that is how the sea came about. He settled there on the sea of milk and was nourished by the milk until these countrymen came and took him up as a king.

[The Queen][edit]

Then they went onward and came to a country. And they asked, "Who is your king?" And they replied that they had chosen for themselves that murder is the goal. They accepted a certain murderer as king, then they found a woman sitting in a sea of blood, so they took her up as a king, because they saw that she is surely a very great murderer since she is seated in an ocean of blood. They also asked to interview with her, and they went and announced. They entered to her, and this was the aforementioned Queen who keeps crying constantly and her tears come to be the sea of blood as mentioned. They recognized each other, and there was certainly a very great celebration there, albeit they still wept that they still did not know about the King.

[The King][edit]

They went onward and came to a certain country. They asked, "Who is your king?" They replied that they had chosen for themselves as a king a certain honorable person (that is, a person who has honor, as mentioned), because for them the main purpose is honor. Then they found sitting in a field an old man wearing a crown on his head. They were extremely pleased by him, for he is a dignitary, for he sits in a field adorned with a crown, and they accepted him as king. They realized that this is certainly their King himself, and they also asked if it were possible to be seen by him. They went and announced, and they entered to him and recognized that he is the King himself. And the rejoicing that was there is certainly inconceivable in the brain. And the foolish "gods" (that is, the very wealthy ones from the land of riches who went with them) are traveling with them, and they do not know whatsoever for their lives what is happening here, why there is such happiness here.

[The Repair][edit]

And now the entire holy group was restored and gathered together united: that is, the King and the holy people. They sent the Prayer Leader to all the countries (that is, the countries of all the factions that had each chosen for itself a bad thing as a goal, as mentioned) to correct them and cleanse them; to lead them out of their error, each country out of its vice and its nonsense, for they had all become deluded, as mentioned, and now the Prayer Leader definitely had the power to go to them and turn them around to the right way, for he had received power and permission from the kings of all the lands, since here were all their kings, as mentioned (because the King and his people who had come together — they all were the kings of all the lands of the factions mentioned above). The Prayer Leader went, with their authority, to cleanse them and bring them back in teshuvah (repentance), while the Warrior spoke with the King regarding the country that is so fallen in the idolism of money. The Warrior said to the King, "I heard from you that through the way that I have to the Sword — through it, it is possible to extract someone who has fallen in the idolism of money." The King answered him, "Yes, it is so." The King told the Warrior (the thing, just how through that way one can take them out of the craving of money): Inasmuch as on the way where he goes to the Sword there is a way on the side; by this way one comes to a Fiery Mountain, and on this Mountain crouches a Lion. And the Lion, when he needs to eat, goes and falls on the flocks and takes for himself sheep and cattle and eats them up. And the shepherds know of this and guard the sheep intensely from him, yet the Lion does not look at this whatsoever — just whenever he wants to eat he falls on the flocks, and the shepherds bang and strike and storm at him, however the Lion does not hear this at all; he just takes sheep and cattle for himself and roars and eats them. And the Mountain of Fire is entirely invisible (in other words, there, there is a Mountain of Fire, only, one doesn't see it).

And moreover, from the side there is yet another way; with this way one comes to a place called "Kech" (Kitchen). And there in that Kitchen there are all sorts of food, and in the Kitchen there is no fire whatsoever; rather, the foods are cooked by way of the Fiery Mountain mentioned above. And the Fiery Mountain is very far from there, but channels and pipes go from the Fiery Mountain to the Kitchen, and thereby all the foods are cooked. And the Kitchen too is not seen at all, but there is a sign: standing there are Birds upon the Kitchen, and by them one knows that the Kitchen is there. And the Birds hover with their wings, and thereby they kindle the fire and put out the fire, that is, by the Birds' flapping they blow on and inflame the fire, and also by their very flapping they put out the fire so that the fire should not flame too strongly, more than necessary. And they blow on the fire according to what is necessary for the foods, that is, for one food is needed such a fire, and for another food is needed a different fire — all according to the food, so do the Birds blow on the fire. (All this the King tells the Warrior.)

"Therefore lead them (that is, these people from the Land of Riches who are "gods" there) first against the wind, so that the smell of the foods should get to them. Then when you give them from the foods they will definitely just cast away the craving of money."

The Warrior did so, and took these people, that is, the magnates from the Land of Riches who are gods in their country, who came here with the Warden, as mentioned. Now, when they left their country with the Treasurer, the countrymen gave them power that whatever they do shall be done and the whole country must abide by whatever they do. The Warrior took the people and led them on the way (which the King told him, as mentioned) and he brought them up until the Kitchen where the foods are. And first he led them against the wind and the smell of the foods went to them and they began begging him intensely to give them from these good foods. Then he led them [away] from the wind and they began to scream, "There is a tremendous stench!" He again brought them against the wind and again the good smell of the foods reached them and again they begged intensely that he should give them from the foods, then he again led them [away] from the wind and they again began to scream, "It stinks unbelievably (lit. very wildly)!"

The Warrior responded to them, "Don't you see that there is nothing whatsoever here that should have a bad smell? It must certainly be that you yourselves make the stench, for here there is nothing that should have a bad smell." Then he gave them from the foods. As soon as they ate of these foods they immediately began to cast away from themselves their money, and each one dug for himself a grave and buried himself in the pit due to the great disgrace, as they were intensely ashamed, for they felt that money stinks intensely (Heb. only: which smells like actual feces) because they had tasted of the foods. And they scratched their faces and buried themselves and could not lift their faces at all, and each one was ashamed in front of the other (because such is the special power [segulah] of the foods, that whoever eats of the foods is very repulsed by money) because there in that place money is the greatest disgrace of all disgraces, and when someone wants to say something derogatory about another (lit. throw something out at another) he throws out at him, "You have money," for money there is a huge disgrace, and the more money someone has, the more he is ashamed, therefore they buried themselves out of great disgrace, and each of them was unable to lift his face even in front of the other; even more so in front of the Warrior. And whoever still found with himself some gilden or grush would rid himself of it immediately and throw it away from himself. Then the Warrior came to them and took them out of their pits that they had dug for themselves there out of disgrace, and he said to them, "Come with me, because now you need no longer have any fear of the Warrior, for I myself am the Warrior!" They begged the Warrior to give them from the foods, to bring to their country, because they themselves would surely just hate money, however, they wanted the whole country to go out from this money craving.

The Warrior gave them from these foods and they brought the foods into their country, and as soon as they gave them from these foods they all immediately began to cast away their money and buried themselves in the earth out of disgrace; and the very wealthy and the gods were most ashamed, but even the lesser people who were called "animals" and "birds" by them were also ashamed for having been so little until now in their own eyes because they had no money, because now they knew that on the contrary it's just the reverse: money is the main disgrace. For these foods have such an effect, that whoever eats from the foods is very repulsed by money, for he senses the bad smell of money, just like feces exactly. They all cast away their money and their gold and silver. Then they sent them the Prayer Leader and he gave them teshuvoth [ways to make amends and return to God] and tikkunim [repairs; remedies], and he cleansed them. And the King became king over the entire world, and the entire world returned to God, Blessed be He, and they all were involved only in Torah, prayer, teshuvah and good deeds. Amen, so be His will. Blessed is Hashem for eternity, Amen and Amen.

[Notes Following the Story][edit]

The verse states that Hashem Yithbarakh has an oven in one place and fire in a different place, distant from the oven, as written [Isa. 31:9], "Ne'um-Hashem asher-ur lo beTziyon wethanur lo Birushalaim/ Says Hashem, Whose fire is in Tziyon and His furnace in Yerushalaim;" see there the entire chapter, which speaks of this whole story. "Hoi hayordim Mitzrayim le`ezrah, `al-susim yisha`enu/ Woe to those who descend to Egypt for assistance and rely on horses... uMitzrayim adam welo-El, wesuseihem basar welo-ruach/ The Egyptians are men and not God, and their horses flesh and not spirit" — alluding to the country that the Land of Riches relied on to save them, for according to their mistaken beliefs they considered them all gods and their horses angels, as explained above in the story; see there. This is why the verse concludes, "uMitzrayim adam welo-El, wesuseihem basar welo-ruach" etc. Understand this.

"...Washem yateh yado, wekashal `ozer wenafal `azur, yachdaw kulam yikhlayun/ So when Hashem shall stretch out his hand, both he that helped shall stumble and he that was helped shall fall; they shall all perish together" — alluding to the Hand, for on the Hand they saw that both together would perish, the helper and the helped, as mentioned.

"...Ka'asher yehgeh ha'aryeh wehakfir `al-tarpo, asher yikare `alaw melo ro`im/ Like as the lion, or the young lion, growling over his prey, though a band of shepherds be called forth against him" etc. and "Ketziporim `afoth/ Like flying birds" — alluding to the Lion and the Birds mentioned. Take a good look above inside the story and understand. "Ki bayom hahu yim'asun ish elilei khaspo we'elilei zehavo/ For on that day each man will detest his silver idols and gold idols" etc.

"Wenafal Ashur becherev lo-ish... wenas lo mipnei-cherev... wesal`o mimagor ya`avor/ And Assyria shall fall by the sword not of man... and shall flee from the sword... and his rock shall disappear from fear" — alluding to the three powers of the Sword in the story. Wenafal and wenas allude to two of the powers. And wesal`o mimagor ya`avor alludes to the illness of dör, where one's strength and power wither and disappear, for sal`o refers to their strength; this alludes to the third power of the Sword. Take a good look and understand. Then the verse concludes, Ne'um-Hashem asher-ur lo beTziyon wethanur lo Birushalaim — these are the furnace and fire in the story. Look and see and understand how this chapter explains the entire story. (All the above were the Rebbe's words.) And thus said the Rebbe explicitly, that the entire story from beginning to end is alluded to in entirety in this chapter [i.e. Isa. 31] and he said that all the words of the story can be found in Scriptures and so forth. But the essence of the story is all stated in the above chapter, for there it is all explained and alluded to entirely. However, we do not know how, beyond what the Rebbe revealed to us explicitly (that is, what is explained above). Still, the rest of the matters of the story we were not privileged to perceive how they are hinted in that chapter, but he stated explicitly that the entire story is alluded to there.

(For instance, "Wetime'them eth-tzipui pesilei khaskpekha we'eth-apudath masekhath zehavekha; tizrem kemo davah, tze tomar lo/ You shall defile your graven images overlaid with silver, and the adornment of your golden molten image; you shall put them far away as an unclean thing; 'Go away,' you shall say to it" [ibid. 30:22]. And as written [ibid. 2:20-21], "Bayom hahu yashlikh ha'adam eth elilei kaspo we'eth elilei zehavo... lachpor peroth... lavo beniqroth hatzurim/ On that day, a man will cast away his gods of silver and his gods of gold... digging ditches... to go into the clefts of rocks," that is, they will cast away the craving of money, which is actual idolatry, and bury themselves in ditches, etc., as explained in the story. Because money stinks like actual feces, as written, "tizrem kemo davah/ you will put them far away as an unclean thing; 'TzE'/ Go away' [akin to TzO'AH, feces], tomar lo/ you shall say to it." And so forth one can find all the words of the story in the Scriptures, etc.)

The order of the King and his men is as follows: The Prayer Leader and the Warrior; the Warden and the Sage; the Orator and the Faithful Friend; the Queen's Daughter and her Child; the King and the Queen. That is their order, and they correspond to `Olam haTikkun/ the World of Repair. And they are ten things, but they are not reckoned in order, that is, these ten are not reckoned according to the order explained in books of kabbalah. But there are hidden things behind this. It is also explained in the books that when the influx of one attribute passes through another attribute, when the influx tarries there then it is named after that attribute. That is, the attribute in which is tarrying the influx of another attribute that is passing through it, that attribute is named after the attribute from which that influx is coming. And because of this the order here is changed. There are also other matters in this, which will be very clear to those who are adept in the books. The Rebbe z"l said all this explicitly.

I also understood from his words that Mitath haMelakhim ["Death of the Kings;" shattering of the pre-Creation sefirot] and their repair is alluded to in this story, although neither the aspect of their destruction nor the aspect of their rebuilding are mentioned as the order of the ten aforementioned aspects, for the same reasons above. But still the things are hidden and sealed, because the utmost secret of the story he did not reveal at all; he only enlightened our eyes with the verses and ideas above so that we should know that there are very great and awesome hidden secrets in the story. But we do not know the extent. Fortunate is one who is privileged to understand a bit of the secrets of these stories explained in this book, because they are all extremely wondrous and awesome novelties; "`Amok `amok, mi yimtza'enu/ Deep, deep; who can find it out?" [Eccl. 7:24] "Mah nomar... mah nedaber/ What shall we say... what shall we speak?" [Gen. 44:16] "Mi-shama` kazoth, mi ra'ah ka'eleh/ Who has heard such a thing? Who has seen such things?" [Isa. 66:8]

Tale 13: The Seven Beggars[edit]


I'll tell you about being happy!

[The King Who Transferred His Kingdom To His Son During His Lifetime][edit]

A tale. Once there was a King who had an only son. The King wanted to transfer the kingdom to his son during his lifetime, so he threw a grand party (which they call a "ball"). Now, when the King throws a ball there is certainly great merriment, so especially now that he was transferring the kingdom to his son during his lifetime, there was certainly a very great celebration. And there at the ball were all the royal officers and all the dukes and gentry, and people were very merry at the ball. And the country too was enjoying this — the king's transferring his kingdom to his son in his lifetime — for it is a great honorific event for the King. So a very great celebration took place there, and there were all types of festivities there: song groups, drama groups and so forth, as well as everything useful just for merriment — it was all there at the ball.

And when they had waxed very merry, the King got up and said to his son, "Being that I am a stargazer, I see that you will at some time fall from the kingship. Therefore see to it that you have no sadness (that is, no grief) when you fall from reign; just be happy. And if you will be happy, I will also be happy. Even if you will have sadness I will still be happy that you are not king, since you are not fit to be king if you cannot keep yourself happy. (In other words, if you are the kind of man that you cannot keep yourself happy even when you fall from reign then you aren't fit to be any sort of king). But when you will be happy then I will be extraordinarily happy."

The King's son took over the reign very sharply, appointing his own royal officers, and he had dukes, gentry and soldiers. Now, this son of the King was a clever person and loved wisdom very much, and very great intellectuals accompanied him. And whoever came to him with some sort of wisdom was very esteemed by him, and he would grant them honor and riches for their wisdom. Whatever each one wanted, he gave him: one wanted money — he gave him money; another wanted honor — he gave him honor; anything for wisdom. And because studying was so important to him, they all took to wisdom and the entire country was occupied with philosophies [chokhmoth], because this one desired money — in order to get money for it [being his motive] — and that one desired status and honor. And because all of them were busy only with philosophies, therefore they all forgot there in that country the strategies of war (in other words, how to wage a war), for they were all busy exclusively with philosophies, to such a degree that the smallest person in that country was the greatest sage in another country, while their own wise men were utterly wild scholars. And on account of their philosophies those wise men of the country fell into heresy and drew the son of the King too into their heresy. Albeit the simple folk were not harmed and did not become disbelievers, for there was great depth and subtlety in the sages' wisdom, so the common folk were not able to enter into their wisdoms, therefore it did not harm them. Only the wise men and the King's son became heretics.

And the King's son, because there was good in him, for he was born with goodness and had good character traits, would frequently remind himself, "Where am I in the world? What am I doing?" etc. and would make a very big groan and sigh deeply over it. He would ponder, "What is this? I should be carried away with such things?! What's going on with me? Where am I in this world?" as he kept sighing intensely. Albeit as soon as he began to use his intellect the heretical philosophy became strong again in him. This happened numerous times, that he would still contemplate where he is in the world, what he is doing, etc. as above, with groaning and sighing — but as soon as he began using his intellect the heretical belief became strong in him again, as above.

[The Exodus, and the Boy and Girl Get Lost; the Beggars Come and Feed Them][edit]

And the day came to pass — there was a flight in a certain country — everyone fled, and as they were fleeing they went through a forest, losing two children there, a male and a female; someone lost a male and someone lost a female. And they were still little children of four or five years and did not have anything to eat, and they screamed and cried because they had nothing to eat. Meanwhile there came up to them a beggar going along with his sacks (which are called torbes), carrying bread in them, and these children started to nudge him and huddle after him. He gave them bread and they ate. He asked them, "Where have you come here from?" They answered him, "We don't know," for they were little children. And he started going away from them and they asked him to take them with him. He said to them, "This I do not want, that you should go with me." Meanwhile they took a look — the beggar is blind! It was a marvel for them: since he is blind, how does he know how to go? (But in truth this itself is a novelty, that such a question should occur to them, for they were still young children. However, they were clever children; therefore it was a wonder to them.) He blessed them (this blind beggar), "You should be as I am; you should be as old as I," and he left them more bread and went away, and the children understood that Hashem Yithbarakh was watching over them and had sent them here a blind beggar to give them food.

Afterwards their bread ran out, and again they started screaming for food. After that it became night and they passed the night there. In the morning they still had nothing to eat so they screamed and cried. Meanwhile again a beggar comes up who is deaf; they started talking to him and he shows them with his hands and says to them, "I don't hear anything whatsoever." And this beggar also gave them bread to eat and started going away from them. They also wanted him to take them with him but he did not want. And he too blessed them, "That you should be as I am!" and also left them bread and went his way.

Later on their bread also ran out and again they screamed as above. Again there came to them a beggar who was tongue-tied (that is, he stammered with his mouth). They began to speak with him and he was mumbling his speech so they didn't know what he was saying — but he did know what they were saying — only they did not know what he was saying, because he was stammering. This beggar also gave them bread to eat, and also started to go away as before and also blessed them that they should be as he, and he went away, all as before.

Then there came again a beggar who had a crooked neck and it transpired as before. Then there came again a beggar who was hunchbacked (which is called hoikir). Then there came again a beggar without hands. Then there came a beggar without feet. And each one of them gave them bread and blessed them that they should be like him, just as the other beggars.

Afterwards the bread ran out by them yet again and they started walking toward a settlement until they came to a way. They went with that way until they came to a village. They (these children) went into a house, and they had pity on them and gave them bread. They continued into another house and there too they gave them bread, so they kept going around into houses and they saw [things are] good for them and they are being given bread. The children decided between them that they should always be together, and they made themselves large sacks (which are called torbes) and went around to the houses, and went to all happy occasions, to brissim [rite of circumcision] and to weddings. And they continued further along, going into cities, to the houses; and went to market fairs, and would sit among the beggars in the same way they sit there on the prizbes [ledges which protrude from the sides of buildings] with a teller [a plate for collecting alms], until these children became famous already among all the beggars, for all of them recognized them and knew of them; that they were the children who had been lost in the forest as mentioned.

[The Beggars Match the Boy and the Girl][edit]

One time there was a big fair in a big city, and all the beggars went there, as well as the children too. It came to the mind of the beggars that they should match the children; that they should marry each other. And as soon as they started discussing it, it pleased all of them and they were matched. But how to make them a wedding? They came to the decision, inasmuch as on such and such a day the King would have his birthday feast (which is called a myenines) [<Slavic myena name, i.e. "name day"], all the beggars would go there, and from what they would request for themselves there, meat and bread, they would make a wedding. And so it was; all the beggars went to the myenines and requested out for themselves bread and meat and also collected what was left over from the banquet, meat and bread, which is called kolitch [big loaves special for celebrations]. And they went ahead and dug out a big trench which could contain a hundred people and covered it with sticks, earth and trash, and they all went inside and married the children there, setting up a chuppah for them, and they were very, very happy there; and the groom and bride also were extremely happy. Now the groom and bride started recalling the kindnesses Hashem Yithbarakh had done for them when they were in the forest, and started crying and greatly yearning, "How can the first beggar, the blind one, be brought here, who brought us bread in the forest?"

[First Day][edit]

And just as they were longing very much for the blind beggar he immediately calls out and says: I am here. I have come to you for the wedding, and I'm presenting you with a derashah geshenk [commonly meaning gifts given to the groom in reward for his pre-chuppah derashah, lecture; but possibly meaning a gift that is free for the seeking, derashah, as per Ps. 24, Deut. 4:29 etc.], that you should be old as I. For previously I had blessed you with this, that you should be as old as I; now I present it to you as a completely free gift, derashah geshenk, that you should live as long as I. You think that I am blind. I am not blind at all, except all the time of the whole world does not come across me as much as an eye blink (thus he appears blind, for he doesn't peek into the world whatsoever, for all the entire world's time doesn't come across him whatsoever, even as an eyeblink, therefore no sight or any glimpse of the world at all is relevant to him), because I am very old and I am yet entirely young [Heb. yanik, suckling, i.e. infantile] and have not yet begun living at all — but I am still very old. And it is not I alone that say this; on the contrary I have an approval upon it from the Great Eagle. I will tell you a story. (All this the blind beggar is saying.)

[The Great Eagle and the Conversation Regarding First Memories][edit]

One time there were people traveling on many ships on the sea. A storm wind came and broke the ships, and the people were saved. The people came to a tower; they went up on it and found there all kinds of food, drink, clothing, and whatever one needs. And all good was there, and all the delights in the world. They spoke up and said that each one should tell an old story — what he remembers from his first memory, that is, what he remembers since his memory began. There were old and young there and they honored the biggest zaken [elder, old; akin to zakan, beard] among them to tell first.

He answered and said, "What shall I tell you? I remember back when they cut the apple off the branch." No one at all knew what he was saying, however there were wise men there and they said, "Oowah! — that is a totally old story." Then they honored the second zaken, who was younger than the first, that he should tell. The second one replied, "That there is an old story?!" (expressing wonder) "I remember that story, but I remember back even when the candle was burning." Those who were there replied, "That story there is older yet than the first," and it was a marvel to them that the second one is younger than the first, yet remembers an older story than the first. Then they honored the third zaken, that he should tell. The third one, who was younger yet, spoke up saying, "I remember back even when the construction of the fruit was just beginning; when the fruit was just starting to become a fruit. They answered there, "This is an even older story." Then the fourth spoke up, who was even yet younger, "I remember back even when they were bringing the seed so as to plant the fruit."

The fifth answered, who was even yet younger, "I recall even the sages who thought up and brought out the seed." The sixth, who was even yet younger, called out, "I remember even the taste of the fruit before the taste entered into the fruit." The seventh called out, "I recall even the smell of the fruit before the smell entered the fruit. The eighth answered and said, "I remember even the appearance of the fruit before it went upon the fruit."

And I at the time was just an infant (that is, the blind beggar who is telling all this), and I too was there and I announced, "I remember all these stories — plus I remember absolutely nothing (un ich gidenk gor nisht). They replied, "That is a story completely older than all of them," and it was a great marvel to them that the child remembers more than them all. In the midst of this came a Great Eagle and knocked on the tower and said to them, "Cease being poor! Return to your treasures and use your treasures," and he said to them that they should go out from the tower age by age; whoever is oldest should go out first. He took them all out from the tower, removing the babe first, for truthfully he is, after all, older than all of them, and likewise whoever was younger he brought out first, and the hoariest elder he brought out at the very end, for the one who was younger was in fact older (because the younger he was, the older a story he kept telling), and the most aged elder was younger than all of them.

The Great Eagle replied to them, "I will explain to you all the stories that everyone told. The one who told that he remembers back when they cut the apple off the branch means: he remembers back even when they cropped his navel (that is, even what happened to him immediately as soon as he was born — when they cut his navel cord — even this he remembers); and the second who said that he remembers back even when the candle was burning means: he remembers back even when he was in utero, when a candle burns over one's head (for it says in the Gemara that when a child is in the mother's womb a candle burns over his head etc.); and he who said that he remembers back even when the fruit began to form, it is that he remembers back even when his body began to take form, when the fetus was only beginning to take form; and the one who remembers back when they were bringing the seed to plant the fruit, it means he remembers back even when the droplet was being drawn down [during relations]. And he who remembers the sages bringing out the seed means he remembers back even when the droplet was still in the brain (for the brains emit the droplet); and the one who remembers the taste — it is the nefesh [vital lifeforce]; and the smell — it is the ruach [spirit]; and the appearance — it is the neshamah [uppermost soul]. And the babe said that he remembers "absolutely nothing" because he is greater than all of them and remembers even what he was prior to nefesh, ruach and neshamah; thus he said he recalls absolute nothingness. (In other words he recalls not existing at all; he remembers even what was happening there, which is highest of all.)" And the Great Eagle said to them, "Return to your ships, which are your bodies which have been broken and will be rebuilt; now return to them," and he blessed them. And to me (that is, the blind beggar [who was a babe then] who is telling all this) said the Great Eagle, "You come with me, for you are like me, for you are 'very old and completely young' and haven't at all started to live and are yet nonetheless very old. And I am like that too, for I am very old and still entirely young, etc." It follows I have a testimonial from the Great Eagle that I am very old and completely youthful, etc.

Now I present it to you as a completely free gift, derashah geshenk, that you should be as old as I. There was a great celebration there with great jubilation and they were extremely happy.

[Second Day][edit]

On the following day of the seven days of mishteh [lit. drinking (celebration)] the chathan-kallah [lit. groom-bride (unit)] thought back again about the other beggar, who was deaf, who had enlivened them and given them bread. And they were crying and longing, "How can the deaf beggar, who enlivened us, be brought here?" Meanwhile as they were longing after him he comes in and says, "I am here!" And he fell upon them, kissed them and said to them, "Today I present you in a gift that you should be as I am, that you should live as good a life as I do. Because previously I had blessed you with this; today I give you my good life in a full gift, derashah geshenk. You think that I am deaf. I am not deaf at all, except that the whole world does not matter to me whatever so that I should hear their lacking. For, each and every voice in the world is only about needs, since everybody screams about his deficit, that is, what he hasn't got; and even all the world's celebrations are all exclusively about deficits, as someone rejoices over what he didn't have whereas now he has what he didn't have. But the entire world doesn't come across me at all, that I should hear their deficit, for I live such a good life that it hasn't any lack at all; and I have an attestation about this, that I live a good life, from the Land of Wealth." And his good life was: he ate bread and drank water. (He told them:)

[The Land of Riches and the Conversation Regarding Good Life][edit]

Inasmuch as there is a land where there is great wealth — they have enormous fortunes — one time the wealthy people gathered together and each one began boasting of his good life, how he lives such a good life, and each one described the routine of his good life.

I spoke up and said to them (that is, the deaf beggar who is telling all this): I live a better "good life" than you, and this is the proof: for if you live the good life, help out that country — for there is a country where they had a garden, and in the garden were fruits having all kinds of tastes in the world and all kinds of smells in the world; there too in the garden were all kinds of shapes of every color and all the kvetin [flowers] in the world; everything was there in the garden. And over the garden was an agradnik [gardener] [that is, someone who sees to the garden], and the people of the country would live a good life through the garden. The gardener there got lost, so naturally whatever there is in the garden must surely cease to exist since the gardener is no longer there to see to the garden and go about with what needs to be done around the garden. But despite this, they would have been able to live from the garden's aftergrowth (that is, from the regrowth, that is, what grows in a garden by itself from that which falls down).

A cruel (in other words, merciless) king came over the country and could do nothing against them, so he went and spoiled the country's good life that they had from the garden. It was not that he spoiled the garden, rather he left behind in the country three crews of henchmen and commanded them to do what he ordered them. And by doing there what the king ordered them they ruined the taste, for through what they did there they made it that whoever wanted to feel any taste, it would have the taste of rotten carcass. And similarly they ruined the smell so that all the smells would have the smell of galbanum, and similarly they destroyed the appearance, for they made it be dark in the eyes just like when it's cloudy. (All this did the three crews of workers accomplish in the country by doing there what the king ordered them, as mentioned.) Now if you live the good life let me see if you can help out that country. (So is the deaf beggar still saying to the Land of Wealth which had bragged that they live the good life, as mentioned.) And I say to you: if you won't help them out, it will harm you too (that is, the fact that in that country the appearance, taste and smell were ruined, will reach you too).

[The Rich Ones and the Deaf One Go to the Land][edit]

The rich men mentioned above got up to go to that country, and I went with them too, and on the way they lived their good life, each his own, for they had fortunes as mentioned. When they came nigh to the country, there began to spoil also by them the taste and the other things, and they felt in themselves that it had become spoiled with them. I spoke up to them, "Just consider — if now when you have not yet entered the country, the taste, appearance and smell have already become spoiled for you, how will it be when you go in? And all the more so, how can you still help them?" I took my bread and my water and gave it to them. They felt in my bread and water all the tastes (and all the smells etc.) and everything became corrected that had been ruined for them (that is, the taste, appearance and smell).

[The People of the Land Send Messengers, Meeting Up With Them][edit]

And the other country, that is, the country where the garden was (where the taste etc. had been ruined, as mentioned), started to look around to repair the country's ruined taste and so forth. They came to a decision: inasmuch as there is a Land of Wealth (that is, that very land mentioned above with whom the beggar had spoken, as mentioned), it felt to them (that is, it felt to the country where the garden was) that their gardener who had become lost (through whom they had lived the good life) is from the same root as [the people of] the Land of Riches who also live the good life; therefore they liked the idea that they should send off to the Land of Wealth — they will surely help them! They did so and sent messengers to the Land of Wealth. The messengers went, and they encountered each other (that is, the emissaries came up against the people of that very Land of Riches on the way, for the Land of Wealth themselves wanted to go to them, as mentioned). They asked the messengers, "Where are you going?" They answered, "We are going to the Land of Wealth so that they will help us." They spoke up, "We ourselves are that rich country and we are going to you."

I spoke up (that is, the deaf beggar who is telling all this) to them, "Don't you need me? For you cannot go there and help them," as mentioned above (because when they only so much as came near the country, they themselves were already affected; all the more so when etc. as mentioned). "Therefore you stay here and I will go with the emissaries to help them."

[The Deaf One Goes With the Messengers to Help Them][edit]

I went with the emissaries, arrived at the country and entered a city. I saw people approaching and one of them saying a vartel [a word of mockery], and then more people came up, until a small crowd was formed and they said vartlach [wisecracks] and they laughed. I listened up to what they were shmoozing about and heard them speaking lewd speech [nivul peh]. This one says a quip of lewd speech, that one says a bit finer, this one laughs, that one enjoys, and so forth, as their way is.

Later I went further to another city (of that country) and saw two people fighting with each other on account of some trade transaction. They went to the courthouse to bring suit and the court decided for them: this one is entitled and that one is obligated — and they went out from the court. Afterward they again bickered with each other, and said that they no longer want this courthouse — they just want another courthouse — and they chose for themselves another courthouse and brought their case before the other courthouse. Afterward one of them again got into an argument with someone else, and again they selected a different courthouse, and so they fought on and on there, this one with that one and that one with this one, always choosing a different court, until the entire city was filled with courthouses. I took a look and saw that this was due to there being no truth there; now this one tilts the verdict and favors this one (in other words he curries favor with him and decides in his favor), and later the other one favors him (in other words later the other decides in his favor in return), for they take bribery and they have no truth there.

Afterwards I saw that they are full of adultery, and there are so many illicit relations there that it has already become like an altogether permissible thing for them. And I said to them that on account of this, the taste, the smell and the vision were ruined for them, for the aforementioned cruel king had left them the three aforementioned squads of agents so that they should go and ruin the country. For they went around and spoke lewd speech among them, bringing lewd speech into the country, and through lewd speech the result was that the taste was ruined, so that all the tastes had the same taste as nevelah [carcass of an animal that died on its own; same root as nivul < nbl decayed]. And likewise they brought bribery into the country, and thereby their vision was ruined and it got dark in their eyes, for so it states, "Ki hashochad ye`aver `einei chakhamim," in other words bribery blinds the eyes of the wise [Deut. 16:19]. And similarly the henchmen brought lechery into the country, and through this the smell was ruined, for lechery results in ruined smell (and look in another place in our words [Likutei Moharan II 1:12] that lechery blemishes one's smell). Therefore you should see that you repair the country from these three sins and seek after these people (that is, the agents who brought the three sins into the country, as mentioned) and drive them out. And when you do so and you purge the country from the three sins, I say to you that not only will the taste, vision and smell be repaired, but that moreover even the gardener who was lost from you will also be recoverable.

They did so, and they began cleansing the country of the three sins. And they sought out the people (that is, the henchmen mentioned above) and they would grab someone and ask him, "From where did you come here?" — until they caught the cruel king's agents and drove them out, and they cleaned out the country from the sins. Meanwhile a noise was made: Maybe the insane one is the gardener after all? For there is an insane man going about who keeps saying that he is the gardener, and everyone holds him to be insane, and stones are thrown at him and he is driven away — but maybe he in fact is the true gardener?! They went out and brought him (that is, before these ones who sat and repaired the country; and also he, namely the deaf beggar who is telling all this, was there). And I said, "Of course he is the gardener!" (That is, the one whom they had previously called insane.) Hence, I have a testament from there that I live the good life, for I myself repaired the Land. Now I present you with my good life as a gift.

A big celebration and great blissfulness started up there, and they were extremely happy. The first one had given them chayim arukhim, that is, long life, and the other had given them chayim tovim, that is, good life. And so all the beggars came afterwards to the wedding and gave them for a wedding-discourse present the same thing that they had previously blessed them, to be like themselves; they now gave this to them in total gift, derashah geshenk [for a] (wedding-discourse present).

[Third Day][edit]

On the third day the groom and bride again thought back, crying and longing, "How can the third beggar be brought here, who was a kaved-peh [tongue-tied]?" (That is, who stammered with his mouth.)

Meanwhile in he comes and says, "I am here!" And he fell on them, kissed them, and he too said to them as before: Previously I had blessed you to be like me. Now I give you, derashah geshenk, that you be like me. You think I am speech-impaired. I am not speech-impaired at all, rather: the utterances of the world which are not praises to the Supernal One have no integrity (in other words thus he appears like a tongue-tied person who cannot talk, for he has absolutely no wish to speak any worldly speech which is not praise to Hashem Yithbarakh; since talk that is not praise to Hashem Yithbarakh has no integrity, thus he stammers in his speech). But in truth I am not speech-impaired at all. On the contrary I am an orator and a speaker, that is, one wild novelty of a good talker. And I can say such wildly innovative riddles, poems and songs that when I begin to speak my riddles, poems and songs, there can be no creature in the world that will not want to hear me (in other words there is not a creature in the world that will not want to hear his poems etc.). And contained in them (that is, in the riddles and poems that he says) are all the wisdoms. And I have testimony to this from that great man who is called "The Truly Gracious Man" (Der Grosser Man; Der Emetir Ish Chesed — with these terms did Rabbeinu of blessed memory tell it). And there is a whole story to this.

[The Conversation Regarding Wisdoms][edit]

For, once upon a time all the wise men sat, and each one boasted of his wisdom. {1} This one boasted that with his wisdom he had invented the production of iron (that is, the ability to make iron from earth is what he brought out to the world), {2} that one boasted that he had invented another type of metal (that is, another type of metallurgy: zinc or lead etc.), {3} another boasted that with his wisdom he had invented the production of silver — this is already more momentous (that is, the ability to make silver is what he had brought out); {4} another boasted that he had invented the ability to make gold, {5} and another boasted that he had invented weapons of war (that is, the instruments with which war is conducted, namely guns, cannons and so forth — the technology of making these instruments is what he brought out); {6} yet another boasted he can produce metal wares without those things that they produce these metals from, {7} and another boasted of other wisdoms, for there are numerous things in the world that have been invented through wisdoms, namely saltpeter, gunpowder and the like. So each one boasted of his wisdom.

Someone there called out, "I am cleverer than you all, for I am wise as the day." No one there understood what he was saying, that he is "wise as the day." He replied to them, "Because all your wisdoms can be put together and they will constitute no more than one hour, even though each wisdom is obtained from a different day, according to the creation that came into being on that day. For all of those wisdoms are composites (that is, several things are mixed together and from them the thing is produced; therefore each wisdom is taken from the day in which God created the things from which the materials are taken and combined with wisdom to make the thing they want to make: silver, copper and so forth); in spite of this, all of these wisdoms of yours can be put together by wisdom, constituting no more than one hour. But I am wise like an entire day." (So did that final wise man boast.) I (that is, the tongue-tied who is telling all this) called out to him, "Like which day?" (In other words, "Like which day are you wise?") He (the wise one mentioned) responded, "This one here (that is, the tongue-tied) is wiser than me for he's asking like which day. But like whatever day you wish, that's how wise I am." However, why, after all, is he smarter for having asked like which day, if the wise man himself is also as smart as any day he wishes? But there is a whole story:

[The Heart and the Spring][edit]

For, the Truly Gracious Man is in truth a very great man. And I (that is, the speech-impaired who is telling all this) go about, gathering up all true generosities, and bring them to the Truly Gracious Man. And the root of time's genesis (that is, that [such a thing as] time should exist, for time itself, that is, the very existence of years and days in the world, is itself also created by Hashem Yithbarakh) is solely through true kindnesses. And I go about and gather up all true kindnesses and bring them to the Truly Gracious Man, resulting in time coming into being.

And there is a Mountain, and on the Mountain stands a Stone, and from the Stone emerges a Spring. Now, every thing has a heart, and the entire world also has a heart, and the Heart of the World is a complete structure, with face, hands, feet etc. But the nail of the foot of the World's Heart is heartier [Yid. hertziker] than the heart of anything else. And the Mountain with the Stone and the Spring stands at one end of the world, while this Heart of the World stands at another end of the world, and the Heart stands facing the Spring, desiring and hoping continuously, exceedingly, that it should come to the Spring, and the longing and desire of the Heart to come to the Spring is just extraordinary. It screams nonstop, the Heart, to come to the Source, and the Source longs for the Heart too.

Now, the Heart has two things that make it weak. One, because the sun pursues it exceedingly and scorches it (because it always yearns and desires to come to the Source), and the second thing that tires the Heart is due to yearning and desiring, that the Heart constantly yearns and wishes; it keeps pouring out its soul for the Source and screaming and so forth, as above, so as to come to the Source, for the Heart is always standing facing the Source, and screams "Na! Gevald!" [Yid. Please! Woe!], and keeps on yearning most exceedingly for the Source, as mentioned.

However, when the Heart needs to rest a bit, so as to draw a little breath [Yid. oyf zoyfn] then comes a Big Bird and spreads its wings above it, shielding it from the sun; then the Heart gets a little rest. But even then while resting it also looks facing the Spring and still longs for it. But since it longs so much for the Source, why does it not go to the Source? Only, as soon as the Heart wants to go close to the Mountain upon which is the Source then it no longer sees the peak; it cannot look at the Spring — and as soon as it would not look at the Spring it would expire, for the Heart's entire vitality is only from the Source, so when it stands facing the Mountain then it sees the Mountain peak where the Spring is, but immediately as soon as it wants to go to the Mountain, the peak no longer appears (for such indeed is the way with a tall mountain; standing from afar the peak is visible, but upon going nearer the peak is no longer visible). Then it can no longer look at the Source and could — Mercy save us! — expire, and if this Heart — Mercy save us! — would expire the whole world would be destroyed, for the Heart is the very vitality of every thing, and how can the world endure without the Heart? Therefore the Heart cannot go to the Spring; it only stands facing the Spring, longing and screaming without cease to be able to come to it, as mentioned.

And the Spring is completely timeless, for the Spring is not within time at all (in other words the Spring has no time at all, that is, because it is completely above worldly time). So how can the Spring exist in the world? (For in the world nothing can exist without a time.) But all the Spring's time is simply the Heart giving the Spring a day as a gift. And when it comes time for the day to be let out and terminated — and should the day go away the Source would no longer have any time and would depart from the world — then when the Source is no longer, the Heart itself would also expire, Mercy save us, then the whole world would become nil, Mercy save us, as mentioned. Thus, when it gets very close to the end of the day then they begin to take leave of each other (which is called gizeginin) [wishes and blessings upon departing] — the Heart and the Source — and begin saying wonderful riddles, poems and songs to one another — very fine riddles and songs — with great love and tremendous yearning (one for the other, the Heart for the Source and the Source for the Heart).

Now, the Truly Gracious Man supervises and keeps watch over this, and when the day reaches its very end and needs only to give out (at which very instant when the day lets out and the Source shall no longer have any day, as mentioned, it will pass away and thus, Mercy save us, the Heart will expire too; the whole world will be destroyed) — at that moment the Truly Gracious Man arrives and gives the Heart a day and the Heart gives the day to the Source; thus the Spring once again has time (that is, that day the Source can again maintain its existence and consequently the Heart too can maintain its existence, etc.). And when this day comes from the place whence it comes, it comes along with riddles too and with fine poetry which contains all wisdoms. And there are distinctions between the days, for there is a Sunday, a Monday, etc., and similarly there is a first of the month and holidays (in other words, according to what sort of day comes along, with such poetry does it arrive).

And all the time that the Truly Gracious Man has, is entirely through me (that is, through the tongue-tied one who is telling all this). For I go along and gather up all true generosities, from which all the time comes to exist, as mentioned. (And therefore the tongue-tied one is even smarter than the sage who boasted he is wise like any day one wishes, for time itself and its days altogether come to exist entirely through him, the days coming along with poetry and riddles containing all wisdoms, etc., as mentioned). Hence I have a testimony from the Truly Gracious Man that I can say riddles and poetry containing all the sciences (because all the days, with the riddles and their poetry, come to exist entirely through him, as mentioned). Today I present you in a full gift, derashah geshenk, that you should be like me. There was a grand celebration and superb gladness there, and they had a ball (Zey hobn a Hilva giton)!

[Fourth Day][edit]

When they had completed that day's celebration and passed the night afterwards, in the morning they again thought back and yearned, and so forth, for the beggar who had a crooked neck. Meanwhile in he comes and says: I am here! (and so forth...) Previously I had blessed you to be like me. Today I present it to you, derashah geshenk, that you should be like me. You think I have a crooked neck. I have no crooked neck whatsoever. On the contrary, I have a very even neck, a very beautiful neck, except there are vapors [havalim] of the world (that is, worldly nonsense), and I wish to release no breath or spirit [Yid. duch] whatsoever into the world's vanities (and therefore it appears his neck is crooked, since he twists his neck from the world's vanities world and wants to release no breath or spirit whatsoever into the world's vanities). But in truth I have a very beautiful neck, an extremely fine neck. For I have a superb voice, and all kinds of sounds [qolot] in the world, which are only sound without speech — I can mimic all of them with my voice, for I have a very superb neck and voice. And I have testament to this from that country —

[The Country of Musical Experts and the Conversation Regarding Musical Prowess][edit]

For there is a country where they are all expert in the science of music making, and they are all involved there in this wisdom, even little children. There is not a child there who cannot play on some musical instrument. And the most minor person that is in that country is the greatest expert in another country in musical knowledge. And the sages and king of that country, and the cappellas [song groups], are extraordinarily great masters of that wisdom.

One time the country's sages were sitting together and each one boasted of his musical prowess [chokhmah]. {1} This one boasted he could play on this musical instrument, {2} that one boasted he could play that musical instrument, {3} and another boasted: on another musical instrument. {4} Someone else boasted he could play several musical instruments, {5} and another boasted he could play on all kinds of musical instruments. {6} This one boasted he could perform with his voice like a certain musical instrument, {7} that one boasted he could perform with his voice like a certain musical instrument, {8} and another boasted he could perform with his voice like several musical instruments. {9} Still another boasted he could perform with his voice exactly like a drum (which is called poyk) when it is struck, {10} and another boasted he could perform with his voice like shooting from cannons (which are called urmatis) [?<Ukr. garmata, cannon]. And I too was there (that is, the one with the crooked neck who is telling all this). I spoke up and said to them: My voice is better that your voices, and this is the proof: because if you are indeed such experts in musical sound, help the two lands —

[The Two Lands, One Thousand Miles Apart][edit]

For there are two lands, a thousand miles apart from each other. And there in these two countries when night arrives no one can sleep, for when it becomes night they all begin crying out with wailing voices — men, women and children. If a stone were to rest there it would melt down, for at night they hear an exceedingly wailing sound, and because of it, all of them there must start wailing — men, women and little children, etc. (And this happens in both countries), for in one country they hear the wailing sound and must all lament as mentioned, and likewise in the other land it too is so, and the two countries are a thousand miles apart. So if you are such expert musicians (that is, you can play and sing), let me see if you can help the two countries, or at least reproduce the sounds (that is, mimic the wailing sound that is heard there). They said to him, "Will you take us there?" He said, "Yes, I take you there [present tense]," and they arose to all go there.

They went and arrived there (that is, at one of the two aforementioned countries). When night came, it was as always — they all began wailing, and the experts too wailed as well. (So they saw for sure they could not help the countries.) He said to them (that is, the one whose neck was crooked said to the aforementioned sages), "Anyway, tell me where this comes from, that they hear this wailing sound. Where is the sound from?" They said to him, "And do you know?" He replied, "I know indeed."

[The Two Birds][edit]

"For, there are two birds, one male and one female, and they are just one pair in the world. The female got lost. He seeks her and she seeks him. They had sought each other very long, until they lost their ways and saw they can no longer find each other, so they stood still and made themselves nests. He made him a nest nearby one of the two countries — and not actually near it, except that in consideration of the bird's voice it is called near, since from the place where he stopped and made him a nest they can already hear his voice in that country. And likewise she also made her a nest near the second country (that is, likewise, not right nearby, except from there her voice could be heard over there). And when night comes then this pair of birds begin both wailing, for he bemoans her and she bemoans him, wailing with a very big yell. And this is the wailing sound heard in these two countries, because of which they must all begin wailing intensely there and they cannot sleep." (So did the crooked-neck continue telling.) But they would not believe this, and said to him, "Will you lead us there (that is, to the birds)?"

He said, "Yes, I can lead you there. Except how can you come there? For if even here you cannot bear the sound and must all wail — when you will come there you will surely be unable to stand it at all! And by day one cannot stand the joy there, for by day the birds gather together by each of them separately, that is, to him and to her, and console them and make them happy with extremely great joys, and they tell them words of consolation: "You will still find each other," making them very happy, so much so that by day it is impossible to bear the joy there. And the sound of the birds making them happy is not heard from afar, but only when one arrives there. But the sound of the pair wailing at night — it is heard far away; you cannot, therefore, come there." They said to him, "Can you correct this?"

He replied, "Yes, I can correct it. For I can mimic all the world's sounds (that is, all kinds of sounds in the world, he can emit them with his voice, making it exactly like any sound at all); furthermore I can throw voices, that is, I can throw a sound which here, in the place where I let it out, will not be heard at all — only somewhere far away will it be heard — and therefore I can throw her voice to him, that is, the sound which I will let out will arrive close to the place where he is, and likewise I can throw his voice so that it arrives close to her; thereby will I draw them together" (until he brings them together). But who would believe this?

[Sounds in the Forest][edit]

He went and led them into a forest. They heard as if someone opens a door, shuts it again and slams the bolt shut (which is called a klaymke); and firing from gun (which is called a biks), sending the dog to fetch (the thing that he was shooting), and the dog thrashing in the snow [Yid. gigraznit in shney]. The sages heard all this, and they looked around — they saw nothing at all, and also from him they heard nothing at all. (It could only be that he, the crooked neck, was throwing those sounds. So they saw for sure that he can replicate all kinds of sounds exactly, and also throw sounds.) (And he did not tell more about this, but went up afterwards.) Hence I have testament from that country that I have a wonderfully fine voice and I can replicate all the world's sounds. Today I present this to you completely in a gift, derashah geshenk, to be like me. There was a grand celebration there, and extremely high spirits.

[Fifth Day][edit]

On the fifth day they were also happy. They remembered the beggar who was a hunchback [Yid. hoikir], and they yearned very much, "How can that hunchback beggar be taken here? For if he were here, the joy would be immense." In the midst of this he arrives and says, "I am here! I have come to you for the wedding." And he fell on them, hugged them and kissed them, and said to them:

Previously I had blessed you that you be like me; today I present you, derashah geshenk, that you should be like me. And I am not hunchback [hoikir] whatsoever. On the contrary, I have the sort of shoulders [Yid. pleytses] that are the little that holds the much. And I have a testament to this.

[The Conversation Regarding the Little That Holds the Much; They Scoff at One][edit]

For, there was once a conversation in which people boasted about this matter, each one boasting that he has this feature of the little holding the much (in other words, a small space containing very much). They laughed and scoffed at one of them; and the rest who boasted about this feature of the little holding the much were accepted. But my little that holds the much is greater than all of them.

For, one of them boasted that his brain is a "little that holds the much," for he carries in his brain thousands and myriads of people with all their needs, all their customs, and all their discussions and movements. He carries all this entirely in his brain, so he is a little that holds the much, since a bit of his brain bears on it so many people with their needs and so forth. (Therefore he is called a little that holds the much, that is, a bit of space containing and bearing so much, namely the bit of brain bearing so many people with all their affairs etc.) They laughed him off and those present there replied, "You are nothing and your people are nothing."

One of them spoke up and said, "I have seen such a 'little that holds the much.' For, once I was passing by before a mountain and I saw a huge amount of garbage and filth on it. It was a novelty for me — from where does so much garbage and filth come on the mountain? There was a man there by that mountain. The man said, 'It's all mine.' For he was dwelling there beside the mountain, and kept throwing on the mountain his garbage and secretions from his eating and drinking, and defecated there, until there was so much garbage and feces from him on the mountain. So this man is a 'little that holds the much,' insofar as so much garbage comes about from one man. That's what this is too." (That is, so is the little-that-holds-the-much of the one who boasted that his brain bears so many people etc.)

[The Bit of Countryside, and the Orchard][edit]

One of them boasted he has the feature of the little that holds the much, inasmuch as: He has a bit of countryside that produces a great quantity of fruits. Afterwards they reckon the fruit that the country has produced and they see that the country does not in any way hold as much space as the fruits need to take up; there is not at all in the country so much space as the fruits need to occupy. So this is what a little that holds the much is (namely, a little space that holds so much). His words pleased them, for in truth this is certainly a little that holds the much.

One of them said inasmuch as he has an orchard [Heb. pardes] (namely, a garden) — a very fine one — where there are fruits and so forth: A great many people and noblemen travel there, for it is quite a nice orchard. And when summer comes, very many people and noblemen travel there to take walks there, and in truth there is in no way to be found in the orchard so much space as to contain that many people. This, then, is a little that holds the much. His words also pleased them.

[The Secretary, and the Reticent One][edit]

One of them said that his speech is a little that holds the much, for he is a private secretary for a great king, and to the king very many people come. One comes with praises to the king (that is, each one says a praise to the king), another comes with petitions for the king, and so forth; and the king certainly cannot hear out all of this. "I gather up all their words into just a few words, and tell the king just these few words. Contained in them are all their praises and petitions, with all their words entering into my few words which I tell the king. Therefore my speech is a little holding the much."

One of them said that his keeping silent is a little that holds the much, for he has against him very many accusers and slanderers who gossip very much about him, for they argue with him and talk about him very much. And to whatever they slander him, bicker with him, and accuse him with much gossip, he performs some silence, and that is the solution to all the questions and all the utterances spoken against him. Hence his silence is a little holding the much.

[The Small Person Leading the Blind Giant, and the Tree That is Beyond Space][edit]

One of them said that he is a little that holds the much, for there is a poor person who is "well-visioned" [that is, blind] and very large, whereas he (that is, the one who was boasting and telling this) is very small and leads about the large poor one who is blind. Hence he is a little holding the much, for the blind one could slip and fall, but he holds him up with his guidance, and due to this he is a little that holds the much, since he is a small person and holds the big blind one.

And I (that is, the hunchback who was telling all this) was also there. I declared: It is true that you have the feature of the little that holds the much. And I know what all of you meant (that is, all those who boasted one by one of their little that holds the much — he knows what each of them meant); even the final one who boasted that he leads around the big blind one. He is greater than all of you. But I am still greater and higher than all of you. For, he who boasted that he walks the big blind one, his meaning is that he conducts the lunar cycle (that is, the heavenly orb where the moon is), for the moon is called "blind," for she does not shine in-and-of herself, and she has nothing of her own whatsoever [veleith lah migarmah klum], and he (that is, he who boasted in this) conducts the moon, even though he is small and the moon is very great; and this gives the entire world sustenance (in other words, by means of this the entire world has existence), for the world needs the moon. Hence he is definitely a little that holds the much, for sure. However, all the same, my little that holds the much is completely higher than all of them. And here is the proof:

For, once there was a group that investigated: Inasmuch as every beast has its shade (that is, its shadow) in which it specifically wants to rest, and conversely there is a special shadow for each animal, because each and every beast chooses for itself some shadow, and only in that shadow specifically does it want to rest; similarly, each bird has its branch on which it specifically wants to rest, and not on any other branch, while another bird has its own branch and only there can it rest and not on any other; and so each and every bird has its own special branch — therefore the group investigated if there could be found such a tree in whose shadow all the beasts could rest, in that all the beasts would want to dwell in the shadow of that tree, and upon whose branches all the birds of the sky [tziperei shemaya, Dan. 4] would rest. And they discovered that there is such a tree. They wanted to go there to that tree, for the delight that there is there by that tree is absolutely limitless, since all the birds and all the beasts are found there, and there there is no harm whatsoever from any animal (that is to say, no beast injures anyone there), and all the animals there are freely mixed. They all engage in play there and it is certainly a very wonderful pleasure to be there at that tree. They began to examine rationally which side [Heb. tzad] they needed to go to come to that tree, and there fell a dispute between them regarding this, without there being anyone among them to decide, for one said that they needed to go to this side to the east, and another said to the west side they needed to go; one said here, another said there, and so on, until they could not discern the right side to go to in order to come to that tree.

A sage came along and said to them, "Why are you investigating by which side to go to the tree? Find out first who are the people who can come to the tree! Because to that tree not every man can come, since no one can come to the tree except one who has the tree's attributes (Heb. midoth). For, this tree has three roots: One root is faith (that one should believe in God, blessed be He), the other is awe, and the third is humility (that is, to not have special regard for oneself), and truth is the tree's body, that is, the tree itself is truth, and from there go out branches. Therefore no one can come to the tree but one who has these traits of the tree." (That is, faith — he should believe in God; fear — he should have fear of God, and humility — he should not have any special regard for himself; and truth. So did the sage say to the group.)

The group, however, did not all have these attributes; only some of them had in them these traits. But they had between them very great unity (that is, the group all loved each other and held themselves tightly together). They did not want to separate from each other in order that some of them should go to the tree (that is, those who already had these traits of the tree) and the rest should stay behind — they did not want this, for they held themselves very much together. Instead they had to wait until the rest of the men would exert themselves in attaining these attributes so that they could all come to the tree.

And so they did, toiling until they all came to those traits mentioned above. (That is, they all waited for each other until each had toiled and they all came to those virtues mentioned above, that is, by now they all have faith, fear and so on, as mentioned.) No sooner did they all come to the attributes, when they all came to one mindset and all agreed on one way by which to go to the tree. They all went. They went along for a while until they could see the tree from afar. Meanwhile, they take a look and the tree is standing on no place at all, for the tree has no space whatsoever. And since it has no place whatsoever, how can anyone come to it?

And I (that is, the hunchback) was also there with them. I announced to them, "I can bring you to the tree. For the tree has no place whatsoever, for the tree is completely above space (in other words, it is higher than worldly space; it has no place whatsoever), and the aspect of the little that holds the much still takes place in space, for although it is a little that holds the much, that is, a little space holding much more than can be put in the space, in any case it still takes place in space, because after all it still occupies some sort of space in any case. But I (that is, the hunchback) have such a little that holds the much that it is the absolute edge of the place beyond which there is no space whatsoever. Therefore I can carry you all to the tree, which is above space completely. (For, this hunchback is something like an intermediary, that is, a midpoint, between space and above space, for he is the ultimate degree of the little holding the much, which is the actual end of space, above which there is no unit of space whatsoever, since from there and above is the aspect of completely beyond space. Therefore he can take them out of space and bring them above space. Understand this.) I took them and carried them to the tree. Hence I have a testament that I have such an ultimate degree of the little holding the much. (And that is why he appeared as a hunchbacked person, for he carries a great deal on him, for he is a little holding the much.) Today I give you this very thing in a gift, that you should be like me. A great joy took place there, and a superb gladness.

[Sixth Day][edit]

On the sixth day they also rejoiced, but they also yearned, "How can the one without hands be brought here?" Meanwhile in he comes and says, "I am here! I have come to you for the wedding." And he too spoke to them as the others, falling on them, kissing them and saying to them: You think I am crippled in the hands. I am not at all crippled in the hands. I do have power in the hands, only I do not use the power in my hands in this world, for I need the power for something else — and regarding this I have a testament from the Watery Castle (fun das vasirikn shloss).

[The Conversation Regarding Power in the Hands][edit]

For, once several of us were sitting together. Each one was boasting of his power he has in his hands. This one boasted he has such a strength in his hands, that one boasted he has such a strength in his hands, and so each one boasted of his strength he has in his hands.

[Retrieving Arrows][edit]

Namely, one was boasting that he has such a power and a strength in his hands, that when he shoots an arrow he can pull it back to him again, for he has such a power in his hands, that although he has already shot the arrow, he can yet turn it around and tow it back to him again.

I asked him, "What kind of arrow can you pull back?" For there are ten kinds of arrows, since there are ten kinds of poison. For, when one wants to shoot an arrow, one smears it with a poison. There are ten kinds of poison, and when they soak it in one poison, it injures like so, and when they soak it in another poison it does more damage. And so there are ten kinds of poison, each one worse than the other, that is, more harmful. (And this in itself is ten kinds of arrows, for the arrows are one sort; it is only because of the variety of the poisons that they smear the arrows in, which are ten kinds as mentioned above, that they are called ten kinds of arrows.)

So he asked him, "What kind of arrow can you pull back?" In addition he asked him whether [only] before the arrow has struck someone he can pull it back, or whether even after the arrow has already struck someone he could also pull it back. Upon this the other answered: "Even after the arrow has already struck someone, I can still pull it back." "But still, which sort of arrow can you pull back?" He answered: Why, this-and-this kind I can pull back.

I (that is, the one [without hands] who is telling all this) called out to him, "You cannot heal the Queen's Daughter. If you can pull back no more than one kind of arrow, you cannot heal the Queen's Daughter."

[Giving by Receiving][edit]

One was boasting that he has such a power in his hands that whoever he receives from, he gives to (that is, by his very getting something from someone, he gives to that person), and hence he is a master of charity. I asked him, "What kind of charity do you give?" (For there are ten kinds of charity.) He replied: he gives tithe. I called out to him, "If so, you cannot heal the Queen's Daughter, for you cannot at all come to her place (because you only give tithe), for you can enter in no more than one wall (in the place where she is dwelling), therefore you cannot come to her place."

[Conferring Wisdom, and Knowing Pulses][edit]

One boasted that he has the following power in his hands: "Inasmuch as there are officials in the world (that is, senior men who are encharged with giving orders over a city, a country, etc.), each one needing wisdom: I have such a power in my hands, that with my hands I can give him wisdom, by laying my hands on him." I asked him, "What kind of wisdom can you give with your hands?" For there are ten measures (kabin) of wisdom (that is, ten varieties of knowledge). He replied: Such-and-such a wisdom I can give. I called out to him, "If so, you cannot heal the Queen's Daughter, for you cannot even know her pulse, because there are ten varieties of pulses, and you cannot know but one pulse, since you can only give one wisdom with your hands."

[Restraining Wind, and Playing Melodies][edit]

One boasted that he has such a power in his hands: when there is a ruach se'arah [lit. tempest spirit] (that is, a storm wind) he can detain the storm wind with his hands. He can seize the storm wind with his hands, restraining it, and can moreover with his hands make the wind with a mass, that it should be the sort of wind that is needed; with the [proper] weight.

I asked him, "What kind of wind can you grasp with your hands?" There are ten varieties of winds. He replied: Such-and-such a wind. I called out, "You cannot heal the Queen's Daughter, for you cannot at all play the melody for her. For there are ten varieties of melody, and the Queen's Daughter's healing is through melody, and you can play for her no more than one melody."

[The Watery Castle][edit]

They called out, "What can you do?" He replied, "I can do what you all cannot do, namely, all the nine parts of each thing that each one boasted of, which you cannot do, I can do. For, there is a story:

"For, one time a king desired (lit. cooked himself up about) a Queen's Daughter, involving himself with executing schemes to capture her, until the thing was attained and he caught her; then she was with him. One time the king dreamed that the Queen's Daughter stood over him and killed him. He awoke sharply (lit. caught himself up), and the dream entered deep in his heart. He called all the dream interpreters and they interpreted it for him according to its simple meaning, that the dream would be fulfilled according to its simple meaning, that she would kill him. The king could not give himself any counsel, what to do with her. To kill her — would pain him; to send her away from him — this vexed him severely, for another man would take her, and this vexed him very much, for he had made so much effort for her, and now she would come to another man's hand, and moreover if he let her go and she came to another man's hand, then certainly the dream could be fulfilled that she would kill him, since she was by another. To hold her fast by him — he feared because of the dream, lest she kill him. So the king did not know what to do to her. Meanwhile his love for her perished little by little because of the dream (that is, he no longer loved her so much as before) and at each moment the love perished more and more, and likewise by her the love perished more each moment, until it became by her a hatred of him. She fled from him.

"The king sent after her to seek her, and they came and told him that she was circling around the Watery Castle. For there is a Watery Castle, and there are ten walls there, one inside the other, and all ten walls are completely of water, and also the ground in the Castle that they walk on is also of water. And likewise the garden, with its trees and their fruits, are entirely of water. As for the beauty of the Castle and the novelty of this Castle, there is no need to talk, for it is certainly a very wonderful novelty, for the whole Castle is of water. Entering the Castle is certainly impossible, for one would drown, for the whole Castle is entirely of water. Now the Queen's Daughter, upon fleeing, reached the Castle and was circling there around the Castle. They told the king that she was circling there around the Castle.

"The king and his soldiers went to catch her. When the Queen's Daughter saw this she decided she would run into the Castle, for she wanted more to drown in water than that the king should catch her and she be with him; and perhaps she would be saved after all and she could slip into the Watery Castle. When the king saw this, that she was running into the water, he said, "If that is the case, well then..." He ordered to shoot her; if she dies, she dies. They shot her and all the ten types of arrows that are smeared with the ten types of poisons struck her. And she, the Queen's Daughter, ran into the Watery Castle and entered into its interior, passing through all the doors of the watery walls. For there are doors there in the watery walls, so she passed through all the doors of all the ten walls of the Watery Castle, until she entered into the Castle's interior, fell down and remained faint.

"And I (that is, the handless one who is telling all this) heal her. For whoever does not have in his hands all the ten varieties of charities cannot enter past all the ten walls of the Watery Castle, for he would be drowned in water. So the king and his soldiers pursued after the Queen's Daughter and were all drowned in water. But I can enter past all the ten walls of the Watery Castle.

"Now, the walls of water are sea waves standing like a wall. The winds are what erect the waves of the sea and hold the waves up. And these waves, which are what the ten walls are, stand there constantly, but it is the winds that hold the waves and erect the waves. And I can enter past all the ten walls of the Watery Castle, and I can pull out from her (that is, from the Queen's Daughter) all the ten varieties of arrows.

"And I know all the ten varieties of pulsebeats through the ten fingers, for through each finger of the ten fingers one can know a particular pulsebeat from the ten varieties of pulsebeats, and I can heal the Queen's Daughter through all the ten varieties of melodies (for her healing is through melodies, as mentioned). Therefore I do, in fact, heal the Queen's Daughter. Hence I have such a power in the hands. Today I give you this very thing as a gift." There was a grand celebration there, and they were superbly happy.

[Notes Following the Story][edit]

[Rabbi Nachman said:] This story is very hard for me to tell, but because I've already begun telling it, now I have to finish it. [But he did not actually finish telling it.] In this story there is not one word that will be void of meaning, and whoever is adept and versed in sefarim [mystical Judaic texts] can at least understand some of the hints. And the arrows — of which that [character] boasted he could pull back arrows — this is found in the verse, "[Im shanothi beraq charbi/ If I have twofold [unleashed] My sword [like] lightning {i.e. as lightning flashes from one end of the sky across to the other end, against My people in retribution}, wethochez bemishpat yadi/ My hand will yet have hold on [strict] justice..." [Deut. 32:41], and as Rashi explains, "Flesh and blood shoots an arrow and cannot retrieve it, but the Holy One, Blessed be He, shoots an arrow and does have the ability to retrieve it [as if He were holding them in His hand]." And the charity which safeguards against the walls of water — this is also found in a verse: "[Lu hikshavta lemitzvothai; wayhi kanahar shelomekha/ If you would listen to My commandments then your peace would be as a river] wetzidkathekha kegalei hayam/ and your charity (righteousness) as the waves of the sea." [Isa., 48:18]. And the wind — his grasping it in is hands — this is found in, "Mi asaf-ruach bechofnaw/ Who has grasped the wind in his fists?" [Prov. 30:4] (Which is an aspect of producing melody, as explained elsewhere [Likutei Moharan #54].) And the ten types of pulses and ten kinds of melody — this is already explained in the Zohar [and see LM II pg. 32a (#24)]. [Rabbi Nathan adds:] All this we heard explicitly. But who, when and what? (Beyond this he said nothing more, that is to say, who they all are, what this is, and when this all took place — this is unknowable.)

The conclusion of the story — that is, what happened on the Seventh Day with the footless beggar, and the conclusion of the King's son with whom the story began — he did not tell; and he said he would not tell any more, and it will not be heard until Mashiach comes — speedily in our days, Amen!

He also said, "If I did not know any other thing besides this story, I would still be wild news." He said so explicitly. For this story is very wild news. Contained here in it are very many moral lessons and much Torah, for it contains many teachings and speaks of many ancient tzaddikim; of King Dawidh, peace be upon him, for King Dawidh stood at the world's edge and cried out to the Spring that flows from the Rock that is on the Mountain, as mentioned above, as written in Tehilim [Ps. 61:3], "Miqtzeh ha'aretz eleikha eqra, be`atof libi; betzur-yarum mimeni tancheni/ From the end of the earth I will cry unto You, when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I."

(All this we heard from his mouth explicitly. And what is understood from his words is that King Dawidh, peace be upon him, is the aspect of the Heart, as has been transmitted [Zohar Shemoth 108], and he is hinted to in the story regarding the Heart of the world, which stands at the end of the earth, facing the Spring, crying and longing for it constantly etc. But still the words are closed up; fortunate is whoever will merit attaining secrets of this story.)

The matter of King Dawidh and the aforementioned scripture, "From the ends of the earth," that is hinted to in the story, pertains to the Third Day, because there it speaks about the Heart and the Spring; look there and you will see wonders, how in each matter wonderful things are hinted. [In Yiddish: In this story are found very, very great secrets of the Torah, from beginning to end. All the stories of this book are thoroughly great secrets of the Torah; each word and each thing means something completely different — but this story is above them all.] And of the greatness of the awesomeness of this story it is not possible at all to tell, for it is above all of them. Exceedingly fortunate [ashrei ashrei] is whoever will merit even in the Coming World to know of it just a little bit. And whoever has [a] brain in his skull, let the hairs of his flesh stand on end; let him understand a little of the greatness of the Creator, Blessed be He, and the greatness of the true Tzaddikim, when he looks well into this awesome story, the likes of which will not be heard.

The matter of the verse, "From the ends of the earth," mentioned above, pertaining to the story of the Third Day — this I heard explicitly from his holy and awesome mouth, of blessed memory. Furthermore, look at this which I found afterwards — that the majority of the words of the chapter of Tehilim where this verse is written, which is Ch. 61 — virtually all of it is explained there [in] hints of the lofty secrets of the story of the Third Day mentioned above: "You will add days onto the days of the King" etc. — for he always needs that they should add days to his days etc. as mentioned. "Chesed we'emeth, man yintzeruhu/ Summon mercy and truth, that he may preserve it" — this is the True Man of Kindness etc., "Der Groyser Man; Der Emesir Ish Chesed" — because all the time and the days are made via the Great Man, who is the True Man of Kindness as mentioned there in the story, and he gives and adds at each moment, days to the days of the king, who is the Heart, which is the concept of King Dawidh, peace be upon him, as mentioned. And this is, "that he may preserve it" — because he guards and protects, for as soon as the day comes very close to ending — and then the Spring and the Heart and the entire world would end, God forbid — then the True Man of Kindness protects and guards this, and comes and gives a day to the Heart etc. as mentioned. And this is, "So will I sing praise unto Your name forever, that I may perform my vows day by day [yom yom]" — because each and every day which He gives him, he comes with songs and poems etc. as mentioned. "I will trust in the covert of Your wings, Selah" — for when the Heart needs to rest, a Great Bird comes and spreads Its wings over it etc., and this is, "I will trust in the covert of Your wings" etc.

Pertaining to the First Day: The matter of the elders, that each one boasted of what he could remember, where one boasted that he remembers even when they cut his umbilical cord etc. and he was the youngest elder of them all, etc. — our Rebbe of blessed memory said that in the Gemara (Yerushalmi) something similar is recorded: that Shmuel boasted that he remembers the pain of his circumcision etc.; see there.

Who can glorify or tell? Who can evaluate? Who can estimate even one minuscule of the millions or billions of hitnotzetzoth [branchings/ revelations/ illuminations], a bit of the clues of wonders of wonders from the very, very awesome and high secrets of this awesome story, which is full of secrets of secrets from beginning to end? One who is enlightened in the matter will find goodness, and hitnotzetzuth of certain clues according to his capacity.

Talks Following the Story Tales[edit]

These parables and anecdotes following the 13 Stories, were printed in the original 1815 printing only in Hebrew and not with a Yiddish translation below them like the 13 Stories have.

[The Chandelier Maker][edit]

A parable. A man left his father and was in other countries for a long time among those foreigners. In time, he came to his father and boasted that he had learned there a great craft - how to make a chandelier, which is called a hang laykhter (hanging lamp). He told his father to assemble all the craftsmen of this art and he would show them his wisdom in this art. And so did his father do, gathering all the craftsmen of this art to see his son's greatness; what he had accomplished all this time he was in the hand of others.

The son brought out one chandelier that he had made - but it was super ugly in all their eyes! His father went to them and asked them to disclose (tell) him the truth, so they were obligated to tell (inform) him the truth, that it was ultra ugly. The son boasted, "Have I not revealed the wisdom of my craft?" His father told (informed) him that to all their eyes, it did not appear beautiful. The son replied, "Well, with this I have shown my greatness, for I have shown to all of them their lackings. Because in this chandelier are found the lackings of each one of the artisans found here. Do you not see that for this person this part is ugly while another part is very beautiful to him - but for another person it is reversed, just the opposite - that part that was ugly for his colleague is beautiful and wonderful in his eyes but just this piece is ugly; and likewise with all of them: whatever is bad in this one's eyes is beautiful in the eyes of his colleague, and vice-versa. And I have made this chandelier solely from lackings, to show all of them they are imperfect and they all have a lacking, for what is beautiful in one person's eyes is a lacking in the eyes of his colleague. But in truth I can make a perfect chandelier."

If [people] would know all the lackings that hinder a thing, they would know the essence of the thing, even if they had never seen it.

"Gedolim maasei Hashem/ great are the works of Hashem" [Ps. 111:2; Gedolim also means respected or well known Torah leaders]. No two human beings are alike; all the [human] forms are included in the first man, Adam. That is, the very word "ADaM/man" contains all these forms. The same is true of other things: all luminaries are contained in the word "OhR/light;" the same for every thing, that is, all works of creation. And even two leaves of a tree are not alike, and so forth. And the Rebbe spoke at very great length about this, and he stated at that time, that there are wisdoms in this world through which a person could survive on these wisdoms alone, without eating or drinking. And he spoke at length then on this wonderful and awesome talk.

[The Pump][edit]

Regarding the discussion which [some of Rebbe Nachman's chassidim] were having about someone who was then in one of the large non-Jewish cities and tarried there a long time because each time he imagined that now he would succeed: and so it was each time, until he was delayed there a long time. And he [the Rebbe] said that that is the way it goes when one comes to such places, that each time it seems to him, "Now I will accomplish, now I will accomplish," etc., etc. And he told this story:

There was one man who did not believe what the world says, that there are leitzim/tricksters from the Sitra Achra/ Other Side that come sometimes to mislead people, as has happened several times; he did not believe this. One night, a leitz came to him and called him to go outside. He went out and the leitz showed him that he had a beautiful horse to sell. He looked and indeed it was a very beautiful horse, so he asked him, "How much do you want?" Answered the leitz, "Four adumim/rubles." He saw that it was easily worth eight rubles, for it was a choice, fine horse. So he bought the horse from him for four rubles and he considered it a great find. The next day, he took the horse out to sell, and people stepped up to purchase and wanted to give him some amount. He said, "Probably, if they are willing to give me so much, it must be worth double!" So he was not satisfied and he took the horse onward, and they wanted to give him twice his desire. He said, "It is probably worth more than double this amount." So he brought the horse onward, until the price of the horse reached into the thousands. However, he was not satisfied with any of them to sell it, for whatever they wanted to give him, he said, "It is probably worth twice as much." Eventually, there was no one who could buy it except the king.

So he brought it to the king, and the king wanted to give him an astounding amount, for the horse was exceedingly pleasing to everyone. However, he was not willing with the king either, for he said, "It is probably worth more." Thus, even the king was unable to buy the horse. So he went from the king with the horse to water it. There was a plomf/pump there from which people take water. The horse jumped into the pump, disappeared and was no more. (That is, it appeared to him as such, for the entire incident of the horse was made up by the leitz). He yelled out loud over this, and people gathered around in response to his screaming and asked him, "Why are you screaming?" He replied that his horse had jumped into the pump. And they beat him [with] injurious blows, for he appeared insane since the opening of the pump is very narrow, and how can a horse jump into it? He saw that they were beating him and that he appeared insane, and he wanted to go from there. As he wanted to leave, the horse began to stick its head out of the pump. So he began to scream again, "Aha, aha (look, look)!" since it appeared to him that his horse was there. The people gathered around and beat him again, since he was insane, as mentioned. Again he decided to leave; and as soon as he wanted to go, the horse again stuck its head out of the pump. He began shouting again as before and the people gathered upon him again and beat him.

Thus the Sitra Achra deceives a man each time with nothingness; complete lies having no substance. And he is incited by it, pursues it, and each time it appears to him that he will profit more and that he will fill his craving more. So he runs after it many times, and suddenly all his desires vanish, get away and go away from him — as has happened many times, that the cravings go away a little, and when the man wants to detach from them, then they come back and stick out their heads and he goes back to chasing them. And so it continues, that as soon as they stick out their heads, he goes back to chasing them. (And he explained the matter no further. Understand this well.)

[Flesh and Bones][edit]

A story about a tzaddik, who was an extremely great tzaddik, who had totally, totally disengaged from that known desire, in the proper entirety, and he ascended to the upper worlds, and saw pieces of flesh and bones sitting in a cauldron. He asked, "What is this?" They answered him that this was a very, very beautiful woman, and on account that she used to heat up her body for transgression, therefore they're cooking her here. And he wanted to see her. And they gave him divine names, that she should be reassembled as before, and he saw that she was an extremely beautiful woman. And from this it is proper to see the negativity of this desire. If they would cut her into little pieces, would his desire still apply?!

[The Tzaddik Who Fell into Sadness][edit]

It is known that sadness is a very despicable trait, and one needs to keep very far away from it. And it is proper to enliven and raise oneself, just knowing that every single movement and change that one makes upon starting to serve Hashem is very, very precious in Hashem's eyes, even if he moves himself only a hairsbreadth, because since a person exists in a body in the physical world, any movement or change is very hard for him; therefore it is very precious in Hashem's eyes.

And there was a story about a Tzaddik/righteous man uponwhom a great sadness and heaviness had fallen. And when sadness and heaviness grow worse on a Tzaddik it is very, very hard for him, for it attacks him more and more, until so much sadness and heaviness fell on him that he was really unable to move from his place at all due to the vastness of the heaviness and sadness that had become very strong upon him. And he wanted to make himself happy and pick himself up but he was unable to cheer himself up and lift himself with any thing, for with whatever thing he wanted to cheer himself with, the Accuser found sadness in it for him, until he was unable to make himself happy with any thing, because in any joy that he wanted to cheer and raise himself with, sadness found him in it. And he began to cheer himself with the joy of "shelo `asani goy/ ...that He has not made me a heathen."

And this is certainly a very great joy that has no bound, for one cannot estimate the separation and difference, the millions of thousands of separations that are between the holiness of the lowest of lowest Yisraelites and the filth of the impurity of the idolaters. And when a person recalls the kindness Hashem had upon him in not making him a heathen, it is certainly proper for his joy to grow very great, and it is a joy that has no sadness upon it. For when a person makes himself happy with a thing that he himself did, which is a perfect thing to do, in this it is possible to find sadness in any joy, for lackings will find him in any thing, not letting him raise and cheer himself. But in this, "that He has not made me a heathen," which is only from Hashem Yithbarakh, since Hashem Yithbarakh did so and had mercy on him and did not make him a heathen, how is it possible to find a lacking in this joy, which is the sole work of Hashem Yithbarakh? For, certainly, however it may be, in any case it is a huge difference between him and the idolaters which has no bound or limit.

And the Tzaddik mentioned above began to cheer himself with this and began to rejoice and raise himself little by little. And each time, he raised and cheered himself exceedingly, until he came to such a great joy that he reached the joy that Moshe Rabbeinu, of blessed memory, had when he went up to receive the Tablets. And while he was raising and cheering himself, he flew up in the worlds many many thousand parsahs, and during this he took a look at himself and behold, he was very far from the place where he was at first. And he was very afflicted, for he thought he would fall down to some other place, and there would be an astonishment over him that he had disappeared suddenly, and the Tzaddik had always desired to be going along discreetly. And the joy began to end, for joy has limits, for it begins and it ends. And when the joy began to end, it ceased a little bit. And when he returned, fell, and was cast down from the place where he flew up to during the joy, he did not return to his first place where he flew up from in the same manner that he flew up, but rather he went down immediately to that place where he flew up from. And therefore it was a great wonder that he found himself afterwards going down in the original place. (Understand this well). Eventually he returned to the place where he was at first, and he took a look at himself and saw that he was actually where he was first, and did not depart from his place at all, except for possibly a hairbreadth which was impossible for a man to measure, only Hashem Yithbarakh. And it was a great amazement in the eyes of the Tzaddik, that he had flown up so much in the worlds while here below he did not move at all. So they showed him that a small motion and movement that a man moves himself with in this world is so precious in the eyes of Hashem Yithbarakh — even one that is less than a hairsbreadth — that many, many thousands of worlds and parsahs are incomparable to it.

And to understand this, it is known that this material world is only the central point of the [heavenly] orbs, as is understood by the astronomers; and all the more so, against the higher worlds the entire Earth is not considered more than a point. And it is known that all the lines which you draw from a central point are evidently near each other near the point, and the more they extend from the point, they become more distant from each other. And so when the lines extend exceedingly far from the point, the lines also become extremely far from each other, even though down below by the point they are adjacent, like this:

Hence if a person measures in his mind, lines drawn from the core of the Earth, even only out to the celestial orbs, thus even if he moves only a hair's thickness, nonetheless in the space of the orbs he is distanced from the place that was the projection of his head previously, being now distanced many, many thousands of parsahs, in accord with the immensity of the outermost orb in compare to the lower Earth, as is known, for innumerable stars are fixed there, and each star is as huge as this world and more. And all the more and all the more so, when he measures in his mind the lines drawn out to the upper worlds, compared to which the celestial orbs are totally insignificant. Hence there is no bound to the distance he spans there in the upper worlds by means of any traversal whatever, even less than a hairsbreadth that he spans and goes from the place he was at initially — even though here on the lower Earth he did not span and go even so much as less than a hairbreadth, that in his eyes he did not span any distance at all — for this is but undetectable except by Hashem Yithbarakh. Despite all this, there, in the upper worlds, he spans many, many thousands of worlds and parsahs — and all the more, all the more, when the Man goes a parsah or many parsahs in service of Hashem; "Eye has not seen..." [Isa. 64:3]

[The Two Palaces][edit]

Know that there are two kinds of palaces, and the two palaces are identical. In one lives the king, and in the second lives a servant. And certainly in truth there is a vast difference between the palace of the king and the palace of the servant, but nevertheless it is possible to mistake one for the other, for there is a connection formed by many souls that bind to each other so that they become a house and palace, for one binds to another, and one to another, until they become a foundation, and then a covering, until they constitute a house and an abode. And this abode is an abode for truth, and when we need to request truth we find [it] there at that abode, that is, amidst the connection of the souls that constitute the abode for truth. And therefore the Torah has commanded, "Acharei rabim lehatoth/ Turn [judgment] to the majority [opinion]" [Ex. 23:2], for since many have bound together as one, surely the truth is there, as mentioned.

And this is the aspect of, "Kol hanefesh haba'ah leveith Ya`akov/ All the souls that come to/ came to/ became the house of Ya`akov" [Gen. 46:26-27 and Rashi there]. That is, the souls are what constitute the "house of Jacob," that is, an abode for truth, which is the aspect of Ya`akov, as is written, "Titen emeth leYa`akov/ Grant truth to Ya`akov" [Mic. 7:20]. However, be aware that diametrically opposed to this is the bond of the wicked, that many souls of the wicked bind together and become a house and abode for falsehood. And this is what the prophet warned us of, "Lo-thomrun kesher, lekhol asher-yomar ha`am hazeh kesher/ You shall not call as a band everything that this people call a band" [Isa. 8:12], for a band of the wicked is not considered, and for this it is written, "Lo thihyeh acharei rabim lera`oth/ Do not follow a multitude to do evil" [Ex. 23:2]. But behold, it is possible to mistake one of these abodes for the other, that is, between the one of truth and the one of falsehood. For falsehood imitates truth, for there too there is the binding of many souls, and a man can be mistaken and not know where the truth is nor where to drawn himself to. And know, that by means of the mitzvah of redeeming captives, one can discern between the two houses, between truth and falsehood, between the king and the servant, for falsehood is the aspect of the servant, aspect of the cursed, as in, "Arur kena`an, `eved `avadim/ Cursed be Canaan — a servant of servants" [Genesis 9:25].

[The Two Intellects][edit]

And there are two types of intellects, and they are the aspect of, "achor vakedem/ behind and before" [Ps. 119:5]. That is, there is an intellect that comes to a man with time, and the more time passes in days, the more he knows, as in, "Yamim yedaberu/ Days will speak" [Job 32:7]. This type of intellect is in the category of "achor," since it comes with the passing of time, for time is what this intellect needs. But there is an intellect that comes to a man in great abundance, very swiftly, in less than an instant, for it is above time; and no time at all is needed for this intellect, and this intellect is the category of "panim/face," which is the aspect of Ya`akov, who represents truth, as in, "...mevakshei paneikha, Ya`akov. Selah/ those that seek Your face, Ya`akov. Selah" [Ps. 24:6].

[A Remedy for Pox][edit]

After Shabbath Parashath Vaychi he said, "At this Shalosh Se`udot I became aware of a segulah for pox. Take chalk and take soap [borith] three times the weight of the chalk, and from the two make a bath to bathe the baby. And it is necessary to do this as soon as the baby starts to have fever from this, and it will be effective if the decree is not severe, but if the decree is severe it will not help."

And he said: The disease of pox resulted from the Sin of the Calf. So, in this regard the question arises: does this disease not exist also among the nations of the world? But it is brought in the Midrash that the nations of the world ought not have any diseases (since their portion is given them in this world), but only in order that they not oppress and overpower Yisrael, all the illnesses that Yisrael have were given to them, as Rashi has explained regarding the verse, Cherpath naval al-tesimeni/ Do not make me the reproach of an ignoble man' [Ps. 39:9]: Bring plagues and pains upon him as well so that he will not be able to say to me, 'You are stricken but we are not stricken;' and this prayer caused the afflictions of sicknesses to be brought upon the nations. But there is another apparent question: This illness certainly existed before the Sin of the Calf. However, beforehand, the illness was not severe, and the pox was only a result of blood that the baby had drawn in its mother's womb, as the healing sages know, but it was not a grave illness with deathly danger as it is now; and this is on account of the Sin.

[The segulah] is also alluded to in Yiremiyahu, where everything is mentioned in one verse: "Even if you wash yourself with nether/ chalk and use a lot of borith/soap on yourself, the stain of your sin is before Me" [Jer. 2:22]. Rashi explains that this refers to the Sin of the Calf. (Thus, the secret of the segulah for this illness caused by the Sin of the Calf is alluded to here, that is, to wash with nether, which is chalk, and to use much borith, which is soap.) Understand the wonders.

[Sarah Esther][edit]

[A story] from days of his youth. One time people came to him with a pidyon-redemption, to pray for a girl, Sarah Esther bath Yehudith. And he said that she would die, and that is what happened. And he said that he knew this from the holy Torah, since he had just seen the verse, "Vehadagah asher ba'yeor meithah wayyiv'ash/ And the fish which were in the river died and stank" [Ex. 7:21]. And in the words, "meithah wa'yiv'ash" this was revealed to him — "MeiThaH Way'YiV'ASh" is an acronym of "Sarah Aesther Vath Yehudith Wai [Vai!] MeiThaH [Woe! Sarah Esther daughter of Yehudith shall die]!" Hashem keep us.

[The Ten Tehillim][edit]

[The Rebbe] urged his men, when an unclean mikreh/accident happens to them (i.e. nocturnal emission) to go immediately and right away to a mikveh [ritual bath] to immerse, because a mikreh can cause, God forbid, what it causes. Therefore it is very good that before some [bad] thing starts to be done as a result of it, God forbid, the man should preempt, and immerse and purify himself.

And he urged us very much that a man should not fear this at all, for fear, worry and melancholy in this matter are very, very harmful, especially since he has revealed to us the ten chapters of Tehillim/Psalms to remedy this error, namely: 16, 32, 41, 42, 59, 77, 90, 105, 137, 150, as explained in the books which have already been printed [Tikkun Haklali; Likutei Moharan #205 and II:92; Sichot Haran #141]. At that time he said, "Whoever manages to fulfill this, to say these the ten chapters of Tehillim on the same day he has a mikreh, God forbid, will surely have his error corrected, and should not [think] back and worry about it at all." He also made mockery of those chassidim and God-fearing people who, whenever some thought arises in their minds, have fear of having a mikreh, and due to this they are accustomed [to do the prohibited, God forbid] as if it were permitted — and he, of blessed memory, would make mockery of this. And his main intention was: that a man needs to not be scared or fear such things at all, without thinking any thoughts at all regarding this, but only be a valiant soldier standing against his craving and detach his mind from this completely and not be scared at all, and Hashem shall only let what is good in His eyes happen with him, whatever the Blessed One desires.

And he hinted with his words that this is the aspect of the blemish of King Dawidh, obm, with Batsheva, etc., but he did not explain the thing thoroughly. But a person very, very much needs to make himself strong in joy continuously, and not be cast down in his mind at all due to any thing in the world, no matter what happens to him. And if he is strong in his mind and does not get frightened at all, and does not contrive thoughts at all (which they call iber trachten/ over-thinking), but goes wholesomely in joy, he will merit to ultimately pass through everything in peace. And these things are impossible to explain in writing, "but a prudent one will discern the straight way he should go" [Prov. 14:15].

[A King's Hand][edit]

In addition is what he told on Shabbath Chanukkah, of a king's son who was far away from his father, etc., and he missed him so very much, etc. A letter from his father reached him and he was extremely cheered by it - but still he yearned that he extend him his hand and if he'd just extend him his hand he'd hug it and kiss it. Afterwards he decided, "Is this letter not the writing of the hand of the king himself? So therefore it is the king's hand!" etc. etc. (This is not written all properly since some of it has been forgotten due to not being written down at the time.)

Tam venishlam, shevach la'El, Borei `Olam
Done and complete, praise to God, Creator of the World!

Barukh hanoten laya`ef koach, ul'ein onim `atzmah yarbeh
Blessed is He Who strengthens the weary and increases the might of the weak.


Sichot Haran #147-151[edit]


[#147-151 are regarding the Story Tales]

I heard one of his followers say that before Rabbeinu obm told the tale of the King's Son Who Was Made Entirely of Gemstones which is printed [in Sipurei Ma`asiyot #5], he said before telling it, "I know a story that contains the entire Divine Name of 42 letters," and then he told this story. But nonetheless we do not know if this is the story of the 42-Letter Name. And I too heard from his holy mouth several years ago, saying that the Baal Shem Tov obm knew a story that contained the 42-Letter Name, and he spoke with me then regarding the 42-Letter Name. And he asked me to find an explanation in common language [i.e. Yiddish] regarding the two Letters vav and tzaddi that are in that name, and I could not find [it]. And according to [my] understanding it was because he already knew the secret of that name, but only these two letters vav and tzaddi he was still unable to insert into the matter that he wanted to clothe this Name in.


When he told the tale of the Prayer Leader that is printed in Sipurei Ma`asiyot he asked us afterwards, "Who told the story that there were factions in their chronicles?" — regarding the factions that were made at the time there was a storm wind in the world, etc. We replied to him that one of the strongmen of the Warrior told this to the Prayer Leader, as explained there. And he nodded his head that it was so, and we understood from his words that there is a very profound intention in this, why specifically one of the guards told this. And from this, learn that in each and every utterance of the stories there is a very, very profound intention, impossible for the mouth to speak or for the heart to ponder.


[Rabbi Nachman] told the Tale of the Seven Beggars printed in Sipurei Ma`asiyot [Story #13] over several days, and each time he told a matter related to what people were telling him, which caused him to start telling the story.

In the beginning, on the night of the holy Sabbath it began because of sniffing-tobacco which he received from one of his people and which was mentioned in a letter that I sent to my friend [R' Naftali], that he, of blessed memory, had received it; and I wrote to him, [telling him] to be happy. Then he commented on this; he spoke up and said, “I will tell you how once they were happy!” [I heard that he said it in these words: “What do you know about how to rejoice from out of melancholy?! I'll tell you how they once rejoiced!” — Chayei Moharan #63]. And he began to tell the story. He told the whole introduction to the story through the end of the First Day pertaining to the beggar who was blind. And all this was on the night of the holy Shabbat, and I [Rabbi Natan] was at my home in Nemyrev [while Rabbi Nachman was in Breslev].

Afterwards on Tuesday my friend [Rav Naftali] came to my house and told this story and I stood trembling and astounded, for indeed I had already heard from him many awesome stories, but a story like this I had not ever heard from his holy mouth. Afterwards I went there and I came to the house of our Rabbi of blessed memory when he was already closed in his room. In the morning, which was Wednesday, I entered and approached him and spoke with him a great deal, and I told him stories of the world that I had heard recently, and afterwards he spoke with me regarding the said story which he told on the night of the holy Shabbat, and he said that he greatly desired to know (i.e. tell) the end, that is, what happens on all the rest of the seven days of celebration; and also the whole conclusion of the ending of the story of the king's son who had received the kingdom from his father during his lifetime, with which the story began. And he told me, then, that similarly, each day of the seven days of celebration, each day one of the Seven Beggars would come and bless them and give them a wedding gift etc. And he also told me about the order of the story of the elders with the memories, which matter I did not hear in completely clear order from my friend, and he, of blessed memory, himself explained me a little of it in order. And he also spoke with me regarding the blind one who boasted that he does not remember anything at all (in Yiddish, Ich gidenk gar nisht) that the explanation of Ich gidenk gar nisht is that he remembers when he did not yet have any existence etc., and he found this a wonder.

Afterwards I greatly yearned that he should start telling about the Second Day, but I did not attain it, for meanwhile his attendant came and said, “Rabbi, it is mealtime.” And he set the table before him to eat and I had to leave from his presence. Afterwards, after he slept a little after eating, afterwards I returned and went in to him, and stood before him, telling him several things from worldly affairs, and mostly from Berdichev, where I was close to at the time. And I spoke with him regarding that everyone is full of many worries and lackings, that all the big rich people lack severely, each and every one, etc. And afterwards I spoke up and said to him this verse (Eccl. 3:11): “He has set the world in their heart, yet so that man cannot find out the work that God has done from the beginning even to the end;” see the comment of Rashi. He, of blessed memory, replied, “Isn’t this our story?” And immediately he asked where we are in the story. And I was immediately frightened due to my great yearnings I had for hearing this, and I answered him in trepidation that we are on the Second Day. He answered and said, “On the second day they again yearned” etc. And he then told on Wednesday the whole story of the Second Day, and afterwards on the night of the Holy Sabbath the story of Third and Fourth Day, and afterwards on Sunday the story of the Fifth Day, and afterwards on the following Tuesday the story of the Sixth Day. After he told the story of the Sixth Day we were standing before him, and one of his people told him some story. He answered and said, “Isn’t this exactly related to the story of the Seventh Day?” And he said it seems the world is telling his story and he very much wanted to tell it, but we did not merit it being told then, and he did not tell any more of it.


One time he said, "Whoever I get and receive money and so forth from, I give to [that person], for in my receiving I give." (And this is the concept explained in the story of the Sixth Day in The Seven Beggars, where someone boasted of the wonders of the power in his hand; see there.)


The story of the Third and Fourth Day, he told on the night of the Holy Shabbat, as mentioned above. And then at that time his baby grandson was on his sickbed, and he had great affliction from this, for his illness was very serious, specially since his daughter the righteous Mrs. Udel, may she live long, the mother of the child, had great pain in child raising; God save us. Hashem keep her now.

He, of blessed memory, went in on the night of the holy Shabbat and sat at the table in great pain and did not take his time at this meal at all. We blessed right away [reciting] the Grace After Meals before people started entering in to him as they always did. Afterwards, after the Grace After Meals he remained sitting at his holy table and opened his holy, pure and awesome mouth and then said this wonderful and awesome discussion, which had holy Torah as always in most of his holy discussions, and the whole discussion pertained to the great pain he had. To the best of our recollection, he spoke then of "the Heart that is pursued" etc.

And then during that conversation he spoke up and asked where we were in the story. Immediately we were startled and answered him in panic, awe and fear that we are on the Third Day. Immediately he replied saying, “On the third day again the couple remembered, “How can [the speech-impaired beggar be brought here]…” (as printed there) and he told the whole story of the Third Day and explained there is a little resembling what he told earlier. Then he finished the story of the Third Day, that a celebration was made there etc.; then he said in these words: “Zei haben a hilwe gitan [They had a blast].” Right afterwards he told the story of the Fourth Day, and as soon as he finished it, he immediately and right away left the table quickly.

And because I was very busy in my mind going over the two awesome stories of the Third and Fourth Days and I immediately reviewed them with the people who were there so no word would be lost from them, because of this I forgot the whole holy discussion mentioned that he spoke before it. A pity it is lost. Honor and praise to the Living God for letting us be privileged to remember and record these stories that even according to the limited inspiration in my heart I have no vessel of speech and writing to speak of the high awesomeness of their level. [See Chayei Moharan #64 regarding the inception of telling of the Fifth Day.]

Afterwards on Tuesday it was close to Pesach and he left his house because they were plastering the house for Pesach. And he went to the house of the Rav [of the city], and there we stood before him. And I do not remember what matter they spoke in is presence that had some little connection to some matter of the story of the Sixth Day, but because of it he told the story of the Sixth Day, and afterwards someone told him etc. as mentioned.

And behold, then it was close to Pesach as mentioned, and in my opinion the secret of the parting of the Sea of Reeds is hinted in the matter of the ten walls of water. And see Likutei Halakhot in Yoreh Deah hilchot tolaim (halakhah ד) and explained there is the matter that Hashem enlightened my eyes with in this.

The rule is that with each story that he told, the story came about via some conversation that he had and spoke with us regarding worldly stories, and in the midst of them he began to tell the story by means of the story having some utterances with relation to the story in his heart. And this was like it`aruta diltata [arousal from below], to draw down perceptions of Godliness that he clothed in that story. And so it was with each and every story.

And so it was with several Torot he revealed that were not at a fixed assembly time. And in all this we always saw the wonders of Hashem and the greatness of the level of the Tzaddik, that all the utterances in the world were for him Torah and revelation of Godliness. But much more did we see this with this awesome story of the Seven Beggars which is wonderful awesome high revelations without bound. As an understanding person will understand by himself if he puts his heart to them with an eye of truth to understand and perceive holy wonders of the boastings of each one mentioned there each day, and in particular the greatness of the holiness of the boasting of the seven beggars themselves who boast each day: that the blind one boasted that he doesn’t look at the world at all, therefore he is actually blind to this world; and likewise the deaf one who doesn’t hear any sound of this world etc., therefore he is deaf etc. etc. And likewise with each speech of this story which are all wonderful revelations even according to meager minds even though we do not understand them at all. And all this revelation, it is all through stories of worldly matters; through them it came about that he had pity on us in such extraordinary compassion and revealed to us all this, in order to benefit us and our children forever.

He said regarding the tales that he told, that it would be better to not reveal of them what any of the clues hint to, for when the thing is hidden, more can be accomplished with it that is needed. But he was forced occasionally to just reveal some hint, in order they should know there are hidden things in them.

Chayei Moharan: Rabbi Nachman's Biography, written by Rabbi Natan and published, after the latter's passing, by the Tcheriner Rav, R' Nachman Goldstein z"l. Notes of "the Copyist" are those of R' Nachman of Tcherin. Notes that are enclosed in <pointed brackets> indicate text that was not included in earlier, censored versions.

Chayei Moharan #25[edit]

Pertaining to the essay "Patach Rabbi Shimon" (Likutei Moharan #60): After Rabbeinu of blessed memory said this speech he said plainly, "Today I have said three things contrary to what the world says:
1) The world says that telling stories induces sleep; but I said that by story tales we awaken people from their sleep.
2) The world says that from talking words no one conceives [a child]; but I said that by the Tzadik’s telling of words, through which he arouses people from their sleep, conception comes to barren women.
3) The world says that the true Tzadik of towering stature does not need much money, because why should he need money? But I said that there is such a contemplative understanding [of the Torah] for which one needs all the fortune of the world."

[Copyist's note:] I heard from one prominent follower of Rabbeinu, of blessed memory, that he heard from his holy mouth regarding his will being that they print the Story Tales also in the Yiddish language that we speak; and he said at that time that it can easily happen that a woman who is barren would read some story from them and thereby conceive for goodly offspring and be privileged to have children; this is the extent of what I heard. [And there is support for this from what is explained in that aforementioned essay, that via these story tales a barren woman becomes impregnated.]

Chayei Moharan #60-80 (Conversations Pertaining to Sipurei Ma`asiyot)[edit]


The tale of the Burgher [#10], he told after they first talked in his presence regarding a document written with golden letters [and such a document is mentioned in the tale], and this was after Purim [5]569; before Purim he told the story of the Clever Man and the Simple Man [#9].


In the evening after Shabbat Parashat Noach year [5]570 after he had said on the night of Shabbat the Torah which begins [LM II #67], "And this is the aspect of the eulogy over the passing away of the Tzadik," and in the evening after Shabbat we entered to him in our usual way and he tipped with his hand that we should go from him and we immediately went from him — and it was wonder to us because our usual way was to always talk with him a great deal after Shabbat, and there was a bit of pain for us because of this and we went in to the house of the local rav. After some hours he sent his attendant and called us that we should enter to him and we entered to him — I and my friend Rabbi Naftali. And he told us to tell him news, the way he always did, asking [us] to tell him news specifically, and Rabbi Natfali told him what he heard then of the matter of the French war which was at those times. And then in that conversation we were astounded and astonished over the enormity of [Napoleon's] rise, that he had risen suddenly to such heights, for at first he was a simple servant, and he became emperor. And we talked with him regarding this matter. He spoke up and said, "Who knows what kind of neshamah/soul he has, for it could be that he was interchanged, for so it is in the Heikhlei haTemurot/Interchange Halls, that sometimes the souls are interchanged" etc.

And afterwards he began to relate that there had already been a story like this, that one time the queen gave birth and at the same time etc. and he told the whole story of the King's Son Who Was Exchanged [#11].

After he told the story of the King's Son and the Bondmaid's Son then I had an argument with my friend Rabbi Naftali over the fact that it is written there, when he [the king's son] went to the fair, that he took everything he had and laid it down for the lodging. And it seemed to one of us that he put it down for the sake of what he owed for the lodging, and the other said it is not so but that he put it down stam/for no reason. And we made a bet on this and we went and asked his holy mouth. And he was involved in his devotions, pacing to and fro in his home in his holy manner, and he replied to us as per the words of the second person, that he just plain laid down [his belongings], and not for debt.

Afterwards present with him was one of his most important followers and Rabeinu z"l related to him and said to him that in these stories when one alters one utterance from according to what he himself said, much is missing from the story. And he told him: Doesn't it seem that these two who made a bet on this matter — it seems apparently that it's a small thing and there's not so much kfeida/what to mind about this, whether it is as this one says or like that one says. But actually much depends on this and there is great kfeida and dikduk/precision/fine detail in this. And from this you can understand a little, `ad heichan `ad heichan/how far, how far these stories reach, for his "thoughts are extremely deep" [Ps. 92:6]. Fortunate is he who will be privileged to conceive of them a little, according to his level.


The tale of the Prayer Leader began after he told it with the local chazzan [cantor, lit. visioner] Rabbi Yossi. And we were standing before him and the chazzan's garment was ripped; he spoke up and said to the chazzan, "Aren't you the ba`al tefilah/leader of prayer, through which everything is drawn down (that is, all the influxes)? So why should you not have a garment (which is called a kaftan [a long robe-suit])?" And amidst this he began to tell, in these words, "There was already a story like this, that there was a Prayer Leader," and he told the whole story. And at the beginning of his telling we did not know that he's telling his stories, but rather we thought that he's telling a plain event that happened that way. Only afterwards when he got into the things did we discern the awesomeness of the matter, that he's telling an awesome story from his tales, which are sipurei ma`asiyot shel shanim qadmoniyot/legendary tales of ancient times.


Pertaining to inception of the tale of the Seven Beggars, printed in the Sichot #149 q.v., after the words, "I will tell you how happy they were one time:"
It should say, "I heard that he said it in these words: 'What do you [plural] know about how to be happy from within the midst of melancholy?! I will tell you how they were happy one time' etc." It was heard from his holy mouth explicitly that the tales he tells are extremely wonderful and awesome novelties and are fit to be lectured in public, standing in the synagogue and telling a story from these tales he told, for they are extremely high and awesome novelties. (Copyist's note: I heard from the mouth of Rav Naftali z"l that after Rabeinu z"l told the legend of the Seven Beggars he extolled its loftiness exceedingly and said [we] are permitted to travel to Brod and enter the synagogue and say to the shamash/attendant that he should assemble the public for a lecture and knock on the table (as is done before a lecture to quiet the murmur of the people) and tell them this story).


Pertaining to the Sichot #151 after the words "...loftiness of their level:"
Then on Sunday afternoon we stood before him and he talked with us and during the conversation he spoke some quip which is called a vartil/joke regarding that sect etc. Then he spoke of the concept of wide shoulders. Then from that same conversation it came about that he asked where we are standing in the story and we replied to him: on the Fifth Day; and then he told the story of the Fifth Day and he told it in joy.


I heard from one of [Rabbeinu z"l's] most important followers, who said that he heard from the mouth of Rabeinu z"l, the story regarding the tzaddik who fell one time into great sadness, where he enlivened himself by reminding himself of the profound kindness of Hashem Yitbarakh "shelo `asani goi/for not making me a heathen," which is already printed in Sipurei Ma`asiyot [Talks Following the Stories] q.v. — which was written according to what I myself heard from his holy mouth z"l himself. And this man said that he heard this story from the mouth of Rabeinu z"l in a slightly different style.

And he said that Rabeinu z"l told that there was one tzaddik of highest degree who was of the ma'rei d'chushbena/"masters of accounting," who would measure himself every day as to whether he had performed the service of Hashem in its entirety on that day, as was his constant practice. And he reckoned the things that he needed to do on that day, and found that he had not entirely fulfilled his obligation on that day: for example he needed to go to and fro in his house a certain number of times according to what he needed in relation to his lofty perception, and on that day he did not pace to and fro in his house as much as he ought to, and through this he became so downcast that he could not revive himself, until he revived himself from his being privileged in "shelo' `asani goi/that He has not made me a heathen." And also in the story tale there was a slight variation and I do not remember more. And from this matter, discern the loftiness of the great exaltedness of that tzaddik, how great a level he was, that he had a high service in walking to and fro in his house, to the extent that by falling short in this service in his estimation he became so afflicted that he almost could not revive himself if not for reminding himself shelo' `asani goi. See, discern and look at the service of the tzaddikim, that their pain over their shortcoming in their service — how far, how far it extends; fortunate are they!


Pertaining to the matter that is printed [in the parables] at the end of Sipurei Ma`asiyot which begins, "Know that there are two kinds of palaces: in one dwells the king and in one dwells the `eved/servant" etc.:
When one serves Hashem but he is still in the aspect of `eved/servant, he is still in the aspect of arur/cursed, God forbid; but there is an aspect of `eved bikdushah/servant in holiness, aspect of Moshe `eved Hashem. And know that there is a mitzvah through which one goes out from the aspect of `eved and it is the mitzvah of pidyon shivuim/redeeming captives.

[#67-73] Pertaining to Sichot Haran[edit]


Pertaining to the sichah [Sichot Haran #3] that is printed at the end of Sipurei Ma`asiyot which begins, "He greatly emphasized the greatness of Hashem Yitbarakh," and a little is missing there and it is not written as it ought to be, this is how it should be:

While he was sitting on the carriage at the time when I traveled with him from here, Breslev, to Uman, [for him] to pass away there, he spoke up and said, "Hashem Yitbarakh is extremely great and [we] know nothing whatsoever" etc. And he said it in Yiddish in these words, "Gott iz groiss," (and he pulled the word "groyss" upward in a wonderful pleasantness, and it is impossible to describe this in writing at all), "men veyst gor nit; se tuen zikh oyf der velt a zelkhe zakhin, men veyst gor nit/We know nothing; such things are happening in the world yet we know nothing whatsoever." And I asked him, "Didn't you already say that now the concept, "Takhlit hayedia`ah asher lo-neda`/The ultimate knowing is that [God] is unknowable," is known to you? He replied, "Zint ikh bin aroys fun Breslev biz aher veys ikh shoyn oykh nit/From the time that I left Breslev until here, I already [i.e. again] still don't know." (All this he said at the time of that conversation, and at that time it was no more than a short amount of time since he left Breslev. And if you are a little adept in the depth of his holy conversations you will understand from this a little of the amazingness of his greatness, for he had already said that his "eino yode`a/not knowing" is the maximum, and now he boasted that in such a short time once again he doesn't know at all.)


Pertaining to the sichah regarding doctors, that one must distance oneself from them to the utmost extent; see there [Sichot HaRan] #50: [Translator's note: in Rabbi Nachman's times and environs the doctors were extremely dangerous.]

And he said that whoever has an ill person in his home, God forbid, if someone would come to him and would say to him that he will deal the sick person a great blow with a thick wooden club which is called a druk, he would definitely be panicked at this. And behold, when one gives the sick person into the hands of the doctor, behold he is like one who gives him to an actual murderer. For his treatments will certainly harm him more than a murderer's blow, and why would one want to kill the sick person with one's hands? And really, just because he has to do something for the sick person, to make effort for his deliverance, should he then give him over to the doctor? If so, let him call someone to beat the sick person immediately with deathly blows. Understand this well.

(And the fact that Rabbeinu himself traveled to Lemberg and got involved with treatments there, there are very secret and hidden things in this, for his intention was not at all in going there for treatments, but rather for other things known to him, and just as all his travels were hidden and lofty wonders, such as the trip to Kaminitz, Navritch, Sharhorod and so forth, which are somewhat mentioned in our words. For, he had very wonderful secrets in this that are hidden from the eye of all living. And just as one time when he came from those aforementioned ways, he told some awesome tale (of the Fly and Spider) that is explained in Sipurei Ma`asiyot, and he said that this story explains the matter of his trip — but actually the thing is very closed up and sealed, for who can stand in the secret of the tales he told, or in the secret of his wonderful and hidden trips and conducts? — that is just how his trip to Lemberg was, and after he set out and arrived there he was forced from Heaven to be involved in treatments due to reasons and secrets known to him. But when he returned from there then specifically he spoke a great deal more about keeping distant from treatments, and he said at that time several Torot from Sichot Haran about this. And also before he traveled to Lemberg he would speak of this matter, but afterwards he would speak very much about it, to keep distant from them to the ultimate extent.)


The talk that is printed at the end of Sipurei Ma`asiyot [i.e. Sichot Haran #58] which begins, "There are things that flash through [lit. bloom in] one's thought" — this talk I heard from him on the carriage before he said the Torah, "DaYO la`eved lihyot kerabbo/Enough for the servant to be like his master — is an aspect of DYO/ink on a book [the phrase can be alternately read, "Ink is to the servant, to be like his master"]; see there [Likutei Moharan #192]. And what happened was like this: that I traveled with him on the carriage to escort him to Tcherin for Shabbat Shirah, and then on the way he said that a certain thing had flashed before him at that moment, and that is when he said the aforementioned matter. And then he spoke with me a great deal, and strengthened me and consoled me then very much with sweet and pleasant words, and restored my soul a great deal, and said to me, "Won't it all be nullified due to the satisfaction that you will have? And is it an accomplishment to benefit a man in only the coming world? But rather, in this world as well he shall have goodness" — to the extent that out of the great intimacy with which he drew me close at that time, and the revelation of love with sweet words which he spoke with me, tears of crying from joy were aroused in me.

<After he said the statement which begins, "Can we allow Hashem Yitbarakh to decree harsh decrees (which is brought in Sichot Haran #70), then afterwards he said lightheartedly, "Elohim al domi lakh/God, do not keep silent" (Ps. 83:2) — to not allow Hashem Yitbarakh to "domen," which this word [Rus. dumat'] is "trachten/to think" in our language.>


Pertaining to the Sichot after Sipurei Ma`asiyot [Sichot Haran #74], what is written there that one should work oneself into anger during prayer, etc.:
And he said that this is the aspect of le`olam yargiz adam yetzer tov `al yetzer hara`/a man should always work his good inclination into anger over his evil inclination [Berakhot 5a]yargiz/make angry, specifically, a term of rogez/wrath, as one needs to make himself angry in holiness, as mentioned there regarding prayer.


Pertaining to Likutei Moharan next to the Ma`asiyot [i.e. Sichot Haran #89], to the statement that begins, "Da` sheyesh chavilot/Know that there are bundles" etc.:
It is lacking there, from line 9 to line 5 on the next page, 14, and this is how it should be: "Ma`avir rishon rishon/He takes away first first, that is, the first sin in each bundle" (so the phrasing of "rishon rishon" is very precise here. For according, to its simple meaning it is amazing why two times "rishon" applies, because there is no first besides one. However, in accord with the aforementioned it is very precise, because it is the first and first sin of each bundle and bundle, as mentioned):
And then when the Hakadosh Barukh Hu takes away the first and first sin of each bundle and bundle — which all the rest of the sins in each bundle were dependent on and trailing after the first sin in each bundle and bundle, as mentioned — and now Hashem Yitbarakh in His compassion takes away and nullifies the first and first sin in each bundle and bundle, now where can the rest of the sins in each bundle and bundle get their life? — since their root has been neutralized and broken off, which is the first sin in each bundle and bundle, as mentioned. And then the rest of the sins in each bundle and bundle return to Hashem Yitbarakh and come to Hashem Yitbarakh, that He should give them life, and then Hashem Yitbarakh himself gives them life and the man becomes exempt from them, for there is no longer a need [for him] to give them life now that he is privileged to arouse His Blessed compassion to take away rishon rishon etc. as mentioned. For, now the rest of the sins have returned to Hashem Yitbarakh and receive life from His Blessedness Himself. And this is the aspect of, "Alamdah posh`im derakheikha, vechata'im eleikha yashuvu/I will teach transgressors Your way, and faults shall return unto You" (Ps. 51:15). "Derakheikha" — this is the aspect of the Thirteen Attributes, as is written, "Hodi`eni na et-derakheikha/Make me know Your ways" (Ex. 33:13), and Hakadosh Barukh Hu showed him the Thirteen Attributes of Compassion. That is, when one learns to perform and fulfill these Thirteen Attributes then Hakadosh Barukh Hu takes away rishon rishon of each bundle and bundle, as mentioned; then the chata'im eleikha yashuvu/faults return to You. That is, the remaining faults in each bundle and bundle "return to You," for they go back and return to Hashem Yitbarakh to receive life from Hashem Yitbarakh Himself after their root has been cut, which is the first and first transgression in each bundle and bundle which Hakadosh Barukh Hu takes away through the Thirteen Attributes of Compassion. However, from where does Hakadosh Barukh Hu give them life ... ?


Pertaining to what is explained in the Sichot [#98], that winter is the aspect of pregnancy and summer is the aspect of birth:
And he gave us a wonderful talk at that time but it was mostly forgotten. And what I still remember is him talking then about the summer, which was tangibly approaching, for this conversation took place in Nissan before Pesach, at the time of the brit of his son Shelomoh Efrayim z"l, on the third day after the milah. What he said then was that in winter all the grasses and plants are entirely dead, for their power is nullified in winter, and then they are in the aspect of death; but when summer comes they all come to life and thrive. And then it is good and nice when one goes out to "laSuaCh basadeh/talk-meditate in the field" [Gen 24:63] this talk is prayer, pleading and aspirations to Hashem Yitbarakh. And then every SiaCh hasadeh/bush of the field — which are beginning to come to life and flourish — they all yearn and are included into his prayer and talk. And he went on giving this wonderful talk regarding this concept and other matters as well.


Regarding the Sichah that is printed in #39, where he wrote that one needs to strike his head on the wall, that is, strike his head, which is his mind, on the walls of his heart; see there:
Afterwards I heard in his name that this is the aspect of, "Vaysev Chizkiyahu panav el-hakir/And Chizkiyahu turned his face to the wall" [Isa. 38:2] that he turned and drew his face, which is the brain and the mind, to the walls of his heart, that is, as mentioned above, for the essence of one's face is his chokhmah and da`at [intellect and the knowledge/mind], which constitute the "light of the face," as explained elsewhere [Likutei Moharan #57].

[#74-77] Pertaining to Sefer Hamidot[edit]


Pertaining to the Alef-Beit [aka Sefer haMidot], regarding medicine, [something] which is recorded elsewhere:
He said he had [a section] in the Alef-Beit, letter Reish, on refuah/medicine, where all the remedies were written, and there was no illness in the world that did not have a remedy written there. However, he did not want to publish it, and he burned it.


Pertaining to the latter Alef-Beit [i.e. Part 2], letter Dalet, Da`at #1, which begins, "Know this: All the worlds and all creations have a special form, for example the lion species [is different from the sheep]... And all the differences are hinted by the image of the permuted letters; and one who is privileged to understand the Torah etc.":
It appears to me that this is the topic of the talk which I heard from his holy mouth before Shabbat Chanukah [5]565, regarding the creations in the universe, that all the images and forms of all people are all included in the word אדם/Adam/man stated in the Torah, "Na`aseh adam/Let us make man," for in this word, Adam, which Hashem Yitbarakh spoke — "Na`aseh adam/Let us make man," — in this word, all varieties of forms of people in the world are included. And similarly, in the word בהמה/behemah/dumb beast and חיה/chayah/animal stated in the story of Bereishit, in this word are also included all the forms of every beast and animal. And similarly with all the rest of the creations. And he went long with this talk and said, then, that there exist wisdoms, even in this world, on which one can live alone, without any food or drink. And he went on with this talk very much, but we were not privileged to write it down.


Pertaining to the new Alef-Beit, letter Dalet #1, at the end: "...and one will also know their unification, that is, reishitam vetakhlitam/ their headings and ends/ principals and ultimate purposes, for at the inception and in the ultimate purpose they are in unison and without difference. It is possible this was Rabbeinu z"l's meaning in the Torah which begins, "Lekhu chazu mif`alot Hashem" in LM II #39: "Ki lekhol davar yesh hatchalah vetakhlit/Each and every thing has a beginning and an end" etc.; take a good look there. So it is possible that his meaning was the aforementioned, that one must remember, know, and attain this matter, that in their beginning and in their ultimate ends they are in unison with no difference. For, this aforementioned Torah, "Lekhu chazu," I was not privileged to understand thoroughly at the time when I heard from his holy mouth; and also when he saw the Torah in writing he said that in this Torah I did not hit upon his meaning, and he said, "I did not speak in these terms, and this is not even what I meant." So it may be that his intention was the aforementioned concept; and I did not explain this there in writing, therefore he said that I did not hit upon his intention. Hashem knows the hidden things.


Pertaining to the new Alef-Beit, which he compiled during his childhood:
By means of zerizut/diligence it is easy to become the one who sustains the era, materially or spiritually. And the sign is: "Lekh-el-NeMaLaH, `atzel" [Prov. 6:6] — regarding this is the scripture: "MishaM ro`eH, eveN YisraeL/From there is the Shepherd, the stone of Yisrael" [Gen. 49:24], that is, the sustainer. That is, meriting to be appointed to be the supporter is based on diligence, which is learned from the ant, for "MishaM ro`eH, eveN YisraeL." And this matter have already been printed in the new Alef-Beit, in different phrasing; but it was in this style that I heard this matter from his holy mouth.

[#78-80] Pertaining to Conversations Surrounding LM[edit]


The Torah, "Atem nitzavim/You are standing," in LM #44, he taught on the Shabbat before Rosh Hashanah of 5563, on the first Shabbat after I had become his follower. And there he speaks about clapping hands during prayer. And know, that at that time when he said this Torah, it was close to when he entered here in Breslev, and then is when he spoke a great deal regarding clapping hands in prayer. And he told me that at the beginning of his entering here, he once stood in the doorway of the beit midrash in his house and rebuked the people with regard to prayer, that they are not praying properly. And he spoke up and said that one does not hear, from any of those who are praying, any hand clapping. And from this we immediately discerned that he wants to put the crown back in its place, that they should once again stir up and pray with aim, fervor, and great power, like the early Chasidim who were during the times of the Ba`al Shem Tov z"l and his holy students who were in the generation before us. For, during Rabbeinu z"l's early years the chasidim already started to cool off, etc., and he z"l labored and toiled a great deal to repair all this, to return the crown to its place.

Also at that time, before the Shabbat that was before that Rosh HaShanah, with me there were two prominent chasidim, and they dined by him z"l, and during their conversation with him they were making mockery of someone in Nemirov whose custom was to do a great deal of hand clapping during prayer, and Rabeinu z"l took exception with this, said harsh things to them and said to them, "And do you know what is hand clapping during prayer and all the things involved in it, that you make mockery of this man, whose hand clapping you find unacceptable? And afterwards on the Shabbat after this, which was the Shabbat before Rosh Hashanah, I came for Shabbat, and then he said the Torah, "Atem Nitzavim" regarding hand clapping. And it was the first Torah that I was privileged to hear from his holy mouth, and immediately I wrote it down with his great help, praise to the God of my life.

Also afterwards, not long after Sukkot, one prestigious man came to him from Nemirov, and he was the man who was with by him before Rosh Hashanah, who was making mockery of the hand clapping of the aforementioned man. And this man came on account of his son at home who had become ill, the Merciful One spare us. And Rabbeinu z"l showed him a passage in Peri `Etz haChayim regarding "Veyasem Lekha Shalom," the acrostic of which is "ShaLeV/tranquility," which is the aspect of "ShaLeV hayiti vayfarpreini/I was at ease, and he broke me asunder" [Job 16:12] etc. And he ordered him to read this material out loud in his presence, so he had to say it in his presence. And afterwards Rabbeinu z"l taught the lesson about hand clapping in Torah #46 regarding the three hands etc.; see there. But this man refused to put his shoulder to it, to bear the yoke of Torah and become a follower of him z"l. And he returned to his house and the child became more ill. And the man told me the whole affair that Rabbeinu z"l was engaged in with him, and all of his lesson which he told him at that time. He also told me that Rabbeinu z"l told him some story of an aristocrat who was most hard and brazen, but I do not remember it well. And the man asked of me that when I travel to him I should mention the child to him and ask him to save him. And I traveled shortly afterwards to him z"l and spoke about it with him. He spoke up and said, "The child is still alive!?" in an expression of amazement. And I stood trembling and astonished, for I discerned from his words that the decree of judgement was already sealed on the boy, to die. Rabbeinu z"l spoke up and said if that man "would have accepted my words, the child would have already returned to his health." (That is to say, but now that he did not accept my words it is impossible for the child to survive.) And so it happened, that the boy passed away soon. And when Rabbeinu z"l spoke with me regarding this man who did not accept his words, I began to advocate for him and said, "How can he become your follower, as he is already a follower [that is, of one of Rabbeinu z"l's disputers]. And he z"l replied, "If so, he has a big test," in other words: So what? Because of that it is impossible for him to become [my] follower? Only, his test is bigger — but he certainly needs to stand the test and break all the obstacles and become [my] follower.


The Torah, "Yemei Chanukah hem yemei hoda'ah, bechinat Todah/The days of Chanukkah are days of thanksgiving, the aspect of the thanksgiving offering" etc. in LM II #2:
This Torah he delivered on Shabbat Chanukkah, the year in which he had returned from Lemberg, and according to my humble knowledge, he drew into it the aspect of the tikkun of korban todah/thanksgiving offering, which he needed to bring for having returned home from there in peace. For, this is an extremely big and wonderful salvation for us and all Yisrael, for had he remained there in Lemberg, his light might have been put out completely, God forbid, and we would not have heard all the awesome things that he revealed to us afterwards in his Torahs and conversations which he gave afterwards, especially the stories, as the main part of the long stories he revealed to us afterwards, especially "The Seven Beggars." And we definitely ought to bring a korban todah for such a salvation. Also, several times after returning from Lemberg we heard from him z"l that he gave praise and thanksgiving to Hashem Yitbarakh for returning from there. And during the trip, whenever he arrived at some place where he had previously been when traveling there, he would say that it is fitting to praise Hashem Yitbarakh for bringing [me] back here, to be in these places; for I thought, God forbid, I would not be back to see them any more.


What is stated there, at the end of the verse, "Vayhi miketz" according to the statement of our Rabbis z"l regarding Bar Bei Rav de'Chad Yoma:
This came about through a prestigious person from the young populace who traveled to him for Shabbat Chanukkah from Brailov but became held up in Nemirov and did not arrive for that Shabbat, but after Shabbat he arrived here. And Rabbeinu z"l, when he said the aforementioned Torah, "Yemei Chanukkah," did not finish explaining the text, "Vayhi miketz" in accord with that Torah, until that man came after Shabbat; then he began to explain that scripture according to the statement of our Rabbis z"l regarding Bar Bei Rav de'Chad Yoma. And he was of the same concept, for this man was really a bar bei rav de'chad yoma, a one-day student [lit. one-day son of the rav's house], for he was not with him on Shabbat but only after it during the week, on Sunday only. And we saw wonders of Hashem, that specifically through him were stated these things, which have pertinence to him, and they are alluded to in the aforementioned scripture.

And it is impossible to explain what is in my heart about this. For, all his words were extremely and awesomely weighed out, as explained elsewhere [see #348, 362, 389]. Also, this is a time when I saw this, for before Shabbat he did not at all make revelation on the scripture, "Vayhi miketz," for the revelation of the Torah is according to the souls that are in his presence then [as explained in the Torah "Ashrei" in LM #13; and also in the Torah "Tish`ah Tikkunim," LM #20]. And afterwards when this man came, then he revealed the explanation of the beginning of the scripture according to that Torah, namely "Vayhi miketz" etc. as explained in its place; see there. But the rest of the scripture he did not finish explaining. And I very much pressed him to explain the rest to us, but he was not willing whatsoever. And then I saw how each and every utterance is let out by weight, according to the souls and their aspirations, etc. Also, what is explained there regarding the four things which Rabbi Eliezer used as proof, which are "Let the carob prove" etc. — the revelation of these things as well he did not reveal at the time of this Torah's delivery — only in general — but he did not elucidate them explicitly as they are explained now, until his brother Rabbi Yechiel z"l came with some more people who also traveled [to come] for this Shabbat but were delayed as well. And afterwards when they came, then specifically he revealed this matter, and he explained those four things according to that Torah, in detail, as mentioned.

Chayei Moharan #123[edit]

Before traveling to Berdichev he assembled a minyan of ten men and argued in their presence with the Ba`al Davar/Accuser. And I do not entirely know this matter in detail. But he said that from that time on, whatever he wants to do, the Ba`al Davar lets himself span the length and the width [of the universe] to ruin it, and on account of this it is very hard to carry out his instructions, but nonetheless Hashem Yitbarakh is at his help. And whoever has been privileged to draw close to him has seen as little of this. And all his days Rabbeinu z"l had no peace, even one moment. For he was constantly waging Hashem's war every single moment.

<ודע שיש בידינו כתיבת יד רבינו ז"ל שכתב בעצמו, וזה לשונו: דעו אחי ורעי, אגלה לכם סוד, ותצניעו את הסוד הזה להיות כמוס ביניכם, כדי ...שלא להרבות מחלקת בישראל> .. "I am the true Elder on the side of holiness."[30] ... .עכ"ל ..."There is an Arikh Anpin of the Klipah" (LM #242)... "Ve'et-ha`orevim tziviti" (LM II #4)... "U'tzedakah tihyeh lanu" (LM #251)... and more... and in the tale of the Fly and the Spider...

Copyist's note: I heard that one time Rabbeinu z"l and that elder were brought together, as the public wanted to make peace between them[31] The Zeyde asked the Rebbe, "How is it possible that an old man like me, with no teeth, could want strife?" And he took Rabbeinu z"l's finger and put it in his mouth to prove to him that he hadn't any teeth. "I will just ask you about a few things that you have said. Is it true you said there is a city of Zlatipolia in Heaven?" Rabbeinu z"l said, "Isn't this the explicit statement of our Rabbis z"l? — '`Arim gedolot uvtzuroth bashamayim/Great and fortified cities in Heaven" [Deut. 1:28] — as there are cities down below, so are there cities above [see Ta`anit 5a]. Then he asked Rabbeinu z"l, "Is it true that you said that [when you were] in Zlatipolia you were remedying Yerov`am's error?" He answered, "True," and told him the concept that he explained [in LM II #64] which speaks about repairing the fault of `avodah zarah/foreign mode of service, repairing "Eleh eloheikha, Yisrael/These are your gods, O Yisrael" [Ex. 32] by fulfilling [self-inflicted wanderings as in] "Eleh mas`ei venei Yisrael/These are the journeys of the sons of Yisrael" [Num. 33]; and there this is understood implicitly. Then he continued and asked, "Is it true that you said that you have been in Mashiach's palace?" Rabbeinu z"l replied, "And what of it? Were you there and did not find me? But since you are asking me — if you come with me to my house to drink a tea or coffee together with me, and inform the public that you go back on your words and regret the strife, I will explain the thing's inner meaning and concept." The Zeyde answered him, "I'll have to first go home and then come to you." As the Zeyde was leaving from Rabbeinu z"l, Rabbeinu z"l heard him say: And how would I appear in the eyes of my wealthy supporters, if I go to him and make peace with him, etc.?

Rabbeinu z"l said, "If he would have first come to my house as I had said to him, I might have had peace with him, but now there will be no peace between me and him and he will carry on with the conflict. But — I am not afraid of him at all, for didn't he show me he has no teeth?" Copyists note: See the tale of "The Fly and the Spider" [Sipurei Ma`asiyot #7] which relates to this matter, as explained there, that the enemies of the mountain, before they wanted to go up on the mountain their teeth fell out and they were unable to go up.

"I have such an enemy! Ikh hob azoy a soneh vas er kilt zikh andersh nit in mir, saydin er zeyt mayn blut/His anger and wrath at me is not cooled off except by seeing my blood!" [Rabbi Natan adds:] But he did not say who this enemy was. This he said on his last Rosh haShanah, when he gave the lesson "Tik`u — Tokhachah/Blow the shofar — Rebuke" [LM II #8], when he coughed up a great deal of blood, as explained in Chayei Moharan and Yemei Moharnat.>

When that elder began to oppose him he said, "I knew that the Samekh-Mem <and his agents> would rise up against me etc., but I am surprised that they handed this off to him. And he said, then, a pun: For, our Rabbis z"l have said that it is "better for a man to cast himself down into a den of lions [and snakes] and not be given over to his enemies" [Y. Reuveni, Vayeshev] — but what does one do when his enemy himself is an Aryeh/lion? <Then he said this is the explanation of, "Va'ani er'eh ve'son'ai/And I will gaze upon those that hate me" [Ps. 118:7], for apparently it is surprising: surely David Hamelekh a"h knew that Shaul hates him, so how could he want to see his downfall: didn't Hashem Yitbarakh tell him (Mo`ed Katan 16:2), "If you were Shaul and he were David [I would have destroyed many Davids for him etc.]?" Rather, David said thus: Master of the Universe, give me eyes that I may see in my enemies how he is standing presently, on what level he is now standing, and thereby I will know my level with clarity. And then he said a pun:> But "Rabot machashavot beLeibish [beLev-ish] ve`atzat Hashem hi takum/Many are the contrivances in Leibish [a man's heart], but it is Hashem's counsel that shall stand" [a pun on Prov. 19:21]. He said in the future to come there will be a nice little game with him: "Oyf yener velt vet zayn asheyn shpilkhen mit ihm." Then Rabbeinu z"l spoke several Torot that touch upon the subject of the controversy of that elder; see there and discern. Blessed is Hashem Who has delivered us from him and let us be in the portion of Rabbeinu hakadosh z"l.

Chayei Moharan #151-162 (His Trip to Navritch, to Zaslav, to Dubna and to Brod, partial)[edit]


In the year [5]566, which was the fourth year of his residence here in Breslev, which was the fourth year of my drawing close to him, for when he entered here I drew close to him immediately after, as mentioned above — then in the summer of [5]566 in the month of Sivan his baby son Shelomoh Efrayim z"l passed away. And [statements] regarding the interest of this dear holy child has already been described elsewhere, that Rabeinu z"l said: that he was already fit <to be Mashiach>. And then after the boy died, when we came to him afterwards he began talking with us regarding tikkun haneshamot/the repair of souls; regarding the Ba`al haSadeh/Master of the Field, that there is a field wherein souls grow, and they need the Ba`al haSadeh to repair them, and he who girds his loins to be the Ba`al haSadeh has countless many afflictions upon him, as explained in the Torah "Vayomer Bo`az el Ruth" (in Likutei I:65); see there.

And from that time on, he spoke very much regarding the repair of souls, and especially when he returned from Lemberg when he entered Uman; that his whole going in there and his choosing to pass away there and lie there — it was all on account of this, for the sake of tikkun haneshamot which need repair since several hundreds of years back. For, there in Uman, countless many souls were murdered, including many children, thousands and myriads, who were killed before their time. [His intentions] were evident from things he said in Uman, and some of them are written elsewhere (below, #190, 191, 205, 217).

Then in that same year he began telling the Sipurei Ma`asiyot which have now been printed and he said, "Now I will start telling story tales" (Ikh vil shoyn anheyben maysiyos dertseylen). And then on that Yom Kippur there was a fire, the Merciful One spare us, here in Breslev during the prayer time of Kol Nidrei when the chazzan began the piyutim that follow `Arvit which are Ya`aleh etc. And we each scattered to save his house and possessions and the prayer got mixed up; only after the fire was over did we assemble approximately a minyan and also Rabeinu z"l was with us and we completed the piyutim.

And then on motza'ei Yom Kippur Rabbeinu z"l said that on that Yom Kippur he wanted to elicit something from Hashem Yitbarakh, <namely he wanted Hashem Yitbarakh to again tell him the Torah as he told it before Moshe a"h>, and he had several arguments for this which if written would have filled several bogin (sheets), and I made a big arrangement of this for him. Alas, by means of the fire the thing was mixed up. And also after he returned from Lemberg he talked about this matter and it was understood from his words that from that time onward when he wanted to elicit this on Yom Kippur, on account of this he has great accusation against him on high and that the illness and afflictions which he had and which he still has are on account of this. And he said, "Even though my intentions were definitely for the sake of Heaven, nonetheless" etc.

And he told then the story of the son of the rav of Shpitivke who had an illness and he knew that it was on account of a mistake where he made a blemish in the honor of father, but yet he does not have regret. And he said that Rabbi Shmuel Yitzchak who is presently rav of Tcherin, informed him before the fire that it would happen. Also in Medvedevka there was a fire, and then too Rabbi Shmuel Yitzchak informed me beforehand. "Shmuel Yitzchak" is gematria SeReiFaH [585] as written in the Torah, chasser [without a yud].

And then in that same year I was expelled from my place by force, from Nemyrev to Mohyliv, and in that same year several of our people got mixed up; Rabbi Avrahamtchi was in Peterburg and many were mixed up. And Rabbeinu z"l himself was wandering and exiled that year on his big trip when he traveled to Navritch, Brod, etc. and tarried on that trip approximately half a year.

And that winter when he was in Tcherin for Shabbat Shirah and then in Krimenchuk as he went every year, then his grandson Rabbi Yisrael z"l was born, son of his daughter the tzadeket Mrs. Sarah, and his birth was before Rabeinu z"l went on that big trip, and right after he came from Krimenchuk he took that trip. Before his birth he remained several weeks in Kremenchuk and waited until she give birth, and during that whole time before she gave birth he never smiled and he got upset when they gave him two foods at a meal, for he was entirely uneasy until she give birth in peace, may she live long; so he remained in great affliction that whole time until that birth that his daughter gave.

And then after the birth he was immediately filled with joy and ordered to light candles and make the drink called "punch" and he was in great joy and then on the eighth day he circumcised his grandson boy in the proper fashion and after the berith milah he was in joy that day and said that he had satisfaction from hearing from people etc. who mentioned him, that his name, Yisrael ben Sarah, is like the name of the Baal Shem Tov z"l. But then on the third day of the berith his daughter who gave birth became weak and he had great affliction and fled in great haste from Krimenchuk. And he said that his vitality was cut off due to the severe pain. And the man who was with him, Rabbi Shmuel of Teplik tarried a bit, and he left him there without waiting for him and rode off without him, and Rabbi Shmuel was forced to hire a carriage and run after him.

And then when he came from Krimenchuk he went to Navritch and on that whole big trip etc. And that winter I was sick three times in Moyhliv and my wife-partner and children as well, and Rabbeinu z"l had great pain from this, and by God's mercy and the strength of his holy prayer I remained alive, praise God.

And in this whole matter there is a great deal to tell, for there are extremely hidden things in all this, gnizaya deMalka, which he merited to perceive in all these matters, for the sake of which he was forced to travel around and suffer afflictions so much. And it was all for the sake of tikkun ha`olamot/repair of the worlds, tikkun haneshamoth vehanefashot/repair of souls and lifeforces of the living and especially the souls of the dead, in which he was most involved at the end of his days, as he said explicitly there, that what he does for us is a minor thing for him and it is something that we should do, but he must involve himself in repair of the souls of the dead, for there are neshamoth artila'in/naked souls etc. as described elsewhere.

And even though we never heard or knew more than a drop in the ocean of all this and even the slightest bit that he informed us of in compassion, even this is impossible to describe except more than the slightest bit in hints; nevertheless I have not held back from recording what is possible, for it is a great benefit for those who seek in truth and haste to his doors, when they come to know what they know of what he endured and what came out of his holy mouth regarding these matters. And those who are smart enough to look into our words with an honest eye will understand a little of the greatness of the Creator, Blessed Is He, through this, and the greatness of the tzaddikim and how many sufferings and troubles they suffer for the sake of repair of our souls. Maybe we will be awoken by all this to go in his holy ways which he showed us in his holy books and we will truthfully return to Hashem, soon in our days, Amen.


In that year of [5]566 when he began to talk with me regarding tikkun haneshamot/repair of souls which he was involved in, which is the matter of the Ba`al haSadeh/Master of the Field etc., as mentioned above, then he said to me, "In Zlatipolia I got to know a bit of this," for then he began to know a little of this matter of the Ba`al haSadeh. And what is understood from his words is that that is when he began to know [i.e. in Zlatipolia], but now he knows the essence. And he said that Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai hinted a little of this in the holy Zohar, and the inference was that the way he now knows about this matter of the Ba`al haSadeh, <no tzaddik had ever yet> known.


In the year [5]567 before Purim he traveled from here, Breslev, and no simple explanation was known to any man regarding that trip. And he traveled then to Navritch and wanted to travel further on but became held back there during the days of Purim in the house of the local rav who was somewhat of an in-law. And from there he resumed traveling to Ostroh and from there he sent people to bring his wife to the Dr. Gardin of there to get involved in healing her, for she had a critical illness, which is the illness of hust/tuberculosis, and he z"l remained there alone except that they hired one man there to attend to him. And his wife arrived there for Shabbat haGadol and did not want to receive treatments from Dr. Gardin, but only travel to Zalsav to the doctors of there, and he traveled with her on Sunday which was four days before Pesach and also Rabbi Shmuel of Teplik was with him there, and they all went and arrived in Zaslav close to Pesach. And Erev Shavu`ot his wife passed away there, and we gathered together to him and came to him for Shavu`ot, to Zaslav. And Hashem Yitbarakh had compassion on us and we were privileged then too to hear wonderful Torah from his mouth, and it is already printed in the book, [LM I] #67.


I heard in his name that he said that when he traveled to Navritch and the rest of the communities and spoke then regarding his travel, that no man knew about this. Explanation and clue: for he traveled under cover from the world and did not accept any money along the way, and he said at that time, "And I — my hands are dirtied with blood, placenta and umbilical cord in order to purify a woman [i.e Yisrael] to her husband [i.e Hashem]" [see Berakhot 4a], and this was a faint hint that this was the concern of his travel.


Before this aforementioned trip he said, "I am like a little boy who does not want to go to school but when he enters the schoolroom is able to learn. If they world would know why I am traveling they would kiss my footsteps at each and every step of mine. I tilt the whole world [to be] judged to the side of merit."


He said, "My place is only the Land of Israel. The fact that I travel, I travel only to Eretz Yisrael; and temporarily I guide people in Breslev and so forth."


Before he made the aforementioned trip he clapped palm on palm in joy and said, "Today I begin a new thing," and then he said, "We are like someone who plays music and the world dances, and whoever does not discern and hear the melody, it is a wonder in his eyes what they're running after and why they're dancing like that; it's a wonder to the world why you are running after me. When I return from my way I will be able to play and you will be able to dance. And then he traveled to Navritch and he was in Zaslav, Ostroh, Dubna, Brod and other additional places, and he was looked for and they did not know his whereabouts. And he was in the house of the big opposers in Brod and he had involvement with each and every one of them. When he entered Brod the whole city came out to him. (Explanation: for they did not at all intend to honor him, for they did not know about him at all, but rather, anyhow it was ordained that way from Hashem Yitbarakh). And I heard a voice of shouting of their cravings, that they crave and shout, "Money!" etc., which was a great shout from their cravings. At that same time, on Erev Shavu`ot, his wife-partner passed away and we gathered to him for the festival of Shavu`ot and he told us Torah, as mentioned.


On that festival of Shavu`ot he studied much during the morning meal, and between dishes before they placed the food on the table he would study in the meantime (and he learned then the Idra). And then they placed the food and he interrupted and ate a little and then went back and delved in his study; and thus it was each time between each and every food. And he thought each time they would not bring another food, but they gave several more dishes, and he would study between each and every food, as mentioned.

After the meal he spoke up and said, "They [were] arguing with me, for I was of the mind that each time they would not give another dish again, but they gave more foods each time. And they [were] arguing with me, because I would have wanted that the end of the meal would be with study, and they wanted greater — that the end of the meal would be with eating. For, there are simple people who eat in order to have strength to study, and there are people higher above and they study in order to have knowledge how to eat. And I wanted it to be in its simple manner, that the end of the meal would be in study after eating, which is the aspect of simple service, where they eat and then study, that is, they eat in order to have strength to learn. But they hold me to be on the greater [level] and give each time more food and want the end to be with eating which is the aspect of higher service, where they study and then eat, that is, they study in order to have knowledge and a brain and intellect how to eat. Understand.


While he was in Zaslav he had severe pain and illness, and he wrote a letter to all his followers, very much requesting that we pray for him, and then he returned to his strength. And then he wrote another letter to all his people, that his efforts that he made with each and every one of us to extract him from the teeth of the Samekh Mem ought not be in vain, as explained. A copy of the letter appears elsewhere [below, #166]. And when he came home he said that we had accomplished by our prayers that he returned to his strength in Zaslav from that sickness.


After the passing of his wife in Zaslav, later he was matched in Brod and when he came home to Breslev he told on Shabbat the tale [in Sipurei Ma`asiyot Tale 7] of the king whom the book's page saved, etc. And he said before telling that story, "I will tell you my trip," and regarding this he told that story. And there in that story the conclusion about a beautiful woman who bore children is missing.


As he returned from his big trip to Navritch that summer, tuberculosis befell him. Then Rabbeinu z"l urged us direly to pray for him very much. But due to our many sins, "gavru ha'erelim/the angels prevailed" [Ketubot 104a] and he passed away three years after contracting that case of tuberculosis. And he said that he lived these three years by miracle as well, etc., and regarding this there are numerous stories to tell, aside from countless things hidden from us.


He said that as soon as tuberculosis befell him, as soon as he coughed the first time, he immediately knew that he would die. And he immediately started talking about the matter of his passing away, even though Hashem Yitbarakh in his great charity did His exceptional miracles for us, that he lived afterwards for three years and a bit more. Nonetheless, in the summer of 5567 when the tuberculosis struck him while returning from his big trip that he took to Navritch, Zaslav, etc. as mentioned, etc. as soon as arriving at his home from that trip he started talking about his passing.

And he said, then, that he has great fears and he said that it was necessary for sixty giborim/mighty men to be by him, as were by the Ba`al Shem Tov of blessed memory. And he spoke a great deal regarding this [but I myself was not privileged to hear these matters from his holy mouth, for I was not with him, and much of this has been forgotten]. And one time he was crying on Shabbat and Rabbi Naftali was with him them, and at that time he told the story of the king who had great wars up against him, in the tale of "The Fly and the Spider." And then he made his usual annual trip in Ukraine — he always traveled to Tcherin for Shabbat Nachamu — and on the way, in the community of Ladyzhyn he spoke with our people, his followers, that are there, that he is forced to pass away, and he also spoke with them regarding the sixty giborim whom he needs, and how the Ba`al Shem Tov of blessed memory had sixty giborim: "And they will definitely grow up and there will be of my people sixty giborim, but they are still youths and tender in years and the war is exceedingly heavy and harsh on them, 'and I have no one to lean on' [cf. Sotah 49b]," etc. And he spoke more of this numerous times, and a little of it I heard: that even if he had sixty giborim it would not avail him to be healed from his illness.

And he said that he would have wanted to go to the land of Israel, that is, travel once more to the land of Israel and pass away there; however, he fears lest he will not be able to reach there. Also, if he should pass away there, followers would not come to his grave and they would have no involvement or activity with his gravesite. But when he will lie in our country, we will definitely come to his grave to learn and pray there, and he will have great delight and pleasure from this.

And from that time on, he spoke a great deal regarding his passing and spoke a great deal regarding his grave. And he expressed his mind numerous times, in numerous wordings, that they should constantly come to his grave, saying Tehillim at his grave, learning there, and to perform a great deal of prayer and supplication there. And he spoke with numerous followers regarding this. Also when he came from Lemberg he said that it would be well for him to pass away there and lie there, since numerous, numerous great tzadikim lie there; however, for the following reason he was not comfortable with passing away there &mdash: because there, not one of his followers would come to his grave.

And he said that when one will come to his grave and say a chapter of Tehillim with awakening of the heart, he will have great pleasure form this, and he made movements with his body and his bones then, and hinted that he would have chilutz `atzamot/renewed energy in his grave when they will say Tehillim at his graveside. And he talked more about this numerous times. And later he revealed the ten chapters of Tehillim [i.e. Tikkun haKlali], and he said that whoever comes to his grave, gives a token to charity and says these ten chapters of Tehillim, he will let himself span the width and the breadth [of the universe] to help this man, even if what has happened to him has happened, etc., and he designated two witnesses for this [R' Naftali and R' Aharon], as explained elsewhere [CM #225].

Likutei Moharan #60 Patach Rabbi Shim`on[edit]


  1. "In that year of [5]566 after the child [his son Shlomo Efraim z"l] passed away, he went on the road to Medvedevka and its environs, and there he began to tell the first story in Sipurei Ma`asiyot. And when he returned from the trip I was at his [place] and he repeated and told before us that story and he said, "On the way I told a story" etc., and then he said, "Now I'm going to start telling stories" etc. as printed there in Sipurei Ma`asiyot." (Yemey Moharnat II #11)
  2. a city on the Poland-Germany border
  3. See Midrash Tanchuma Vayetze 16: that while Hashem retains to himself (in general; see Taanit 2a) the keys for rain, sustenance, revival of the dead and childbirth, He will grant these to tzaddikim. And Midrash Tanchuma Va'eira 22, Bamidbar Rabbah 14 and Zohar Vol. 1, 45b: "See how beloved tzaddikim are to Hashem, for whatever they do and decree, Hashem confirms it and fulfills it." And Shabbat 59b: "The tzaddik decrees, and Hakadosh Barukh Hu fulfills." And Moed Katan 16b: "I rule man. Who rules me? The tzaddik! For I make a decree and he can annul it." Et. al.
  4. 4.0 4.1 The word `etzem was omitted here.
  5. The big trip to Navritch, Zaslav, Ostoh, Dubna and Brod. See Chayei Moharan #160, 157, 68.
  6. "Shinei resha`im shibbarta/You have broken the teeth of the wicked" (Ps. 3:8); Berakhot 54b
  7. do not pronounce the name: Samael, the accusing angel and the angelic prince of Esav
  8. do not pronounce the name: Samael, the accusing angel in charge of Evil and the angelic prince of Esav
  9. This may refer to Leghorn/Livorno, the main port of Tuscany in central Italy, or perhaps the name refers to Lugano, Switzerland. It is unclear since the text says that he travels into Italy from Lagorna.
  10. chakham; see Sefer Hamidot: Derekh (Travel) II #4: By traveling, a person becomes discerning (mevín)
  11. Shabbat 156
  12. Crudely translated as "luck" or "fortune," mazal also denotes "constellation," and its root, zal, actually denotes drip or flow; thus mazal denotes the flow of providence and supervision from Hashem, down through the constellations and other devices.
  13. Chayei Moharan #60 says that someone mentioned, in Rebbe Nachman's presence, a document written with golden letters, after which he told this story.
  14. groisser beryeh
  15. `eved, bondservant; "slave;" the bondmaid's husband
  16. la`akor, here meaning to leave one's homeland
  17. 17.0 17.1 a Talmudic expression introducing more than one alternative
  18. Pl. Behemoth, sing. behemah. In essence behemah means "dumb beast" but behemoth usually denotes "cattle" (large or small, e.g. cows or sheep); in other words, quadruped domestic animals, especially of a horned species. Figuratively, behemah denotes a beast as opposed to man. Since it is clear in this story that the behemoth here are symbolic of a person's animalistic desires, and no English word can convey all these meanings, we leave it untranslated here.
  19. Pl. chayoth, sing. chayah. This is the most common general term for "animals" so it could be translated as "animals" or "beasts." In Hebrew, however, chayoth does not usually denote livestock, birds, fish or insects; indeed, sometimes the author refers to chayoth and birds together, as complements, indicating that chayoth in such contexts refers to land animals. In this first occurrence the "chayoth" seem to be wild beasts of the forest; but generally, domestic animals which are not livestock, such as dogs, cats, gerbils, etc. can also be called chayoth. Thus we render it "beasts" or leave it untranslated.
  20. 20.0 20.1 an Aramaic/Talmudic expression
  21. keli, not necessarily a "musical instrument" per se. Keli is synonymous with "tool" or "device" and a musical instrument is a keli-zemer.
  22. 22.0 22.1 Tsayt with a tzaddi — an unusual spelling for "side" which is usually zayt as per Ger. Seite. Translator's note: there is a hint here.
  23. 23.0 23.1 Yid. der melekh vas er iz given, Heb. hamelekh shehayah
  24. Se iz dart given oysgemalt a mensh. It appears from the context that the depiction is a statue, but it also could also be a two-dimensional picture.
  25. me zal im arayn shtelin inveynik in der gartin arayn; veya`amidu oto lifnim betokh hagan hazeh: both phrasings have extra expressions for "inside"
  26. gishlagineh vegin, lit. "beaten paths"
  27. Zaytin here is spelled normally, with a zayin. Heb. is still tzad.
  28. כשהניחו הארון על הפרות התחילו לשורר
  29. Shab. 63a
  30. v. Isa 9:14; Chayei Moharan #272 et al.
  31. see #114.