Wednesday, September 01, 2010
Nine generations ago, the Baal Shem Tov would go to a special place on Rosh Hashana, he would light a fire in a special way, say a special prayer, and as a result the entire world would be blessed.
In the next generation, his successors knew the location of the special place and they knew how to light the fire but they forgot the prayers. So instead, they would pray, "Whatever the Baal Shem Tov achieved here with the fire, we should achieve."
The next generation knew the location but they forgot the rest. So they just stood in the location and said, "Whatever the Baal Shem Tov achieved here, we should achieve."
Today, we have forgotten even the location. So what do we do? We tell the story...
We are asked to do only that which we are capable of. We do not have to be like the giants of the past. We just have to do what is in our power—stand on their shoulders. When we do so we lay claim to everything they achieved plus we add our own small part—and that small part, added to the good deeds of our ancestors, might just be enough to tip the scales and bring redemption.
From Simon Jacobson's "60 DAYS: A Spiritual Guide to the High Holidays".