a story03 Oct 2011
"When Rabbi Israel Baal Shem-Tov saw misfortune threatening, it was his custom to go into a certain part of the forest to meditate. There he would light a fire, say a special prayer, and the miracle would be accomplished and misfortune averted. When his disciple, Magid of Mezritch, had occasion to intercede with heaven, he would go to the same place in the forest and say, "Master of the Universe, listen! I do not know how to light the fire, but I am still able to say the prayer.” Again, the miracle would be accomplished. Later, Rabbi Moshe-Leib of Sasov, in order to save the people, would go into the forest and say, “I do not know how to light the fire. I do not know the prayer, but I know the place and this must be sufficient.” Then it fell to Rabbi Israel of Rizhyn to overcome misfortune. Sitting in his armchair, head in his hands, he spoke to God: “I am unable to light the fire. I do not know the prayer. I cannot find the place in the forest. All I can do is tell the story, and this must be sufficient.” And it was sufficient. God made man because He loves stories." -Eli Wiesel, from "The Gates of the Forest"