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Translation - English Angels At Home
The Maggid of Mezritch, Rabbi Dov Ber wasn’t born a Chassid. Many years passed until he became well acquainted with Chassidut which was founded by Rabbi Yisrael, the holy Baal Shem Tov. Rabbi Dov Ber, the Maggid, heard about how holy the Baal Shem Tov was and decided to visit him.
At that time, before he became one of the great students of the Baal Shem Tov, the Maggid was known as a tremendous Torah scholar and tzaddik, but he still wasn’t familiar with the new way the Baal Shem Tov had founded.
As he entered the Baal Shem Tov’s holy room, the latter presented a very difficult question from the book “Etz Chaim”, one of the deepest and most complex books in Kabbalah. The Maggid, who was a great Torah scholar, answered the question immediately and with great elaboration. The Baal Shem Tov responded that his explanation wasn’t enough.
The Maggid was surprised. He thought about the question once again and offered the same explanation. “…In my opinion, this is the explanation to your difficult question,” said the Maggid in a most definitive tone of voice. “On the contrary, if there is another explanation, the Rebbe should agree to resolve the question as he thinks it should be resolved…”
At that point the Bal Shem Tov began learning with the Maggid once again the book “Etz Chaim” in his unique and holy way with great life and enthusiasm, to the extent that when the Baal Shem read the word “angel”, the room suddenly became filled with angels that were created as a result of the learning. The Maggid saw all the angels and “unions” mentioned in the book that were created and filled up the entire house.
When the Baal Shem Tov finished the learning session he smiled at the Maggid and said, “The explanation you offered before was in fact correct…However, since at the time of your learning you didn’t use all of your abilities, nor did you learn with great enthusiasm, nor did you try your utmost, your learning wasn’t up to par. This is the reason why I said that your explanation wasn’t correct…”
“…When a person learns Torah with great enthusiasm, utilizing all of his talents and abilities with his entire mind and heart, then we can say that his Torah learning is proper. Only then can we say that your explanation was correct,” concluded the Baal Shem Tov.
The Maggid was so impressed with his awesome holiness and penetrating words that he on the spot decided to constantly be in the holy Baal Shem Tov’s holy presence and be one of his students.
A spirit comes in the Rebbe’s presence
Once the Alter Rebbe was sitting with a few of his friends, tzaddikim, “people of spiritual distinction”.
As they were sitting, a man who had a spirit in him, Heaven forefend, was brought in.
Someone else’s soul, Heaven forefend, entered his body.
His suffering was unimaginable. He was in terrible pain, petrified and under extreme duress.
His relatives, those who brought him to the Alter Rebbe to exorcise the spirit, didn’t know what to do.
Zechariah the Prophet warns the sinners
The Alter Rebbe saw the man with the frantic spirit, the “dibuk”. He began telling a story that happened in the times of the first Temple.
“…The story took place when the Temple was standing. Yoash acted as king of the Kingdom of Yehudah. At the time the Jewish nation was sinning to Hashem and got involved with idol worship. Hashem sent Zechariah the Prophet to warn the Jews not to continue their evils actions and sins...”
“…Zechariah stood in the courtyard of the Beit Hamikdash warning the Jews not to sin and commit evil deeds. His approach was very tough. He began enumerating the punishments that await them if they continue on their disastrous and evil path. A number of people who were standing there at the time got very angry. “How dare he come and threaten the Jewish nation?”
“…What did those people do? They took big heavy rocks and started stoning him. He was fatally injured…… Zechariah the Prophet was murdered in the Temple.”
The murderers risk their lives to stop the prophesy
The Alter Rebbe concluded the story and continued with an amazing explanation. “Everyone is under the impression that those people who murdered Zechariah the Prophet were evil. But the truth of the matter is,” the Rebbe explained, “that these people were great tzaddikim. They had a very important motive why they murdered Zechariah the Prophet.”
The Alter Rebbe explained what he meant…… “When a prophet receives prophesy he must disclose, it makes a difference if it was already disclosed. If until now it wasn’t disclosed, it’s not certain that the prophesy will be actualized.
The prophesy could in fact change……”
“If, however, the prophet already told the prophesy to someone, the prophesy will then come true and it will be very difficult to change it.”
“These people”, the Alter Rebbe continued speaking, “…heard what Zechariah the Prophet said, about the punishments the Jews were soon to get if they continue in their evil ways. Therefore they decided to risk their own lives by murdering Zechariah the Prophet in order that he will not continue disclosing his prophesy. By doing so, they would prevent the prophesy from materializing!!!...”
“…They knew quite well that by killing Zechariah the Prophet they would get the death penalty and would lose this world and the world to come. Still, they risked their own lives in order that Zechariah the Prophet’s prophesy wouldn’t be actualized…”
Why didn’t Zechariah himself refrain from disclosing his prophesy?
“Apparently”, the Alter Rebbe continued speaking, “Zechariah the Prophet was aware that prophesy that was disclosed to others is impossible to change. Being that the case, why did he insist upon continuing with the prophesy? He knew that if others became aware of it, it would certainly come true, Heaven forefend?!”
…If Zechariah the Prophet chose to relate prophesy to others because otherwise he would deserve the death penalty, why didn’t he risk his own life? Why did he negate the option of the death penalty and instead chose to disclose his own prophesy?...
…These people in the courtyard that killed him risked their lives. They knew that my murdering him, they themselves would deserve the death penalty. Still, they risked their lives in order to prevent him from disclosing his prophesy…
...That being the case, why didn’t Zechariah the Prophet also risk his life to prevent himself from revealing the prophesy?!!!...”
An edgy kind of silence pervaded. Those present were looking at the Rebbe, anxiously waiting for an explanation……
“Zechariah was a prophet”, the Rebbe said. “A prophet’s own existence is irrelevant. His whole reason for existence is to deliver the prophesy. Therefore, when Hashem commanded him to disclose the prophesy, it wasn’t possible for him to withhold it. His sole reason for existence is to reveal Hashem’s message to us and that’s it. He is not a person for himself. His existence is irrelevant……
“…However, a prophet is the only one not allowed to withhold his prophesy. In contrast, the people in the courtyard of the Temple were able to stop him from divulging his prophesy. They prevented him by killed him. By doing so, he would not continue revealing the harsh prophesy that would have otherwise caused much damage to the Jewish nation…”
Who was the spirit?
As the Alter Rebbe finished speaking, the “spirit” left the other person’s body. The Alter Rebbe noticed this and said, “The spirit that murdered Zechariah the Prophet wasn’t able to find a “correction” for such a horrendous act for these past thousands of years. Therefore the spirit entered this man’s body. By hearing a reason justifying Zechariah the Prophet’s murder, the spirit found the “correction” it was looking for. At that moment, the spirit left the man’s body.
Years of experience: 27. Registered at ProZ.com: May 2007.
I became a professional translator from Hebrew to English when I came to Israel in 1993. I was able to adopt quickly to the profession because I was educated in our school system with both languages. Even though I grew u in America speaking English, I would also speak to my friends in school in Hebrew on a daily basis. I also have a professional background in education since the early1980's. I would ofen use both languages as part of my teaching experience.
Keywords: professional Hebrew to English translator