A Classic Simchas Torah Story
(Painting by Shoshannah Brombacher)
Excerpt from BaalShemTov.com:
And then there was the time that the Simchas Torah festivities were taking place in Medzibush. Simchas Torah at the Baal Shem Tov’s shul was an unforgettable experience. On this one day of the year, the Chassidim got so carried away with fervent dancing and drinking, that they were transported to other worlds. Even one such experience in the Baal Shem Tov’s shul was cherished for a lifetime.
On one particular year, the joy was more pronounced than ever before. The Chassidim danced in a circle carrying the Torahs hour after hour. They actually felt the presence of the Shechina in their midst.
After several hours, Reb Yaakov had to stop dancing because his shoe tore apart. He was miserable. It was just not the same looking on as being within the circle of Chassidim. Besides being his only pair of shoes, he was well aware that he would not be able to afford a new pair of shoes.
The Baal Shem Tov’s daughter Adel noticed Reb Yaakov sitting at the side of the room, saw his torn shoes, and understood the situation. She went over to Reb Yaakov and said, “If you promise me a son by next year, I will bring you a new pair of shoes.”
While such a promise would not normally be easily given, the Chassidim close to the Baal Shem Tov possessed powers similar to those of their Rebbe. After thinking for a few minutes, Reb Yaakov promised The Baal Shem Tov’s married daughter Adel that she would bear a son by the next year. She immediately brought him a pair of shoes. He put the shoes on and lost no time in joining his friends.
By the following year, Reb Boruch, the Baal Shem Tov’s grandson, was born to Adel and her husband Yechiel Ashkenazi.
And so it was.