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The Cellar
Once, the holy Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov was visiting a householder. While going from one room to another room, he “inadvertently” opened the door to a cellar. Suddenly, he pulled his hand back just before touching the Mezuzah on the door post with his finger tips. (Note: it is a universal custom to touch the mezuzah and then kiss the finger tips.)

Rabbi Israel said: “This mezuzah should be checked.” (Mezuzahs need to be checked every few years because the inked letters can break or peel off, even just slightly, rendering the mezuzah posul (invalid).) The householder accompanying the holy Rabbi said: “Just because you opened the wrong door, doesn’t mean that there must be a reason like the Mezuzah needs to be checked.”

The Baal Shem Tov replied: “By me, there is no such thing as a mistake.”

Freely adapted by Tzvi Meir HaCohane (Howard M. Cohn, Patent Attorney)
© Baal Shem Tov Foundation 2003-2005

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