A Legend of Greatness: The Maggid of Mezritch
The path that brought him to the Baal Shem Tov and to Chassidus is an intriguing story all of its own. The miraculous tales involving Reb Yisrael, the holy Baal Shem Tov, seemed to have wings and news of the legendary wonder-worker spread throughout the continent. The Maggid’s wife brought these tales to her husband, in her attempts to persuade him to travel to the Tzaddik and perhaps find a cure for his foot ailments that bothered him persistently. The Maggid, on his part, was not overtaken by these stories at all, maintaining that they were mere exaggerations; however his wife’s unceasing entreaties finally brought him to the door of the Baal Shem Tov. From here on, the close bond forged between the two became history, as the Maggid saw in the Baal Shem Tov a saintly teacher and the Baal Shem Tov perceived in the Maggid a disciple who would become his successor, continuing his lifetime’s work.