A Slow Wagon to Shabbos

shabbos

A Slow Wagon to Shabbos

Once the two tzaddikim, Rebbe Yaakov Yosef of Polonoye, the Toldos Yaakov Yosef, and Rebbe Nachman of Horodenka, were travelling to Mezhibuzh to spend Shabbos with the Baal Shem Tov. It was Friday, and they set out from Polonoye with their horse and wagon in time to arrive in Mezhibuzh by midday.

They hadn’t even travelled half the distance, when they saw a regal carriage, trimmed with gold and ivory, and drawn by four white horses. Obviously it was the carriage a wealthy and important individual. It was traveling along the road leisurely, as if Shabbos wasn’t to be expected later in the day. Passing was impossible at this time of year due to the snowdrifts piled high along the both sides of the road. They had no choice but to slow down and to follow behind.

Rebbe Yaakov Yosef became very agitated and began to bemoan the situation, predicting that they would surely have to profane the Shabbos if they wanted to spend Shabbos in Mezhibuzh. Rebbe Nachman however, kept calm, reminding his companion that everything would be okay, and that all that Hashem does is for the best. Moreover, as disciples of the Baal Shem Tov, they had learned that Hashem guides everything that occurs in the world, and therefore their situation was certainly Hashem’s work.

Less than an hour passed before they had to come to a complete stop. Spread out on the road ahead as far as the eye could see was a brigade of Russian soldiers, and they were marching at pace that confirmed that their job was to compact the mud on the road with their feet.

“Now the Rebbe Yaakov Yosef became doubly agitated. Rebbe Nachman assured him that everything in Hashem’s plans are for the ultimate good.”

The commander of the brigade, seeing the regal looking coach coming his way, obviously recognized that a personage of importance was inside and gave orders for the entire company to step aside and make room for the dignitary and his “entourage” to pass. In moments the two tzaddikim, behind the carriage of the dignitary, passed the sea of soldiers, continuing on the road to Mezhibuzh.

A few minutes later they came to a fork in the road. The dignitary in his coach went in one direction, and the Rebbe Yaakov Yosef and Rebbe Nachman the other. Regaining speed, they arrived in Mezhibuzh with ample time to prepare for Shabbos.