Is There A Solution?

The Heilege Yid, our Rabbi Yisroel Ben-Eliezer, the Baal Shem Tov, once confronted a challenging question. A well-known darshan, a preacher, was coming to Medzhibozh. Was he worthy? How could the Chasidim tell? A group gathered and ask him.

“Ask this simple question,” the Baal Shem Tov replied. “Ask him what to do about machshava zara, the distracting thoughts you have when you daven. You have such thoughts, nu?”

“We do,” replied one of the Chasidim, “and we speak of this constantly. Do you mean to say that there’s a solution?”

“No,” replied the Besht. “There is no solution. But if the darshan offers you one, know that he is unworthy.”