"In the Footsteps of the Ba'al Shem Tov" is a wonderful new exhibition that just opened at the Jewish National and University Library in Jerusalem, at the Givat Ram campus.
It marks 250 years since the death of the Ba'al Shem Tov, the great mystic considered the founder of Hasidic Judaism, and 200 years since the passing of his great-grandson, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov.
For James' Weekend Reflections there is something reflected in this copy of Rabbi Nachman's kiddush cup.
And a man followed by a boy, walking outside, are reflected in duplicate in (and by?) the display case.
With a bit of reflection under it, this is a faithful copy of the original chair of Reb Nachman which was carved in about 1808.
For the amazing story of how it was saved from destruction, please see
It is told that shortly after the shohet of Teplik (in the Ukraine) finished carving the chair and presented it to Nachman as a gift, that night Reb Nachman dreamed (or had a vision) that someone brought him a throne, surrounded by fire.
Everyone, men, women, and children, came to see it. Engraved on that throne were all the world's creatures, along with their mates.
And as the people turned to go, bonds were formed between them and marriages were arranged at once, for each had been able to find his mate.
And in the dream Reb Nachman sat down on the chair, and all at once he found himself flying through the heavens, and before him he saw Jerusalem, glowing like a jewel in the distance. It was indescribably beautiful, and as he approached it, he woke up.
. . . And they told him he would be a matchmaker.