When the founder of modern Hasidism, the Baal Shem Tov, saw misfortune threatening the Jews, it was his custom to go into a certain part of the forest to meditate. There he would light a special fire, say a special prayer, and the trouble would be averted.

Later, when his disciple, the Rabbi Maggid of Mezritch, had occasion for the same reason to intercede with heaven, he would go to the same place in the forest and say: "Master of the Universe, listen! I cannot light the fire, but I know the place and I can say the prayer."

Still later, Rabbi Moshe-Leib of Sasov, in order to save the Jewish people, would go into the forest and say: "I cannot light the fire, I do not know the prayer, but I know the place."

Then it fell to Rabbi Israel of Rizhyn to overcome misfortune. Sitting in his house, his head in his hands, he spoke to God: "I am unable to light the fire and I do not know the prayer; I cannot even find the place in the forest. All I can do is tell the story, and this must be sufficient." And it was sufficient.

haggadah Section: Maggid - Beginning