The Candle from Nowhere

The Alter of Novorodok was once studying bitachon. As an exercise, he went to a hut that he had in the forest and intentionally did not bring a candle*. He sat there learning knowing that it would get dark and he had no way at all of getting any light. The Alter remained in the hut as night fell, leaving the hut completely dark.

After a short while, a man whom the Alter had never seen before arrived at the door of the hut holding a candle! Without a word, the man handed over the candle and hurried off into the forest.

The Alter never found out the identity of the man.

This was the strength of his bitachon, even in a situation where he didn’t need to have bitachon, he knew that bitachon would help anyways.

Bitachon helps in any situation, at any time. and for anything.

As a postscript to the story: The Alter held on to the stub of this candle as a reminder of the power of bitachon. One day, there was a fire that destroyed the Alter’s home, including the candle. His family was very distraught at the loss of the candle stub which meant a lot to them.

The Alter told them, “Until now, we needed the candle to help us with bitachon. It must be that now we reached a level where we no longer require a reminder.”

* There is a slightly different version of this story that is recorded by the Steipeler, however this is the way it is presented in the Alter’s sefer and how it was passed down in the family.

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