You Can Make a Miracle & Find Elijah 

A story is told about a distinguished hassid, a disciple of the Baal Shem Tov, who wanted to see the Prophet Elijah. He had heard that certain mystics and Kabbalists had had this privilege, and he asked the Baal Shem Tov which spiritual exercises in order to merit the same.

 The Baal Shem Tov discouraged him, but the hassid persisted. For months he implored the Baal Shem Tov, yet the great master kept rebuffing him. Finally, a few days before Passover, the Baal Shem Tov acquiesced. He told the hassid that he would help him to meet Elijah, but on one condition – he’d have to carry out his instructions exactly as conveyed, without deviating even one iota. The hassid readily agreed.

 “If you want to see the prophet, this is what you need to do,” the Baal Shem Tov instructed. “Fill up nine boxes with large quantities of food: fish, meat, matzah, wine, etc. Then, on the day before Passover, travel to the neighboring town with all the food you purchased. At the outskirts of the town, at the edge of the forest, there is a dilapidated house.

 Shortly before the holiday begins, knock on the door and ask if they would put you up for the holiday of Passover.”

 With enthusiasm, the disciple followed the instructions of the Baal Shem Tov. He purchased parcels of food and drink, and on the designated day traveled to the impoverished home. He knocked on the door. The woman of the house opened it, and he asked her if he could stay with them for the holiday.

 “How can I welcome you when I don’t have any food in the house?” she cried. “We are a very poor family.”

 “Well, I happen to have plenty of food here with me,” he replied. “I have enough food for all of us.” The woman could not believe her ears and welcomed him into their home, introduced him to her husband and children, and gave him bed to sleep in. Seeing how the entire family was overjoyed, and the children were dancing around, the man guest realized how impoverished they truly were. These poor kids had never seen so much food in their life.

 And the parents were the happiest people in the world, feeling that they could finally celebrate Passover properly, with abundant food, matzah and wine. The hassid spent with them the first two days of Passover, celebrating together. All the while, he was eagerly waiting to see Elijah. But to no avail … Elijah never showed up.

 Frustrated, he returned to the Baal Shem Tov and complained: “I was in that house for two days, but I did not see Elijah! Why did you disappoint me?”

“Did you do everything I told you?” asked the Baal Shem Tov.

 “Yes, I did!” he asserted. “And you didn’t see him?” “No!” “In that case,” said the Baal Shem Tov, “go back to the house for the last days of the holiday, but this time remain outside and just stand near the window, listening.

 The hassid wondered about the meaning of this strange instruction. But he followed orders. He went back to the house. He stood near the window. Inside he heard the following conversation taking place between the wife and the husband: “Sarah,” the husband was saying, “Where do will we get food for the last days of the holiday? I am so concerned.”

 To which his wife responded: “Why are you worried Yankel? Didn’t we see how God send us Elijah during the first days of Passover with all the packages of delicious food? Surely God will send Elijah again for the last days of Passover!”

 And suddenly the man understood what the Baal Shem Tov was telling him. You want to see Elijah? Don’t look for him elsewhere, in the heavens above, or in the holy people living in the mountains or caves.

 No! You want to see Elijah? Fill up nine boxes with food, feed hungry children, then take a good look in the mirror and you will see Elijah! You will see Elijah in yourself.

 So yes, we can all perform miracles. We all have that power. All we need to do is to not be self-consumed … to be sensitive to others and help anyone we can.