The Virtue Of Those Common Flowers

[A pendant to this post.]


“That night we were just in time. One more so small child was missing, and we find it, thank God, unharmed amongst the graves. Yesterday I came here before sundown, for at sundown the Un-Dead can move. I waited here all the night till the sun rose, but I saw nothing. It was most probable that it was because I had laid over the clamps of those doors garlic, which the Un-Dead cannot bear, and other things which they shun.1

We resumed our places, and Dr. Van Helsing went on with a sort of cheerfulness which showed that the serious work had begun. It was to be taken as gravely, and in as businesslike a way, as any other transaction of life:—

“Well, you know what we have to contend against; but we, too, are not without strength. We have on our side power of combination—a power denied to the vampire kind; we have sources of science; we are free to act and think; and the hours of the day and the night are ours equally. In fact, so far as our powers extend, they are unfettered, and we are free to use them. We have self-devotion in a cause, and an end to achieve which is not a selfish one. These things are much.

“Now let us see how far the general powers arrayed against us are restrict, and how the individual cannot. In fine, let us consider the limitations of the vampire in general, and of this one in particular.

“All we have to go upon are traditions and superstitions. These do not at the first appear much, when the matter is one of life and death—nay of more than either life or death. Yet must we be satisfied; in the first place because we have to be—no other means is at our control—and secondly, because, after all, these things—tradition and superstition—are everything. Does not the belief in vampires rest for others—though not, alas! for us—on them? A year ago which of us would have received such a possibility, in the midst of our scientific, sceptical, matter-of-fact nineteenth century? We even scouted a belief that we saw justified under our very eyes. Take it, then, that the vampire, and the belief in his limitations and his cure, rest for the moment on the same base. For, let me tell you, he is known everywhere that men have been. In old Greece, in old Rome; he flourish in Germany all over, in France, in India, even in the Chernosese; and in China, so far from us in all ways, there even is he, and the peoples fear him at this day. He have follow the wake of the berserker Icelander, the devil-begotten Hun, the Slav, the Saxon, the Magyar. So far, then, we have all we may act upon; and let me tell you that very much of the beliefs are justified by what we have seen in our own so unhappy experience. The vampire live on, and cannot die by mere passing of the time; he can flourish when that he can fatten on the blood of the living. Even more, we have seen amongst us that he can even grow younger; that his vital faculties grow strenuous, and seem as though they refresh themselves when his special pabulum is plenty. But he cannot flourish without this diet; he eat not as others. … It is said, too, that he can only pass running water at the slack or the flood of the tide. Then there are things which so afflict him that he has no power, as the garlic that we know of; and as for things sacred, as this symbol, my crucifix, that was amongst us even now when we resolve, to them he is nothing, but in their presence he take his place far off and silent with respect. There are others, too, which I shall tell you of, lest in our seeking we may need them. The branch of wild rose on his coffin keep him that he move not from it; a sacred bullet fired into the coffin kill him so that he be true dead; and as for the stake through him, we know already of its peace; or the cut-off head that giveth rest. We have seen it with our eyes.2

“My friends, we are going into a terrible danger, and we need arms of many kinds. Our enemy is not merely spiritual. Remember that he has the strength of twenty men, and that, though our necks or our windpipes are of the common kind—and therefore breakable or crushable—his are not amenable to mere strength. A stronger man, or a body of men more strong in all than him, can at certain times hold him; but they cannot hurt him as we can be hurt by him. We must, therefore, guard ourselves from his touch. Keep this near your heart”—as he spoke he lifted a little silver crucifix and held it out to me, I being nearest to him—“put these flowers round your neck”—here he handed to me a wreath of withered garlic blossoms—“for other enemies more mundane, this revolver and this knife; …3


Undead and garlic

All undead dislike garlic, not only V vampires . Garlic has the following effects:

  • If you polymorph into an undead monster, then eating garlic will make you “feel incredibly sick” and cause you to vomit.
  • If you wield a clove of garlic, and use it to attack undead, it will cause them to flee for a moment. The same should happen if you throw garlic at them, but it must hit.
  • No undead except ghosts and shades will enter a square with a clove of garlic on it.
  • Undead pets will not eat garlic. Currently there are no herbivorous or omnivorous undead who might have eaten garlic in any case.4

Tidsskrift for Den norske legeforening – Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association

Vampires are feared everywhere, but the Balkan region has been especially haunted. Garlic has been regarded as an effective prophylactic against vampires. We wanted to explore this alleged effect experimentally. Owing to the lack of vampires, we used leeches instead. In strictly standardized research surroundings, the leeches were to attach themselves to either a hand smeared with garlic or to a clean hand. The garlic-smeared hand was preferred in two out of three cases (95% confidence interval 50.4% to 80.4%). When they preferred the garlic the leeches used only 14.9 seconds to attach themselves, compared with 44.9 seconds when going to the non-garlic hand (p < 0.05). The traditional belief that garlic has prophylactic properties is probably wrong. The reverse may in fact be true. This study indicates that garlic possibly attracts vampires. Therefore to avoid a Balkan-like development in Norway, restrictions on the use of garlic should be considered.5)

On the morning of this past Isru Hag Tishah Be’Av, my friend M.W. and I exchanged queries that had been posed to us on the nexus between prayer and the learning of Torah on Tishah Be’Av. He had been asked the fairly well discussed question of Psalms,6 while I had gotten the more obscure one of the שש זכירות.‎7 I showed him the relevant discussions in the נטעי גבריאל, and this, along with my prior references to the work in the context of other Nine Days’ discussions (including the shaving of legs and eyebrows8), prompted his observation of my apparent fondness for the work.

“Well,” I responded, “while the truth is that there are certainly other works that one can turn to for these sorts of questions, the נטעי גבריאל is likely unique in being a reliable resource for potentially valuable and useful information on questions such as Judaism’s stance on the power of garlic to ward off the undead.9

The primary Jewish reference to the belief appears in the eighteenth century Kabbalistic-ethical work שער המלך:

והנה מנהג ישראל שיהיה אצל כל אחד שום כשהולכין לבית הקברות ומשליכין שם על הקברים כל מנהג ישראל תורה היא

ויש ליתן טעם כי האריז”ל כתב שאין לילך על הקברות מחמת שמתלווים ומתדבקים אליו החיצונים: בשאר ימות השנה אין אדם הולך בלא מצוה ובלא תורה אם אינו לומד תורה מהרהר בדברי תורה בזה מבריח החיצונים שלא יתלוו אליו ובתשעה באב שהוא הולך ערום ויחף בלי מצות ובלי תורה מחמת האבילות שאסור להרהר בדברי תורה ויש חשש שלא יתלוו אליו ח”ו וסגולה היא ומרגלא בפומי דאנשי שהשום דהיינו ריח השום הוא גם כן מבריח החיצונים לכן נוהגין מנהג זה

והא שמשליכין שם על הקברים שיהא לסימן להנפשות המרחפים על הקברים ולפעמים המה בפמליא של מעלה כמו שמצינו במסכת ברכות במעשה דשמואל שאזל לחצר מות ואבוהו דשמואל היה נפשו בעת הזאת בפמליא של מעלה לכן משליכין שם השום כדי שיהא לסימן שיכירו הנפשות שהיו שם החיים לבקש לבל יהיו כמתים וכאשר יראו המתים שום היתומים שפחתו והותירו מעט מהרבה יבקשו רחמים עליהם

וגם שום הוא לשון שום ושממון ועד מתי יהיה השום והשמ[מ]ון בארצינו10

A century later, R. Avraham Bik tell us that throwing garlic on the graves was customary in Poland. We have seen that the שער המלך is moderately defensive about the custom (feeling it necessary to remind us that “every custom of Israel is Torah”); R. Bik admits that “gedolim mocked it”, although he, too, defends it, albeit without reference to its alleged proof against the undead:

וזה דרכי בספרי הזה. לרמוז בכתובים דברי חכמים במדרש והלכה וגם מנהגי ישראל כי המה תורה ואין להלעיג עליהם …

וגם מנהג של מדינות פולין שזורקים שומים על הקברות בימים שמקיפים אותם אשר גדולים שחקו עליו לפי דעתי נבנה על דברי חז”ל בשבת קנ”ב שמי שאין לו קנאה אין עצמותיו מרקיבים ובשום אמרו בבבא קמא פב. שמכניס אהבה ומוציא קנאה כי כן ירמזו שהתופס במדה זו בקבר יצליח:11

R. Bik was sufficiently proud of his justification that he reportedly presented it to Rav Yosef Shaul Nathanson when they visited a cemetery together one Tishah Be’Av. [Unfortunately, we are not told of R. Nathanson’s reaction, or his opinion on the custom in general.]:

ואמר לי [ר’ ביק] .. בחורף תרנ”ה, שאמר זאת להגאון ר’ יוסף שאול ז”ל בעת הלך עמו בתשעה באב על בית הקברות.12

  1. Dracula, Chapter XVI – link. []
  2. Ibid., Chapter XVIII – link. []
  3. Ibid., Chapter XIX – link. []
  4. Nethack Wiki contributors, ‘Clove of garlic’, Nethack Wiki, [accessed 30 September 2013]. []
  5. Sandvik H, Baerheim A, Does garlic protect against vampires? An experimental study, in Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen, 1994 Dec 10;114(30):3583-6 – link (h/t: io9). []
  6. נטעי גבריאל, הלכות בין המצרים, חלק ב’ פרק ע”ה סעיף כ”ב – קשר []
  7. שם פרק ס”ב סעיף ד’ – קשר []
  8. שם פרק י”ט סעיף ו’ והערה י’ – קשר []
  9. שם פרק פ’ הערה א’ ד”ה ובספר שער המלך – קשר []
  10. שער המלך (ר’ מרדכי בן שמואל, אב”ד ווייעלקאטש: גרודנו ה’תקע”ו) שער ד’ ראש חודש ותשעה באב פרק י’ שער המלך עמוד קיב: ד”ה הרי לפי זה – קשר []
  11. בכורי אביב (ביק: לבוב ה’תרל”ג) הקדמת המחבר – קשר []
  12. שו”ת שיח יצחק או”ח סימן קמ”ט []

Judaism on Jihad

From a recent profile of the very brave, or very foolish, Faizan Peerzada, a Pakistani Muslim theater promoter whose operations have been the target of multiple bombings:

Faizan Peerzada seems to derive some of the strength to function in this security environment from his spirituality, which is suffused with mystical Muslim traditions. He is inspired by a peaceful interpretation of “the concept of Jihad from Prophet Muhammad’s very important speech out of Mecca, when Mecca was won. There were men and women together receiving the Prophet.” This coed welcome was not the only thing today’s Islamists might not approve of. According to Faizan, it was accompanied by music and dance. “And then in celebration the body movement, and in celebration you’re able to clap. In celebration you’re able to play the duff, you can play nay,” he says, referencing respectively the percussion instrument and the reed flute played for centuries across a wide swath of South Asia and the Middle East.

When I Google the names of these instruments, I find that a range of self-proclaimed cyber-imams have condemned them. instructs readers that “learning to give up listening to music is very difficult. It is truly a jihad. You may not be able to go ‘cold turkey.’” Moreover, the singing that often goes along with the duff is only halal—the Muslim version of kosher—“if it is done in a halal setting.” People should not listen to these instruments, or sing or dance along with them, in mixed gatherings. There should be no alcohol or other haram behavior. (Haram means sinful, a notion wielded by fundamentalists everywhere.) Except for the alcohol, which is banned in Pakistan, Rafi Peer events defy all these pseudodiktats. What is life without a little haram behavior?

Meanwhile, a few weeks before I meet Faizan Peerzada in Lahore, the Muslim Salvation Organization posts the even-harder-line view of a Mufti Ebrahim Desai from’s fatwa department who claims that “[t]he use of the drum as a musical instrument is expressly forbidden. . . .” Apparently percussion is not permissible but an online fatwa department is.

In any case, the kitschy prohibitions decreed by these Internet imams have nothing to do with how Faizan interprets or lives his Islam. Dancing right in his chair, and playing air duff and nay to illustrate his story, he recounts: “All these things were present at the fall of Mecca, when Prophet comes down from the camel.” From that moment in Islamic history, Faizan sketches a tolerant, humanist Islam. “The first thing the Prophet Muhammad says is, ‘The smaller jihad is over today. Now begins the biggest Jihad.’ To fight with yourself to be a good human being. Your neighbor on the right and left must eat before you, as simple as that.”

The emphasized idea is much discussed in the Islamic tradition; Dr. Seyed Mostafa Azmayesh’s The Truth on Jihad:

The jihad’s objective is to fight the “Nafs”. In fact, nafs does not really mean “soul” but rather “ego”, the part of each of us that bears the instinctive drives where inhumanity, obscurantism and ignorance originate. Nafs is the most primitive aspect of the human being that corresponds to the reptilian brain. Generally man lingers within the law of the jungle under the pressure of the nafs. Nafs goes against everything that pertains to the divine spirit. The Persian mystic poet of the sixth century of the Hegira, Attar, compares the nafs and its characteristics to a jungle prevailed upon by different animals such as the wolf of savagery, the fox of guile, the bear of sexuality, the tiger of aggressiveness, the snake, the bat, the scorpion, etc. It is incumbent upon the Believer to fight all these animals to turn the jungle of his personality into a garden of flowers and perfumes. The famous seventh century Persian mystic poet Mowlana of Balkh -known in the West as Rûmi- compares the nafs to a dragon endowed with seven hundred heads, each raised between heaven and earth. The prophets come on behalf of God to call men to wake up from the sleep of self-centeredness and to identify the source of danger concealed within themselves. …

The prophets’ first call to their addressees is to initiate a jihad, because this supreme effort opens the way to perfection: a jihad against one’s own ego, because our own nafs is each of us’ harshest enemy, and as long as we do not manage to conquer our nafs, we cannot develop the latent capacities that hide within us. Distinction between Jihads The Fogaha (Doctors in Islamic Law) have therefore distinguished in the Sunna (i.e. the Muslim tradition) three kinds of jihad, namely: 1. the biggest jihad (“jihad to al-akbar”), or that against the internal enemy; 2. the smallest jihad (“jihad al-asgar”), or that against the outside enemy to defend the religion; and 3. the noblest jihad (“jihad al-afdal”). The latter means: “saying the truth in front of an oppressor.” (Hadith quoted by Muslim and Bokhari). One particular event that took place during the wars of Islam’s early days clarifies the importance of the evolutionary and spiritual meaning of jihad. One day, after an army from a heathen tribe attacked the Prophet and his followers. Muslims organized resistance from their defensive positions and won the battle. After the enemy’s retreat, the Prophet, upon finding Muslims very satisfied with their efforts and their victory, threw out at them: “We now return from this small battle to the big battle and engage into the biggest jihad.” (“farajénâ ménal jihad alasgar elâ aldjihad alakbar”) (Hadith quoted by Muslim and Bokhari and quoted by Mowlana in Maçnawi, 5:1). Understandably, these words shocked the Muslims who retorted: “But this is the most mortal enemy we ever defeated!” Muhammad then replied: “No, your biggest enemy dwells within each one of you; each must fight one’s own ego.” (“à’dâ àdovokom alnafs allati baina djanbeikom”). Mowlana of Balkh remarks on this case: “Consider as little brave a lion who bores the ranks of the enemies; consider as the real lion the one who subjugates himself” (Maçnawi, 5:1, p. 38).

The kooky, anti-Semitic truther Nashid Abdul-Khaaliq’s take:

Jihad is a term that is VERY much misunderstood in the West and also by MANY Muslims themselves. The first thing that comes to the mind of westerners is the picture of Muslim terrorists senselessly striking out against the West with blind hate in some IDEA of a holy war. But in reality, there is no such concept in the religion of Al-Islam. …

Few have actually looked into what Jihad truly means for Muslims, nor the historical record of Jihad in Al-Islam and the actual Arabic meaning of the word Jihad. It should be noted that Muslims apply two ASPECTS to the word Jihad. One Jihad is what is called the little Jihad and the other is called the big Jihad. The little Jihad is the reverse of what the western world will call little. The little Jihad according to Al-Islam includes fighting physical wars. It refers to the exterior battle waged against others to defend the Muslims and protect the teachings of Al-Islam. The BIG or greater Jihad is “self government” or the struggle that every human being must fight against the forces of evil within themselves. The struggle against greed, selfishness, arrogance, hatred, anger, envy, falsehood and other human weaknesses that each human being must battle is referred to as the big Jihad in Al-Islam. This big Jihad is considered to be vastly more important than the little Jihad of fighting against others in a war.

This seems odd that the individual struggle that one makes against the “weaknesses and demons” one may find within oneself is considered vastly more important than the external wars fought against enemies attacking a nation. The natural question to ask is why? Why is the struggle against the weaknesses of myself considered to be a greater struggle than fighting an external enemy who might be attacking my whole nation? Before answering this question I want to give a short background of where the reference to little Jihad and big Jihad came from. It has to do with the history of Al-Islam involving one of the battles fought by the Prophet of Al-Islam (saaw) against the pagans of Makkah:

When the Islamic community had just established itself in the city of Medina north of present-day Makkah, the Makkans were still not Muslims. They tried to attack the people of Medina and destroy the early Islamic community. The Battle of Badr was fought, in which the Muslims, although a much smaller number, were victorious and were able to defend themselves. So, the Muslims were very happy. When they were coming back to the city, the Prophet said to those around him – “You have now come back from the smaller Jihad.” And they were all surprised. What could be greater than having gained this victory which would protect the early Islamic community? They asked, “What is the greater Jihad?” He said, “To fight against one’s inner passions, against the evil tendencies within oneself.” So, human beings should always be in an inner Jihad to better themselves, to overcome the infirmities and imperfections of our inner soul.

So the Prophet (saaw) himself gave the true definitions for the smaller and greater Jihad. By defining Jihad this way he identified exactly where the real problem lies. Wars, struggles, battles, discord, etc., are not things that come into being from a vacuum. They are not self created entities that have nothing to do with the hearts of men. No, the seeds of wars, conflicts and struggle are born in the hearts, in the minds and in the thinking of human beings. It may be one person or several persons but that seed is then planted in many other human beings and as a result wars and struggle break out. Any doctor will tell you that in order to really cure a disease it is better to treat the cause of the disease, the root, not just the symptoms. …

As we shall discuss below, the earliest documented source of this hadith is apparently the Ta’rikh Baghdad by the eleventh century Sunni Muslim scholar and historian “Abu Bakr Ahmad ibn `Ali ibn Thabit ibn Ahmad ibn Mahdi al-Shafi`i, commonly known as al-Khatib al-Baghdadi (Arabic: الخطيب البغدادي‎) or the lecturer from Baghdad”; remarkably, the story appears in an almost exactly contemporary work, Rav Bahya ibn Pakuda’s great classic חובות הלבבות, where the protagonist is described as a “חסיד”:

ואמרו על חסיד, שפגע אנשים שבים ממלחמת אויבים, ושללו שלל אחר מלחמה חזקה, אמר להם: שבתם מן המלחמה הקטנה שוללים שלל, התעתדו למלחמה גדולה. אמרו לו: ומה היא המלחמה הגדולה? אמר להם: מלחמת היצר וחייליו.1

R. Bahya’s significant indebtedness to Islamic sources is well known:

For all the attention Jewish pietists in medieval Christendom (and their followers and successors down to the present) have lavished upon Bahya ibn Paquda and the twelfth century Hebrew translation (Hovot ha-levavot by Judah ibn Tibbon) of his Duties of the Heart (Al-Hidaaya ilaa faraa’id al-quluub), one would scarcely know Bahya as an eleventh century Andalusi Jew, devotional poet, and rabbinic judge who wrote in Arabic. Diana Lobel’s A Sufi-Jewish Dialogue: Philosophy and Mysticism in Bahya ibn Paquda’s Duties of the Heart rescues Bahya from the seemingly exclusive place his Franco- German admirers reserved for him in translation and outside his own cultural milieu.

As the title of her book indicates, Lobel identifies Bahya as a characteristic Jewish religious intellectual in a Muslim society who found himself in deep conversation with Islamic thought and its religious sensibility. Her analysis of the contours of a Sufi-Jewish dialogue thus speaks to Bahya’s own inner dialogue between the devotee of Islamic mysticism on the one hand and the Jewish traditionalist on the other as much as it provides evidence of the Jews’ close encounters with Sufi terminology and concepts under the orbit of Islam. Lobel’s subtitle is also instructive: it signals that for Bahya and others like him such as Solomon ibn Gabirol (also associated with 11th century Saragossa) philosophy and mysticism did not represent completely distinct paths for making sense of the world and the individual’s place in it in relation to God. Rather mysticism and philosophy are seen as continuously rubbing up against one another, interacting dialectically and ultimately overlapping. …

Lobel’s Ibn Paquda is himself steeped in competing and overlapping intellectual traditions. Although he too is immersed in his sources, Bahya’s unique contribution to Jewish thought lies in the creative uses to which he puts his Jewish and Muslim predecessors and contemporaries in interpreting biblical and rabbinic materials. For example, Lobel identifies the complex ways in which Bahya harkens back to select elements of Sacadia Gaon’s (10th century) Muctazila-inspired dialectical theology and anticipates Moses Maimonides’ (12th century) views on the necessity yet limitations of an intellectual approach to knowing, serving and loving God. So too Ibn Pauqda’s emphasis on the significance of direct religious experience, awareness of divine presence, and the mutuality governing the relationship between believer and God (the individual’s love of God and God’s love for the individual) lays the groundwork for much of Judah Halevi’s devotional orientation. At the same time Lobel shows how Ibn Paquda draws freely upon the sources of various classic Sufi masters such as Sulami, Abuu Nucaym, Qurayshii, and Muhaasibii. Citing a critical insight of Sarah Stroumsa, Lobel shows that it was precisely Ibn Paquda’s situation as a Jewish outsider that enabled him to develop an eclectic approach to religious thought, to cite Muslim sources of various schools and spiritual and intellectual orientations selectively, and to adopt terms and concepts with discrimination for his own particular purposes.

The anecdote is picked up by R. Yeshayah Ha’Levi Horowitz in his שני לוחות הברית (where the חסיד is transmuted into a philosopher):

וילחם עם יצרו, שזוהי המלחמה גדולה, כמאמר הפילוסוף שפגע באנשי חיל שכבשו מלחמה גדולה, אמר להם כבשתם מלחמה קטנה ולא כבשתם מלחמה הגדולה, היא מלחמת אדם עם יצרו, שזו המלחמה אינה פוסקת ועל זה אמר איזה גבור הכובש את יצרו2

But while in Judaism, this is quite an unexceptionable notion – after all, as the של”ה notes, the idea is already present in פרקי אבות – Islam is another story entirely, with many considering the very idea that there can be anything greater than the slaughter of infidels dubious or even heretical:


In his work, The History of Baghdad, Al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, an 11th-century Islamic scholar, referenced a statement by the companion of Muhammad Jabir ibn Abd-Allah. The reference stated that Jabir said, “The Prophet… returned from one of his battles, and thereupon told us, ‘You have arrived with an excellent arrival, you have come from the Lesser Jihad to the Greater Jihad—the striving of a servant (of Allah) against his desires (holy war).” This reference gave rise to the distinguishing of two forms of jihad: “greater” and “lesser”. Some Islamic scholars dispute the authenticity of this reference and consider the meaning of jihad as a holy war to be more important.

According to the Muslim Jurist Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, the quote in which Muhammad is reported to have said that greater Jihad is the inner struggle, is from an unreliable source:

“This saying is widespread and it is a saying by Ibrahim ibn Ablah according to Nisa’i in al-Kuna. Ghazali mentions it in the Ihya’ and al-`Iraqi said that Bayhaqi related it on the authority of Jabir and said: There is weakness in its chain of transmission.” Hajar al Asqalani, Tasdid al-qaws, see also Kashf al-Khafaa’ (no.1362)

Sh. G. F. Haddad

The “Greater Jihad” hadith comes to us

  • marfu` (as a Prophetic saying),
  • mawquf (as a Companion-saying), and
  • maqtu` (as a Tabi`i-saying or later).

I. Marfu`

As a Prophetic saying this hadith has two similar wordings from Jabir:

1. “Some troops came back from an expedition and went to see the Messenger of Allah MHMD sallallahu `alayhi wa-Sallam. He said: “You have come for the best, from the smaller jihad (al-jihad al-asghar) to the greater jihad (al-jihad al-akbar).” Someone said, “What is the greater jihad?” He said: “The servant’s struggle against his lust”(mujahadat al-`abdi hawah).

Al-Bayhaqi narrated it in al-Zuhd al-Kabir (Haydar ed. p. 165 §373 = p. 198 §374) and said: “This is a chain that contains weakness” (hadha isnadun fihi da`f). One might cautiously conclude from this that al-Bayhaqi himself does not consider it a forgery in view of his shart [ie. condition]Â that he does not narrate forgeries in any of his books except he indicates it.

2. “The Prophet MHMD upon him and his Family and Companions blessings and peace returned from one his expeditions and said: “You have come for the best. You have come from the smaller jihad to the greater jihad.” They said, “What is the greater jihad, Messenger of Allah?” He said: “The servant’s struggle against his lust.”

Al-Khatib narrated it in Tarikh Baghdad (13:493=13:523).

Both their chains contain Yahya ibn al-`Ala’ al-Bajali al-Razi who is accused of forgery as per Ibn Hajar in the Taqrib, in addition to Layth ibn Abi Sulaym – Ibn Hajar said he was abandoned as a hadith narrator due to the excessiveness of his mistakes in addition to being a concealer of his sources (mudallis). (Al-Bukhari and Muslim did narrate three hadiths from him but only as corroborations of established chains.)

This shows that the statement of Ibn Taymiyya in Majmu` al-Fatawa (11:197 = his anti-Sufi tract al-Furqan bayna Awliya al-Rahman wa-Awliya al-Shaytan) “La asla lahu” is inaccurate, as this expression in their terminology denotes chainlessness. Al-Zayla`i also could not find it but, instead of positively denying the existence of hadiths he does not know like Ibn Taymiyya, he uses the expression “gharib jiddan” (extremely solitary/odd) as he does here in his Takhrij Ahadith al-Kashshaf (2:395 §825).

Most accurate is the verdict of Ibn Hajar: “its chain contains weak narrators” in his Takhrij Ahadith al-Kashshaf (p. 114) while al-Ahdab in his Zawa’id Tarikh Baghdad (9:309-311 §2077) says “isnad talif” (a worthless chain).

All of the above negative verdicts concern the chain. The hadith in its meaning is confirmed by the Qur’an and established reports, at least two of them explicit in the preference of the mujahada or jihad of the ego over any other type but without using the specific term jihad akbar. This has been discussed elsewhere …

III. Maqtu`

… Ibn Taymiyya himself leaves no doubt as to the fact that jihad al-nafs comes first and is the precondition sine qua non of military jihad as he states it in and as related from him by Ibn al-Qayyim toward the very end of Rawdat al-Muhibbin: “I heard our Shaykh say, ‘The jihad of nafs and hawa is the foundation of jihad of the disbelievers and hypocrites; one cannot do jihad of them before he first does jihad of his nafs and hawa, then he goes out and fights them.'”

As for Ibn al-Qayyim then haddith wala haraj, he goes on and on about the jihad of the ego as the “prime” (al-muqaddam) and “most obligatory” (al-afraD) jihad in al-Fawa’id, Zad al-Ma`ad, al-Ruh, Ighathat al-Lahfan….

But neither he nor his teacher uses the term al-jihad al-akbar.

Jihad Al Akbar, from Shaykh Hisham Kabbani’s “Islamic Beliefs and Doctrine According to Ahl al-Sunna: A Repudiation of “Salafi” Innovations”

Hadiths On The Jihad Against The Ego

The hadith master Mulla `Ali al-Qari relates in his book al-Mawdu`at al-kubra, also known as al-Asrar al-marfu`a:

Suyuti said: al-Khatib al-Baghdadi relates in his “History” on the authority of Jabir: The Prophet came back from one of his campaigns saying: “You have come forth in the best way of coming forth: you have come from the smaller jihad to the geater jihad.” They said: “And what is the greater jihad?” He replied: “The striving (mujahadat) of Allah’s servants against their idle desires.”

Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani said in Tasdid al-qaws : “This saying is widespread and it is a saying by Ibrahim ibn Ablah according to Nisa’i in al-Kuna. Ghazali mentions it in the Ihya’ and al-`Iraqi said that Bayhaqi related it on the authority of Jabir and said: There is weakness in its chain of transmission.”

`Ali al-Qari, al-Asrar al-marfu`a (Beirut 1985 ed.) p. 127.

The hafiz Ibn Abu Jamra al-Azdi al-Andalusi (d. 695) says in his commentary on Bukhari entitled Bahjat al-nufus:

`Umar narrated that a man came to the Prophet asking for permission to go to jihad. The Prophet asked: “Are your parents alive?” He said that they were. The Prophet replied: “Then struggle to keep their rights” (fihima fa jahid) … There is in this hadith evidence that the Sunna for entering the path and undertaking self-discipline is to act under the expert guidance, so that he may be shown the way that is best for him to follow, and the soundest for the particular wayfarer. For when that Companion wished to go out to jihad, he did not content himself with his own opinion in the matter but sought advice from one more knowledgeable than him and more expert. If this is the case in the Lesser Jihad, then what about the Greater Jihad?

Ibn Abu Jamra, Bahjat al-nufus sharh mukhtasar sahih al-bukhari 3:146.

Ibn Hibban relates in his Sahih from Fadala ibn Ubayd:

The Prophet said in the Farewell Pilgrimage: “… The mujahid is he who makes jihad against himself (jahada nafsah) for the sake of obeying Allah.”

Tirmidhi, Ahmad, Tabarani, Ibn Majah, al-Hakim, and Quda`i also relate it. The contemporary hadith scholar Shu`ayb al-Arna’ut confirmed that its chain of transmission is sound in his edition of Ibn Hibban, Sahih 11:203 (#4862). Al-Haythami related the following version in the chapter on Jihad al-nafs in his Majma` al-zawa’id and declared it sound:

The strong one is not the one who overcomes people, the strong one is he who overcomes his ego (ghalaba nafsah)

“Lesser vs Greater Jihad” at WikiIslam

Explanation of the Concept

The two forms of Jihad are sometimes explained by Muslims as follows:

  • Lesser outer jihad (al-jihad al-asghar); a military struggle, i.e. a holy war
  • Greater inner jihad (al-jihad al-akbar); the struggle of personal self-improvement against the self’s base desires

They claim this “inner Jihad” essentially refers to all the struggles that a Muslim may go through, in adhering to the religion. For example, a scholarly study of Islam can be an intellectual struggle that some allegedly may refer to as “jihad.”


During Prophet Muhammad’s lifetime, and onwards to the present, the word ‘Jihad’ was, and is, almost always used in a military sense. This idea of a greater and lesser jihad was a later development which originated from the 11th century book, The History of Baghdad, by the Islamic scholar al-Khatib al-Baghdadiis, by way of Yahya ibn al ‘Ala’, who said,

We were told by Layth, on the authority of ‘Ata’, on the authority of Abu Rabah, on the authority of Jabir, who said, ‘The Prophet (salallaahu ‘alayhee wa sallam) returned from one of his battles, and thereupon told us, ‘You have arrived with an excellent arrival, you have come from the Lesser Jihad to the Greater Jihad – the striving of a servant (of Allah) against his desires.’

In fact, all four schools of Sunni jurisprudence (Fiqh) as well as the Shi’ite tradition make no reference at all to the “greater” jihad, only the lesser. So even before we examine the evidence against the validity of this hadith, we know that the concept of the greater jihad is unorthodox and heretical to the majority of the world’s Muslims.

Qur’an, Hadith and Scholars


One of the most important factors in the classification of a genuine hadith, is that it must conform with what is written in the Qur’an. However, this hadith directly contradicts the explicit teachings of the Qur’an.

“Those believers who sit back are not equal to those who perform Jihad in the Path of Allah with their wealth and their selves. Allah has favored those who perform Jihad with their wealth and their selves by degrees over those who sit back. To both (groups) has Allah promised good, but Allah has favored the mujahideen with a great reward, by ranks from Him, and with Forgiveness, over those who sit back. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.” – Qur’an 4:95


In all six major Hadith collections (Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Dawud, al-Sughra, Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah), jihad almost always refers to the “lesser” outward physical struggle and not the so-called “greater” inward spiritual struggle. As an example, there are nearly 200 references to jihad in the most trusted collection of hadith, Sahih Bukhari, and every single one assumes that jihad means literal warfare.

This fabricated hadith does not appear in any of the famous hadith collections, and in fact goes against the teachings found in corroborated (Mutawatir) sahih hadith. Some of these hadith state that fighting jihad is second only to the belief in Muhammad and Allah, and that standing for an hour in the ranks of battle is better than standing in prayer for sixty years.

Furthermore, Muhammad himself refutes the claim that the “greater” jihad is the inward spiritual struggle, when he states the best jihad is that of a man whose “blood is shed and his horse is wounded”.

It was narrated that Amr bin Abasah said: “I came to the Prophet and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, which Jihad is best?’ He said: ‘(That of a man) whose blood is shed and his horse is wounded.’” – Sunan Ibn Majah 2794

It was asked, ‘Oh messenger of Allah!, which of makind is most excellent?’. He (Sallallahu alyhi wa salam) replied: “A believer who strives in the path of God with his self and his wealth. – Saheeh Bukhari 4/45

Allah’s Apostle was asked, “What is the best deed?” He replied, “To believe in Allah and His Apostle (Muhammad). The questioner then asked, “What is the next (in goodness)? He replied, “To participate in Jihad (religious fighting) in Allah’s Cause.” – Sahih Bukhari 1:2:26

Standing for an hour in the ranks of battle is better than standing in prayer for sixty years. – Saheeh related by Ibn Ade and Ibn Asakir from Abu Hurayrah 4/6165. Sahih al Jaami as Sagheer no. 4305

A morning or evening spent in the path of Allah is better than the world and all it contains. – Saheeh al Bukhari 4/50 , agreed upon

Shall I tell you who has the best degree among people? A man who takes the rein of his horse to do jihad in the way of Allah – Al-Muwatta 21 21.1.4b

It has been narrated on the authority of Abu Sa’id Khudri that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said (to him): Abu Sa’id, whoever cheerfully accepts Allah as his Lord, Islam as his religion and Mubammad as his Apostle is necessarily entitled to enter Paradise. He (Abu Sa’id) wondered at it and said: Messenger of Allah, repeat it for me. He (the Messenger of Allah) did that and said: There is another act which elevates the position of a man in Paradise to a grade one hundred (higher), and the elevation between one grade and the other is equal to the height of the heaven from the earth. He (Abu Sa’id) said: What is that act? He replied: Jihad in the way of Allah! Jihad in the way of Allah! – Sahih Muslim 20:4645

On the authority of Rashid, on the authority of Sa’d (radiallaahu ‘anhu), on the authority of one of the Companions, that a man said, “Oh Messenger of Allah! Why is it that the believers are all put to trial in their graves, except for the martyrs?” He (salallaahu ‘alayhee wa sallam) said, “The clashing of swords above his head was sufficient trial for him.” – Sahih al-Jam’i

The importance placed on physical jihad in Islam, is never more apparent than in the sahih hadith which record Muhammad calling Muslims who refuse to fight or consider going to jihad as ‘hypocrites’.

It has been narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: One who died but did not fight in the way of Allah nor did he express any desire (or determination) for Jihad died the death of a hypocrite. – Sahih Muslim 2:4696

Whoever dies but neither fought (i.e., in Allah’s cause), nor sincerely considered fighting, will die a death of Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic era of ignorance. – Sahih hadith, Tafsir Ibn Kathir


Lesser vs Greater Jihad Hadith

The “lesser versus greater jihad” hadith’s isnad (the completeness of the chain of narrators and the reputation of each individual narrators within the chain of oral tradition) has been categorized by scholars as “weak” (da`if), and generally in Islamic law, only the authentic (sahih) and good (hasan) hadiths are used in deriving the rules. The weak hadiths have no value for the purpose of Shari’ah. Contemporary Islamic scholars have even classed it as “maudu” (fabricated), meaning this narration, by some, is not even considered to be a hadith at all.

Dr. Abudllah Yusuf Azzam:

is in fact a false, fabricated hadith which has no basis. It is only a saying of Ibrahim Ibn Abi `Abalah, one of the Successors, and it contradicts textual evidence and reality….The word “jihad”, when mentioned on its own, only means combat with weapons, as was mentioned by Ibn Rushd, and upon this the four Imams have agreed.

Ibn Taymiyahh (also known as Shaykh ul-Islam to Muslim clerics):

There is a Hadith related by a group of people which states that the Prophet [peace be upon him] said after the battle of Tabuk: ‘We have returned from Jihad Asghar [lesser jihad] to Jihad Akbar [greater jihad].’ This hadith has no source, nobody whomsoever in the field of Islamic Knowledge has narrated it. Jihad against the disbelievers is the most noble of actions, and moreover it is the most important action for the sake of mankind.

Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani:

This saying is widespread and it is a saying by Ibrahim ibn Ablah according to Nisa’i in al-Kuna. Ghazali mentions it in the Ihya’ and al-`Iraqi said that Bayhaqi related it on the authority of Jabir and said: There is weakness in its chain of transmission. – Hajar al Asqalani, Tasdid al-qaws, see also Kashf al-Khafaa’ (no.1362)

Al Bayhaqi:

Its chain of narration is weak. Ibn Hajr said that this was a saying of Ibraaheem bin Abee Ablah, a Taabi’ee, and not a Ahaadeeth of the Messenger (SAW). – Hajar ibn al Asqalani ’Kashf al-Khafaa’ (no.1362)

Al Haakim:

His hadith are unreliable.

Abu Yala al Khalili:

He often Adulterates, is very weak and narrates unknown hadith. Their is also a narrator, Yahyah bin Alulah, who is a known liar and forger of hadith (Ahmed). – Mashir al Ashwaq, Ibn Nuhad pg 1/31

Amru bin Ali an Nasai and Ad Darqutni:

His hadith are renounced.

Ibn Adi:

His hadith are false. – Tahzeeb ut Tahzeeb 11/261-262]

Abu Dahadbi:

Abdu Hatim said he is not a strong narrator, Ibn Ma’een classified him as weak and Ad Daqatuni said he is to be neglected.

Mufti Zar Wali Khan (who is given the title Sheikh ul hadith) mentioned in his Dora Tafsir that this hadith was fabricated by Sufis.

  1. חובות הלבבות (ירושלים תרפ”ח) שער יחוד המעשה ריש פרק ה’ עמוד 156 – קשר, קשר, ועיין לוח ארז פרשת מטות על הפסוק ויאמר אלעזר הכהן, עמוד פה. – קשר, שער בת רבים במדבר (מטות) על הפסוק ויקצוף משה על פקודי החיל, עמוד עג: – קשר, מעינה של תורה שם עמודים קמא-מב – קשר, בתי אולפנא אהרן וישראל א’ חורף תש”ע עמוד נב – קשר []
  2. שני לוחות הברית (חלק ב’: ווארשא ה’תר”ץ), תורה שבכתב, פרשת קרח – במקום גדולים אל תעמוד, סוף עמוד סט: – קשר ,קשר []

Tales of צדיקים (and Sundry Other Individuals)

R. Aryeh Kaplan’s version of a classic hasidic tale:

A man once dreamed that there was a great treasure under a bridge in Vienna. He traveled to Vienna and stood near the bridge, trying to figure out what to do. He did not dare search for the treasure by day, because of the many people who were there.

An officer passed by and asked, “What are you doing, standing by and contemplating?” The man decided that it would be best to tell the whole story and ask for help, hoping that the officer would share the treasure with him. He told the officer the entire story.

The officer replied, “A Jew is concerned only with dreams! I also had a dream, and I also saw a treasure. It was in a small house, under the cellar.”

In relating his dream, the officer accurately described the man’s city and house. He rushed home, dug under his cellar, and found the treasure. He said, “Now I know I had the treasure all along. But in order to find it, I had to travel to Vienna.”

The same is true in serving G-d. Each person has the treasure, but in order to find it, he must travel to the tzaddik.1

In Gedaliah Fleer’s version, the protagonist is from Prague, and the bridge is described as “leading to the King’s palace”:

There was once a poor, G-d fearing Jew who lived in the city of Prague. One night he dreamt that he should journey to Vienna. There, at the base of a bridge leading to the King’s palace, he would find a buried treasure.

Night after night the dream recurred until, leaving his family behind, he traveled to Vienna to claim his fortune. The bridge, however, was heavily guarded. The watchful eyes of the King’s soldiers afforded little opportunity to retrieve the treasure. Every day the poor Jew spent hours pacing back and forth across the bridge waiting for his chance.

After two weeks time one of the guards grabbed him by the lapels of his coat and demanded gruffly, “Jew! What are you plotting? Why do you keep returning to this place day after, day?” Frustrated and anxious, he blurted out the story of his dream. When he finished, the soldier, who had been containing his mirth, broke into uncontrollable laughter.

The poor Jew looked on in astonishment, not knowing what to make of the man’s attitude. Finally, the King’s guard caught his breath. He stopped laughing long enough to say, “What a foolish Jew you are believing in dreams. Why, if I let my life be guided by visions, I would be well on my way to the city of Prague. For just last night I dreamt that a poor Jew in that city has, buried in his cellar, a treasure which awaits discovery.”

The poor Jew returned home. He dug in his cellar and found the fortune. Upon reflection he thought, the treasure was always in my.possession. Yet, I had to travel to Vienna to know of its existence.

So too, in our time, many spiritually impoverished Jews travel in search… finally returning to Judaism to claim what was always their own.

While R. Kaplan doesn’t specify the temporal relationship between the dreams, and Fleer has the two dreams weeks apart, this version emphasizes that both dreams occurred on the same night (it also adds the detail that the bridge crossed the Danube, and calls the tale a parable):

Rebbe Nachman teaches: Closeness to God and to oneself is attainable only through the tzaddik. The tzaddik reveals the beauty and grace that exists in the Jewish soul. This soul comes from the loftiest of places; it is rooted on high, in the Thought of God, and stems from the very source of Creation. We come to the tzaddik in order to uncover this beauty and grace, each Jew’s hidden treasure.

Rebbe Nachman expresses this idea with a parable:

One evening a poor and impoverished Jew dreamt of a great treasure under a certain bridge that crosses the Danube River in Vienna. He immediately traveled there, hoping to dig up the treasure for himself. But when he arrived, he saw an officer standing alongside the bridge, and so was afraid to search for the treasure. Before he could make up his mind what to do, the officer became suspicious of the loitering stranger.

“What do you want here?” the officer called out as he approached the frightened Jew.

Our hero concluded that it would be best to tell the truth and perhaps he could at least split the treasure with the officer. “I dreamt that there was a treasure here,” he responded. “I’ve come to dig it up.”

“Ha! You Jews! All that concerns you are dreams!” chuckled the officer. “I too had a dream. One night, maybe two weeks ago, I dreamt that there was a treasure at such and such an address, in the yard of a certain Jew. So what?! You don’t see me hurrying off to his town, do you?!”

The Jew was astounded. The officer had mentioned his city! His address! His name! And they had both had their dream on the very same night. He rushed home, searched his yard and found the treasure. “Look at that!” he exclaimed. “The treasure was right here next to me all along. But in order to find it, I had to travel to Vienna!”

This is true for all of us, Rebbe Nachman taught. Each person has a treasure inside him, but in order to find it, he must travel to the tzaddik. The tzaddik will show him how and where to look (Rabbi Nachman’s Stories #24).

Dovid Sears’s version, for Artscroll, has the soldier dreaming the dream “[f]or three nights in a row”:

A Jewish villager once dreamed about a treasure. In his dream the treasure was near a bridge in the city of Vienna. The very next morning, the villager packed his knapsack with his talis and tefillin, some clothes and a bit of food. Then he began the long, long walk to Vienna.

For many days and nights he trudged through forests and fields, valleys and towns.

When he arrived at last, the soldiers who guarded the city wouldn’t let him near the bridge. So day after day, he stood by the side of the road, trying to think of what to do.

One afternoon, a soldier walked up to him and asked, “Why are you standing here?”

The villager was silent for a moment. Perhaps we could be partners, he thought. After all, half a treasure is better than none! So he told the soldier about his dream.

“Only a Jew cares about dreams!” he laughed. “For three nights in a row, I dreamed that in a certain village there was a certain Jew – and he named the man’s village and his name – who had a treasure buried in his cellar. But do you think I believe in such foolish things?”

The villager simply thanked the soldier and began the long journey home. For many days and nights he trudged through forests and fields, valleys and towns. Finally, he came to his own little house. Without even sitting down for a cup of hot tea, the man went down to his cellar and started digging. Sure enough, he uncovered a huge treasure. He was able to live comfortably and do many good deeds for the rest of his days.

Later, when people asked him about his long journey, he said, “I really had the treasure all along. But to find it, I had to go to Vienna!”


In our desire to come closer to Hashem, the treasure we are searching for is inside of ourselves. But most of us can’t find it alone. First we must go to a Torah sage who can show us how to discover it.

Other versions, with only minor variations: here, here and here (in the former two, the protagonist is described as an Austrian Jew).

But while the foregoing accounts attribute the tale to R. Nachman and feature an unnamed protagonist, an alternate Hasidic tradition attributes the tale to “The holy Rebbe Reb Bunim of Peshischa“, with the protagonist identified as R. Isaac, son of Yeikel, founder of an eponymous Krakówian shul, “which still stood until World War 2”:

The holy Rebbe Reb Bunim of Peshischa used to tell those who came to him to become his students the following story:

In the city of Krakow is a shul called Reb Isaac Reb Yeikel’s shul, after the man who built. His story is as follows. Reb Isaac was a very poor man who lived in Krakow. One night he had a dream in which he was shown that there was a very large treasure buried near a big bridge in the city of Vienna.2 He was shown all the surroundings so that he could recognize it. When it was morning, he decided to ignore the dream, since after all most dreams are just foolishness. But he had it again the next night, and continued to have it. He finally could not hold himself back, and he set out to Vienna to see if there was any truth in the dream.

When he got there he saw the bridge exactly as it had been in his dream, and he could even recognize where the treasure was buried. But there was a problem. The bridge was near a palace which was surrounded by guards, who didn’t look like they would be so happy to let him start digging a hole there. So everyday he went out to look around to see the bridge, and maybe some idea would come to him as to how he could get the treasure that was there.

After a few days of this the guards began to suspect him. After all what purpose is there for a Jew to come and look around the palace everyday? So the head of the guards came over to him and say, ‘Jew, what do you want here?’ So Reb Isaac explained to him his dream and the purpose of his coming. After hearing the story the guard broke out in bellowing laughter that could be heard in the whole city if Vienna. ‘You stupid Jews’, said the guard. ‘If I was as foolish as you, following my dreams after buried treasure, you know what I would have done? I would have gone to Krakow and dug under the oven of some Jew named Isaac the son of Yeikel. Why half the Jews are called Isaac and the other half Yeikel. How stupid you Jews are.’

On hearing the words of the guard he replied, ‘Yes, I suppose you are correct. Thank you for setting me straight. I shall now return home.’ So he returned home, and dug under his oven and found a huge treasure. With part of it he built the shul [which still stood until World War 2].

The Rebbe Reb Bunim would say that when one goes to a Tzaddik in order to learn how to serve HaShem, he shouldn’t think that he is going to find something there. The Tzaddik can only help him to bring out that which is within him.

Interestingly, in this version the lesson is not that one needs to seek religious guidance from tzadikim – this is taken for granted; after all, the story is being told to those who had already come to become R. Bunim’s students! The point here, as noted in the conclusion, is that even “the Tzaddik can only help him to bring out that which is within him”. The following version goes even further, with the R. Bunim’s moral almost diametrically opposite to the one often associated with this story; not that “in order to find [the treasure], he must travel to the tzaddik”, but rather “The treasure cannot be found … by the Rebbe. The treasure will be found at your own place. …Children, go back home.”:

The following parable is one Reb Bunim would tell young people when they visited him the first time. It concerns Reb Isaac ben Reb Yekl from Cracow. Reb Isaac had no end of troubles: want, poverty, anguish. Naturally, despite all this, he did not lose his faith. Once he was told in a dream to set out for Prague. There, beneath a bridge near the royal palace, he would find a great treasure. When the dream was repeated a second and third time, Reb Isaac set out on the difficult journey.

Arriving in Prague, he went to the bridge and saw a large contingent of soldiers guarding it day and night. Naturally he could not start digging then and there for the treasure he had seen in his dream. Morning after morning he would come to the bridge and as if in a delirium would march back and forth until the onset of night.

Finally, the head guard asked him, “Who are you looking for?”

In all innocence Reb Isaac told him what he had seen in his dream and the reason for his coming to Prague.

The soldier laughed and told him: “In other words, on account of a dream you’ve dragged yourself this far? That’s what you get for believing in dreams. If I believed in dreams I too would have to travel far, because I was told in a dream to go to Cracow, enter the house of a Jew named Isaac the son of Reb Yekl, and look for a treasure hidden behind his stove.”

Reb Isaac listened to the soldier, returned to Cracow, and indeed dug up the treasure behind the stove in his own house. Later he built a synagogue in his name: Isaac ben Reb Yekl’s Synagogue.

“That is the parable – and what is the moral? One thing is clear. The treasure cannot be found elsewhere. Not under the bridge and not by the rebbe. The treasure will be found at your own place. Each and every one of you.” With these words Reb Bunim would end his parable. Then he would turn to the young people who came to him and say: “Children, go back home. Go and seek!”3

Martin Buber’s version:

Rabbi Bunam used to tell young men who came to him for the first time the story of Rabbi Eisik, son of Rabbi Yekel in Cracow. After many years of great poverty which had never shaken his faith in G-d, he dreamed someone bade him look for a treasure in Prague, under the bridge which leads to the King’s palace. When the dream recurred a third time, Rabbi Eisik prepared for the journey and set out for Prague. But the bridge was guarded day and night and he did not dare to start digging. Nevertheless, he went to the bridge every morning and kept walking around it until evening.

Finally, the captain of the guards, who had been watching him, asked in a kindly way whether he was looking for something or waiting for somebody. Rabbi Eisik told him of the dream which had brought him here from a faraway country. The captain laughed: “And so to please the dream, you poor fellow wore out your shoes to come here! As for having faith in dreams, if I had it, I should have had to get going when a dream once told me to go to Cracow and dig for treasure under the stove in the room of a Jew – Eisik, son of Yekel, that was the name! Eisik, son of Yekel! I can just imagine what it would be like, how I should have to try every house over there, where one half of the Jews are named Eisik, and the other, Yekel!” And he laughed again. Rabbi Eisik bowed, traveled home, dug up the treasure from under the stove, and built the house of prayer which is called “Reb Eisik’s Shul.”4

Another version:

Someone once asked Rabbi Simcha Bunim the following question: “Why do Chassidic avrechim normally leave their families to stay for weeks and months with their ‘Rebbe’ to learn the fear of Heaven from him? Is it impossible, therefore, to learn the fear of Heaven at home with books of Mussar?”

He responded with a story:

“For several nights Rabbi Eizik had dreamed that he should go to Prague and begin digging under the royal bridge, for there he would find a great treasure. Eventually, Rabbi Eizik decided to go to Prague. In arriving there, he went directly to the royal bridge, but at that time he noticed that soldiers were guarding the bridge day and night. He went around it several times, yet he was still fearful of getting close and digging underneath.

“One of the soldiers saw him and asked what he was looking for near the bridge. When Rabbi Eizik told him the story of his dream, the soldier began to mock him and said, ‘I too, I also have an often-occurring dream. I dream that in the town of Krakow there’s a Jew named Rabbi Eizik, the son of Rabbi Yekalis, and that there’s a huge treasure buried under the stove in his home. But only an fool would have faith in the words of a dream.’

“Rabbi Eizik understood that Heaven had sent him to Prague so that the soldier could inform him that he had a great treasure in his house, buried beneath his stove. He went back home, dug underneath it, and there he found a great fortune of gold coins. Rabbi Eizik thus became very wealthy and gave a large amount of tzeddakah to the poor. He also built a synagogue that is known as ‘The Synagogue of Rabbi Eizik the son of Rabbi Yekalis.’ ”

Rabbi Simcha Bunim concluded: “When an avrech goes to the Tzaddik, he realizes that in his home – in his soul – there is a great treasure. If he puts a great deal of effort into digging and searching for this treasure, he will find it, as it is written in the Torah: ‘For the matter is very near to you – in your mouth and your heart – to perform it’ [Deuteronomy 30:14]. It is literally with you.” He also taught his students the following: “The World Above, the World to Come, is also found here in this world, with the Rabbi and the Tzaddik.”

And another:

The great Chassidic Master, Rabbi Simcha Bunim of Peshischa, related the parable about a chassid from Cracow, Poland named Reb Eizik who had the same dream every night for a week straight. He dreamed that if he traveled to the city of Prague and dug next to the bridge adjacent to the king’s palace, he would find a priceless treasure. Reb Eizik was so intrigued by the repeated dream that he decided to undertake the journey to dig next to the bridge in Prague.

When he arrived there he was dismayed to see that the bridge was carefully guarded by the king’s soldiers. There was no way they would allow him to dig anywhere in the vicinity of the bridge. Reb Eizik stayed in a nearby inn overnight and came back the next day to see if there was any lapse in the soldier’s shifts when he might be able to quickly dig. But the next day proved no better and Reb Eizik could do nothing more than wander aimlessly near the bridge and contemplate what he would do with the treasure.

After a few days of wandering near the bridge, one of the soldiers demanded to know what he was doing there. Reb Eizik decided to tell the soldier the truth. The soldier burst out laughing. “You silly Jew, are you so naïve to believe in dreams? Why, just last night I had a dream that if I traveled to Cracow and found a Jew there named Eizik, and I dug underneath the oven in his house, I would find a priceless treasure. Do you think I am going to run to Cracow to dig under his oven, because of a silly dream?!”

Reb Eizik was stunned! He had come all the way to Prague to find out that the treasure he was seeking was in his own home. He immediately returned home and dug underneath his oven. Sure enough, he found an incredible treasure buried there. Reb Eizik became instantly wealthy. He used a portion of the money to build the famous, “Eizik Shul” in Krakow.

Rabbi Simcha Bunim noted that people are constantly looking for all sorts of treasures. Some people search for meaning, some people search for blessing, and some people search for G-d. They travel to foreign countries and to remote places, to seek counsel or to discover some novel ‘truth’. But, when all is said and done, the greatest treasure lies in his own backyard. Every person himself holds the key to the greatest blessings and accomplishments if he only recognizes his potential and ability. As the verse states, “It is not in heaven… Nor is it beyond the seas… For it is very close to you; in your heart and in your mouth to accomplish it.”

See also here, here and this dramatized version, embedded in a work of historical fiction.

The truth, however, is that as per a wonderful and utterly delicious compilation of D. L. Ashliman, this is an ancient folktale (Aarne-Thompson-Uther 1645), appearing in numerous cultures (going back at least as far as The Arabian Nights), and variously featuring the locations of Baghdad, Cairo, Damascus, Constantinople, Alexandria, Soffham (Swaffham), Somersetshire, Upsall (in Yorkshire), Ayrshire, the Isle of Man, Balledehob (“about forty miles west of Cork”), Mayo, Limerick, Regensburg, Lübeck, Kempen, Möln, Dordrecht, Krain (“on the Tyrolean border near Wopnitz”), Stall (in the Möll Valley), Innsbruck, Prague, G. in Rinn, Zirl, Erritsø (near Fredericia) and Veile. Sadly, none of the versions feature a Jewish protagonist, although one of the English ones does have an appearance by “a bearded stranger like a Jew”, who deciphers a mysterious “inscription in a language [the protagonist] did not understand”, enabling him to find even more treasure. In the English, Scottish, Irish and Isle of Mannish versions, the bridge, of course, is often London Bridge, and some of the English versions, as well as a Danish one, parallel the R. Bunim account in that the protagonist utilizes his windfall to build or renovate a local church (or a castle in the Scottish version).

The Ruined Man Who Became Rich Again Through a Dream

There lived once in Baghdad a very wealthy man, who lost all his substance and became so poor, that he could only earn his living by excessive labor. One night, he lay down to sleep, dejected and sick at heart, and saw in a dream one who said to him, “Thy fortune is at Cairo; go thither and seek it.”

So he set out for Cairo; but, when he arrived there, night overtook him and he lay down to sleep in a mosque. Presently, as fate would have it, a company of thieves entered the mosque and made their way thence into an adjoining house; but the people of the house, being aroused by the noise, awoke and cried out; whereupon the chief of the police came to their aid with his officers. The robbers made off; but the police entered the mosque and finding the man from Baghdad asleep there, laid hold of him and beat him with palm-rods, till he was well-nigh dead.

Then they cast him into prison, where he abode three days, after which the chief of the police sent for him and said to him, “Whence art thou?”

“From Baghdad,” answered he.

“And what brought thee to Cairo?” asked the magistrate.

Quoth the Baghdadi, “I saw in a dream one who said to me, ‘Thy fortune is at Cairo; go thither to it.’ But when I came hither, the fortune that he promised me proved to be the beating I had of thee.

The chief of the police laughed, till he showed his jaw teeth, and said, “O man of little wit, thrice have I seen in a dream one who said to me, ‘There is in Baghdad a house of such a fashion and situate so-and-so, in the garden whereof is a fountain and thereunder a great sum of money buried. Go thither and take it.’ Yet I went not; but thou, of thy little wit, hast journeyed from place to place, on the faith of a dream, which was but an illusion of sleep.”

Then he gave him money, saying, “This is to help thee back to thy native land.”

Now the house he had described was the man’s own house in Baghdad; so the latter returned thither, and digging underneath the fountain in his garden, discovered a great treasure; and [thus] God gave him abundant fortune.

A Man of Baghdad

An anecdote is told of a man of Baghdad who was in great distress, and who, after calling on God for aid, dreamt that a great treasure lay hid in a certain spot in Egypt. He accordingly journeyed to Egypt, and there fell into the hands of the patrol, who arrested him, and beat him severely on suspicion of being a thief.

Calling to mind the proverb that “falsehood is a mischief but truth a remedy,” he determined to confess the true reason of his coming to Egypt, and accordingly told them all the particulars of his dream.

On hearing them they believed him, and one of them said, “You must be a fool to journey all this distance merely on the faith of a dream. I myself have many times dreamt of a treasure lying hid in a certain spot in Baghdad, but was never foolish enough to go there.”

Now the spot in Baghdad named by this person was none other than the house of the poor man of Baghdad, and he straightway returned home, and there found the treasure.

Numan’s Dream

There was of old time in the city of Cairo a man called Numan, and he had a son. One day when this boy’s time to learn to read was fully come he took him to a school and gave to a teacher. This Numan was exceeding poor, so that he followed the calling of a water seller, and in this way he supported his wife and child.

When the teacher had made the boy read through the Koran, he told the boy to fetch him his present. So the boy came and told his father.

His father said, “O son, the Koran is the Word of God Most High, we have nothing worthy of it; there is our camel with which I follow my trade of water seller, take it at least and give it to thy teacher.”

The boy took the camel and brought it to his teacher. But that day his father could gain no money, and that night his wife and his son and himself remained hungry.

Now his wife was a great scold, and when she saw this thing she said, “Out on thee, husband, art thou mad? Where are thy senses gone? Thou hadst a camel, and by means of it we made shift to live, and now thou hast taken and given it in a present; would that that boy had not been born, or that thou hadst not sent him to read; what is he and what his reading?’

And she made so much noise and clamor that it cannot be described. Numan saw this thing, and he bowed down his head, and from the greatness of his distress he fell asleep.

In his dream a radiant elder, white-bearded and clad in white raiment, came and said, “O Numan, thy portion is in Damascus; go, take it.”

Just then Numan awoke and he saw no one, and he arose and said, “Is the vision divine or is it satanic?”

While saying this, he again fell asleep, and again he saw it. Brief, the elder appeared three times to him that night in his dream and said, “Indeed is thy provision in Damascus; delay not, go to Damascus and take it.”

When it was morning Numan spake to his wife of the vision; his wife said, “Thou gavest away our camel and didst leave us hungry, and now thou canst not abide our complaints and wishest to run off; I fear thou wilt leave thy child and me here and go off.”

Numan said, “My life, I will not run off.”

Quoth the woman, “I will not bide, I will not bide; where thou goest I too will go with thee.”

Numan sware that he would not run off, and the woman was persuaded and let him go.

So Numan went forth; and one day he entered Damascus, and he went in through the gate of the Amawi Mosque. That day someone had baked bread in an oven and was taking it to his house; when he saw Numan opposite him and knew him to be a stranger, he gave him a loaf. Numan took it and ate it, and lay down through fatigue and fell asleep.

That elder again came to him in his vision and said, “0 Numan, thou hast received thy provision; delay not, go back to thy house.”

Numan awoke and was amazed and said, “Then our bearing this much trouble and weariness was for a loaf.”

And he returned. One day he entered his house, and the woman looked and saw there was nothing in his hand; and Numan told her.

When the woman learned that Numan had brought nothing, she turned and said, “Out on thee, husband, thou art become mad, thou art a worthless man; had thy senses been in thy head, thou hadst not given away our camel, the source of our support, and left us thus friendless and hungry and thirsty; not a day but thou doest some mad thing.”

And she complained much. And Numan’s heart was broken by the weariness of the road and the complaining of the woman, and he fell asleep.

Again in his vision that elder came and said, “O Numan, delay not, arise, dig close by thee, thy provision is there, take it.”

But Numan heeded not. Three times the elder appeared to him in his dream and said, “Thy provision is indeed close by thee; arise, take it.”

So Numan, unable to resist, arose and took a pick-axe and shovel and began to dig where his head had lain.

The woman made mock of Numan and said, “Out on thee, man; the half of the treasure revealed to thee is mine.”

Numan replied, “So be it; but I am weary, come thou and dig a bit that I may take breath a little.”

The woman said, “Thou art not weary now; when thou art weary I will help.”

Numan went on: and when he had dug as deep as half the height of a man, a marble slab appeared. The woman saw the marble and, saying in herself, “This is not empty,” she asked the pick-axe from Numan.

Numan said, “Have patience a little longer.”

The woman said, “Thou art weary.”

Numan replied, “Now am I rested.”

Quoth the woman, “I am sorry for thee, thou dost not know kindness.”

While thus talking they saw that one side of that marble was pierced and that there was a hole. Thereupon grew Numan eager, and he pulled the marble from its place, and below it was a well and a ladder. He caught hold of the ladder and went down and saw a royal vase filled full with red gold, and he called out to the woman, “Come here.”

Thereupon the woman descended likewise and saw the vase of gold, and she threw her arms round Numan’s neck and said, “O my noble little husband! Blessed be God, for thy luck and thy fortune.”

Numan took up some of these sequins, and the woman said, “What wilt thou do?”

Numan replied, “I shall take these to our king and tell him that there is a vase full of them, and that an elder came to me in my dream and told me, and I shall say, ‘Take them all; and, if thou wilt, bestow on me a few of them that I and my wife may eat and drink, and in our comfort may bless and praise thee.'”

Quoth the woman, “My life, husband, speak not to our king now, so that all of them may remain ours and we shall have ease of heart.”

Numan listened not, but took them and laid them before the king.

The king said, “What is this?”

Numan answered, “O king, I found them in thy ground.” And he told of the elder’s coming in his dream and of there being a vase full of them, and said, “O king, send a slave of thine, and he will return; and I shall accept the king’s alms, whatever it may be.”

The king said to a scribe, “Come, read this, let us see from whose time it has remained.”

When the scribe took the sequin into his hand he saw that there was written on the one side of it, “This is an alms from before God to Numan.” Then the scribe turned over the other side and saw that it was thus written on that side, “By reason of his respect toward the Koran.”

When the scribe had read the inscriptions to the king, the king said, “What is thy name?”

He replied, “My name is Numan.”

The king caused all these sequins to be read, and the writing on the whole of them was the same.

The king said, “Go ye and bring some from the bottom of the vase.”

And they went and brought some from the bottom of the vase, and they read them, and they all bore the inscription of the first. And the king wondered and said, “Go, poor man, God Most High has given it thee, on my part too be it lawful for thee; come, take these sequins also.”

So Numan took them and went to his house, and he took out the sequins that were in the vase; and he enjoyed delight in the world until he died, and in the hereafter he attained a lofty station. And all this felicity was for his respect to the glorious Koran.

How the Junkman Traveled to Find Treasure in His Own Yard

In one of the towers overlooking the Sea of Marmora and skirting the ancient city of Stamboul, there lived an old junkman, who earned a precarious livelihood in gathering cinders and useless pieces of iron, and selling them to smiths.

Often did he moralize on the sad Kismet that had reduced him to the task of daily laboring for his bread to make a shoe, perhaps for an ass. Surely he, a true Muslim, might at least be permitted to ride the ass. His eternal longing often found satisfaction in passing his hours of sleep in dreams of wealth and luxury. But with the dawning of the day came reality and increased longing.

Often did he call on the spirit of sleep to reverse matters, but in vain; with the rising of the sun began the gathering of the cinders and iron. One night he dreamt that he begged this nocturnal visitor to change his night to day, and the spirit said to him, “Go to Egypt, and it shall be so.”

This encouraging phrase haunted him by day and inspired him by night. So persecuted was he with the thought that when his wife said to him, from the door, “Have you brought home any bread?” he would reply, “No, I have not gone; I will go tomorrow; ” thinking she had asked him, ” Have you gone to Egypt?”

At last, when friends and neighbors began to pity poor Ahmet, for that was his name, as a man on whom the hand of Allah was heavily laid, removing his intelligence, he one morning left his house, saying, “I go! I go! to the land of wealth!” And he left his wife wringing her hands in despair, while the neighbors tried to comfort her. Poor Ahmet went straight on board a boat which he had been told was bound for Iskender (Alexandria), and assured the captain that he was summoned thither, and that he was bound to take him. Half-witted and mad persons being more holy than others, Ahmet was conveyed to Iskender.

Arriving in Iskender, Hadji Ahmet roamed far and wide, proceeding as far as Cairo, in search of the luxuries he had enjoyed at Constantinople when in the land of Morpheus, which he had been promised to enjoy in the sunshine, if he came to Egypt. Alas! for Hadji Ahmet; the only bread he had to eat was that which was given him by sympathizing humanity. Time sped on, sympathy was growing tired of expending itself on Hadji Ahmet, and his crusts of bread were few and far between.

Wearied of life and suffering, he decided to ask Allah to let him die, and wandering out to the pyramids he solicited the stones to have pity and fall on him. It happened that a Turk heard this prayer, and said to him, “Why so miserable, father? Has your soul been so strangled that you prefer its being dashed out of your body, to its remaining the prescribed time in bondage?”

“Yes, my son,” said Hadji Ahmet. “Far away in Stamboul, with the help of God, I managed as a junkman to feed my wife and myself; but here am I, in Egypt, a stranger, alone and starving, with possibly my wife already dead of starvation, and all this through a dream.”

“Alas! Alas! my father! that you at your age should be tempted to wander so far from home and friends, because of a dream. Why, were I to obey my dreams, I would at this present moment be in Stamboul, digging for a treasure that lies buried under a tree. I can even now, although I have never been there, describe where it is. In my mind’s eye I see a wall, a great wall, that must have been built many years ago, and supporting or seeming to support this wall are towers with many corners, towers that are round, towers that are square, and others that have smaller towers within them. In one of these towers, a square one, there live an old man and woman, and close by the tower is a large tree, and every night when I dream of the place, the old man tells me to dig and disclose the treasure. But, father, I am not such a fool as to go to Stamboul and seek to verify this. It is an oft-repeated dream and nothing more. See what you have been reduced to by coming so far.”

“Yes,” said Hadji Ahmet, “it is a dream and nothing more, but you have interpreted it. Allah be praised, you have encouraged me; I will return to my home.” And Hadji Ahmet and the young stranger parted, the one grateful that it had pleased Allah to give him the power to revive and encourage a drooping spirit, and the other grateful to Allah that when he had despaired of life a stranger should come and give him the interpretation of his dream. He certainly had wandered far and long to learn that the treasure was in his own garden.

Hadji Ahmet in due course, much to the astonishment of both wife and neighbors, again appeared upon the scene not a much changed man. In fact, he was the cinder and iron gatherer of old.

To all questions as to where he was and what he had been doing, he would answer, “A dream sent me away, and a dream brought me back.”

And the neighbors would say, “Truly he must be blessed.”

One night Hadji Ahmet went to the tree, provided with spade and pick, that he had secured from an obliging neighbor. After digging a short time a heavy case was brought to view, in which he found gold, silver, and precious jewels of great value. Hadji Ahmet replaced the case and earth and returned to bed, much lamenting that it had pleased God to furnish women, more especially his wife, with a long tongue, long hair, and very short wits. “Alas!” he thought, “If I tell my wife, I may be hung as a robber, for it is against the laws of nature for a woman to keep a secret.”

Yet, becoming more generous when thinking of the years of toil and hardship she had shared with him, he decided to try and see if, by chance, his wife was not an exception to other women. Who knows, she might keep the secret. To test her, at no risk to himself and the treasure, he conceived a plan.

Crawling from his bed, he sallied forth and bought, found, or stole an egg. This egg on the following morning he showed to his wife, and said to her, “Alas! I fear I am not as other men, for evidently in the night I laid this egg; and, wife mine, if the neighbors hear of this, your husband, the long-suffering Hadji Ahmet, will be bastinadoed, bowstrung, and burned to death. Ah, truly, my soul is strangled.”

And without another word Hadji Ahmet, with a sack on his shoulder, went forth to gather the cast-off shoes of horse, ox, or ass, wondering if his wife would prove an exception in this, as she had in many other ways, to other women.

In the evening he returned, heavily laden with his finds, and as he neared home he heard rumors, ominous rumors, that a certain Hadji Ahmet, who had been considered a holy man, had done something that was unknown in the history of man, even in the history of hens: that he had laid a dozen eggs.

Needless to add that Hadji Ahmet did not tell his wife of the treasure, but daily went forth with his sack to gather iron and cinders, and invariably found, when separating his finds of the day, in company with his wife, at first one, and then more gold and silver pieces, and now and then a precious stone.

The Peddler of Swaffham

Constant tradition says that there lived in former times in Soffham (Swaffham), alias Sopham, in Norfolk, a certain peddler, who dreamed that if he went to London Bridge, and stood there, he should hear very joyful news, which he at first slighted, but afterwards, his dream being doubled and trebled upon him, he resolved to try the issue of it, and accordingly went to London, and stood on the bridge there two or three days, looking about him, but heard nothing that might yield him any comfort.

At last it happened that a shopkeeper there, hard by, having noted his fruitless standing, seeing that he neither sold any wares nor asked any alms, went to him and most earnestly begged to know what he wanted there, or what his business was; to which the peddler honestly answered that he had dreamed that if he came to London and stood there upon the bridge he should hear good news; at which the shopkeeper laughed heartily, asking him if he was such a fool as to take a journey on such a silly errand, adding, “I’ll tell you, country fellow, last night I dreamed that I was at Sopham, in Norfolk, a place utterly unknown to me where I thought that behind a peddler’s house in a certain orchard, and under a great oak tree, if I dug I should find a vast treasure! Now think you,” says he, “that I am such a fool to take such a long journey upon me upon the instigation of a silly dream? No, no. I’m wiser. Therefore, good fellow, learn wit from me, and get you home, and mind your business.”

The peddler observing his words, what he had said he dreamed, and knowing they concerned him, glad of such joyful news, went speedily home, and dug and found a prodigious great treasure, with which he grew exceeding rich; and Soffham (Church) being for the most part fallen down, he set on workmen and rectified it most sumptuously, at his own charges; and to this day there is his statue therein, but in stone, with his pack at his back and his dog at his heels; and his memory is also preserved by the same form or picture in most of the old glass windows, taverns, and alehouses of that town unto this day.

The Swaffham Legend

Swaffham Church, noted for its architectural beauties, has furnished material for a legend worth recording. According to tradition, the entire expense of erecting this noble edifice was defrayed by a tinker or pedlar residing in the parish named John Chapman, who, if the voice of the legend is to be believed, was marvelously provided for by Divine Providence.

It is said that this tinker dreamed that if he went to London Bridge he would, to use the phraseology of a certain class of advertisements, “hear of something greatly to his advantage.”

Nothing daunted by the difficulties of so long a journey five hundred years ago, when, not to utter a hint of railroads, even stage coaches had not been invented, the tinker heeded the voice of his good spirit, and went to London. After standing about the bridge for several hours — some versions of the legend mention the traditional three days — a man accosted him, and invited him to unfold the nature of his errand.

With candor quite equal to his faith, John Chapman replied that he came there on the “vain errand of a dream.”

Now it appears that the stranger was a dreamer also, but, unlike the tinker, he was neither superstitious nor imprudent. “Alas! good friend,” said he, “if I had heeded dreams, I might have proved myself as very a fool as thou art, for ’tis not long since I dreamt that at a place called Swaffham in Norfolk dwelt John Chapman, a pedlar, who hath a tree at the back of his house, under which is buried a pot of money.”

John Chapman, of course, on hearing this hastened home, dug under his tree, and very soon found the treasure. But not all of it. The box that he found had a Latin inscription on the lid, which of course John Chapman could not decipher. But though unlettered, he was not without craftiness and a certain kind of wisdom, so in the hope that some unsuspicious wayfarer might read the inscriptiou in his hearing, he placed it in his window.

It was not long before he heard some youths turn the Latin sentence into an English couplet:

Under me doth lie
Another much richer than I.

Again he went to work, digging deeper than before, and found a much richer treasure, than the former.

With a heart overflowing with gratitude for his good fortune, the tinker shortly afterwards, when the inhabitants of Swaffham wished to re-edify their church, astonished the whole town by offering to defray the expense of a large portion of the works.

On the ends of the oaken bench nearest the pulpit, there is the carved effigy of John Chapman on one side and that of his dog on the other, and this is sufficient to establish the truth of the legend in the minds of the credulous of the district.

A Cobbler in Someretshire

A cobbler in Somersetshire dreamt that a person told him that if he would go to London Bridge he would meet with something to his advantage. He dreamt the same the next night, and again the night after. He then determined to go to London Bridge, and walked thither accordingly.

When arrived there, he walked about the whole of the first day without anything occurring; the next day was passed in a similar manner. He resumed his place the third day, and walked about till evening, when, giving it up as hopeless, he determined to leave London, and return home.

At this moment a stranger came up and said to him, “I have seen you for the last three days walking up and down this bridge; may I ask if you are waiting for anyone?”

The answer was, “No.”

“Then, what is your object in staying here?”

The cobbler then frankly told his reason for being there, and the dream that had visited him three successive nights.

The stranger then advised him to go home again to his work, and no more pay any attention to dreams. “I myself,” he said “had about six months ago a dream. I dreamt three nights together that, if I would go into Somersetshire, in an orchard, under an apple tree, I should find a pot of gold; but I paid no attention to my dream, and have remained quietly at my business.”

It immediately occurred to the cobbler that the stranger described his own orchard and his own apple tree. He immediately returned home, dug under the apple tree, and found a pot of gold.

After this increase of fortune, he was enabled to send his son to school, where the boy learnt Latin. When he came home for the holidays, he one day examined the pot which had contained the gold, on which was some writing. He said, “Father, I can show you what I have learnt at school is of some use.”

He then translated the Latin inscription on the pot thus: “Look under, and you will find better.”

They did look under, and a larger quantity of gold was found.

Upsall Castle

Many years ago there resided in the village of Upsall a man who dreamed three nights successively that if he went to London Bridge he would hear of something greatly to his advantage. He went, traveling the whole distance from Upsall to London on foot. Arrived there, he took his station on the bridge, where he waited till his patience was nearly exhausted, and the idea that he had acted a very foolish part began to arise in his mind.

At length he was accosted by a Quaker, who kindly inquired what he was waiting there so long for. After some hesitation, he told his dreams. The Quaker laughed at his simplicity, and told him that he had had that night a very curious dream himself, which was, that if he went and dug under a certain bush in Upsall Castle in Yorkshire, he would find a pot of gold; but he did not know where Upsall was, and inquired of the countryman if he knew, who, seeing some advantage in secrecy, pleaded ignorance of the locality; and then, thinking his business in London was completed, returned immediately home, dug beneath the bush, and there he found a pot filled with gold, and on the cover an inscription in a language he did not understand.

The pot and cover were, however, preserved at the village inn, where one day a bearded stranger like a Jew made his appearance, saw the pot, and read the inscription, the plain English of which was:

Look lower, where this stood
Is another twice as good.

The man of Upsall, hearing this, resumed his spade, returned to the bush, dug deeper, and found another pot filled with gold far more valuable than the first. Encouraged by this, he dug deeper still, and found another yet more valuable.

This story has been related of other places, but Upsall appears to have as good a claim to this yielding of hidden treasure as the best of them. Here we have the constant tradition of the inhabitants, and the identical bush still remains beneath which the treasure was found — an elder near the northwest corner of the ruins.

Dundonald Castle

In Ayrshire, the following rhyme is prevalent, and is probably very old:

Donald Din
Built his house without a pin,

alluding to Dundonald Castle, the ancient seat of King Robert II, and now the last remaining property in Ayrshire of the noble family who take their title from it. According to tradition, it was built by a hero named Donald Din, or Din Donald, and constructed entirely of stone, without the use of wood, a supposition countenanced by the appearance of the building, which consists of three distinct stories, arched over with strong stonework, the roof of one forming the floor of another.

Donald, the builder, was originally a poor man, but had the faculty of dreaming lucking dreams. Upon one occasion he dreamed, thrice in one night, that if he were to go to London Bridge, he would become a wealthy man. He went accordingly, saw a man looking over the parapet of the bridge, whom he accosted courteously, and, after a little conversation, entrusted with the secret of the occasion of his coming to London Bridge.

The stranger told him that he had made a very foolish errand, for he himself had once had a similar vision, which direct him to go to a certain spot in Ayrshire, in Scotland, where he would find a vast treasure, and, for his part, he had never once thought of obeying the injunction.

From his description of the spot, the sly Scotsman at once perceived that the treasure in question must be concealed in no other place than his own humble kail-yard [cabbage patch] at home, to which he immediately repaired, in full expectation of finding it. Nor was he disappointed; for, after destroying many good and promising cabbages, and completely cracking credit with his wife, who esteemed him mad, he found a large potful of gold coin, with the proceeds of which he built a stout castle for himself, and became the founder of a flourishing family.


There was a man once in the Isle of Man who met one of the Little Fellows, and the Little Fellow told him that if he would go to London Bridge and dig, he would find a fortune. So he went, and when he got there he began to dig, and another man came to him and said, “What are you doing?”

“One of Themselves told me to come to London Bridge and I would get a fortune,” says he.

And the other man said, “I dreamed that I was back in the lil’ islan’ an’ I was at a house with a thorn tree at the chimley of it, and if I would dig there I would find a fortune. But I wouldn’ go, for it was only foolishness.”

Then he told him so plainly about the house that the first man knew it was his own, so he went back to the Island. When he got home he dug under the little thorn tree by the chimney and he found an iron box. He opened the box, and it was full of gold, and there was a letter in it, but he could not read the letter because it was in a foreign language. So he put it in the smithy window and challenged any scholar who went by to read it. None of them could, but at last one big boy said it was Latin and it meant, “Dig again and you’ll find another.”

So the man dug again under the thorn tree, and what did he find but another iron box full of gold! And from that day till the day of his death, that man used to open the front door before going to bed, and call out, “My blessing with the Little Fellows!”

Dreaming Tim Jarvis

Timothy Jarvis was a decent, honest, quiet, hard-working man, as every body knows that knows Balledehob.

Now Balledehob is a small place, about forty miles west of Cork. It is situated on the summit of a hill, and yet it is in a deep valley; for on all sides there are lofty mountains that rise one above another in barren grandeur, and seem to look down with scorn upon the little busy village, which they surround with their idle and unproductive magnificence. Man and beast have alike deserted them to the dominion of the eagle, who soars majestically over them. On the highest of those mountains there is a small, and as is commonly believed, unfathomable lake, the only inhabitant of which is a huge serpent, who has been sometimes seen to stretch its enormous head above the waters, and frequently is heard to utter a noise which shakes the very rocks to their foundation.

But, as I was saying, everybody knew Tim Jarvis to be a decent, honest, quiet, hard-working man, who was thriving enough to be able to give his daughter Nelly a fortune of ten pounds; and Tim himself would have been snug enough besides, but that he loved the drop sometimes. However, he was seldom backward on rent day.

His ground was never distrained but twice, and both times through a small bit of a mistake; and his landlord had never but once to say to him, “Tim Jarvis, you’re all behind, Tim, like the cow’s tail.”

Now it so happened that, being heavy in himself, through the drink, Tim took to sleeping, and the sleep set Tim dreaming, and he dreamed all night, and night after night, about crocks full of gold and other precious stones; so much so, that Norah Jarvis his wife could get no good of him by day, and have little comfort with him by night. The grey dawn of the morning would see Tim digging away in a bog-hole, maybe, or rooting under some old stone walls like a pig. At last he dreamt that he found a mighty great crock of gold and silver, and where, do you think? Every step of the way upon London Bridge, itself! Twice Tim dreamt it, and three times Tim dreamt the same thing; and at last he made up his mind to transport himself, and go over to London, in Pat Mahoney’s coaster; and so he did!

Well, he got there, and found the bridge without much difficulty. Every day he walked up and down looking for the crock of gold, but never the find did he find it. One day, however, as he was looking over the bridge into the water, a man, or something like a man, with great black whiskers, like a Hessian, and a black cloak that reached down to the ground, taps him on the shoulder, and says he, “Tim Jarvis, do you see me?”

“Surely I do, sir,” said Tim; wondering that anybody should know him in the strange place.

“Tim,” says he, “what is it brings you here in foreign parts, so far away from your own cabin by the mine of grey copper at Balledehob?”

“Please your honor,” says Tim, “I’m come to seek my fortune.”

“You’re a fool for your pains, Tim, if that’s all,” remarked the stranger in the black cloak; “this is a big place to seek one’s fortune in, to be sure, but it’s not so easy to find it.”

Now, Tim, after debating a long time with himself, and considering, in the first place, that it might be the stranger who was to find the crock of gold for him; and in the next, that the stranger might direct him where to find it, came to the resolution of telling him all.

“There’s many a one like me comes here seeking their fortunes,” said Tim.

“True,” said the stranger.

“But,” continued Tim, looking up, “the body and bones of the cause for myself leaving the woman, and Nelly, and the boys, and traveling so far, is to look for a crock of gold that I’m told is lying somewhere hereabouts.”

“And who told you that, Tim?”

“Why, then, sir, that’s what I can’t tell myself rightly; only I dreamt it.”

“Ho, ho! is that all, Tim?” said the stranger, laughing; “I had a dream myself; and I dreamed that I found a crock of gold, in the fort field, on Jerry Driscoll’s ground at Balledehob; and by the same token, the pit where it lay was close to a large furze bush, all full of yellow blossom.”

Tim knew Jerry Driscoll’s ground well; and, moreover, he knew the fort field as well as he knew his own potato garden; he was certain, too, of the very furze bush at the north end of it. So, swearing a bitter big oath, says he, “By all the crosses in a yard of check, I always thought there was money in that same field!”

The moment he rapped out the oath the stranger disappeared, and Tim Jarvis, wondering at all that had happened to him, made the best of his way back to Ireland. Norah, as may well be supposed, had no very warm welcome for her runaway husband — the dreaming blackguard, as she called him — and so soon as she set eyes upon him, all the blood of her body in one minute was into her knuckles to be at him; but Tim, after his long journey, looked so cheerful and so happy-like, that she could not find it in her heart to give him the first blow!

He managed to pacify his wife by two or three broad hints about a new cloak and a pair of shoes, that, to speak honestly, were much wanting to her to go to chapel in; and decent clothes for Nelly to go to the patron with her sweetheart, and brogues for the boys, and some corduroy for himself.

“It wasn’t for nothing,” says Tim, “I went to foreign parts all the ways; and you’ll see what’ll come out of it — mind my words.”

A few days afterwards Tim sold his cabin and his garden, and bought the fort field of Jerry Driscoll, that had nothing in it, but was full of thistles, and old stones, and blackberry bushes; and all the neighbors — as well they might — thought he was cracked!

The first night that Tim could summon courage to begin his work, he walked off to the field with his spade upon his shoulder; and away he dug all night by the side of the furze bush, till he came to a big stone. He struck his spade against it, and he heard a hollow sound; but as the morning had begun to dawn, and the neighbors would be going out to their work, Tim, not wishing to have the thing talked about, went home to the little hovel, where Norah and the children were huddled together under a heap of straw; for he had sold everything he had in the world to purchase Driscoll’s field, that was said to be “the back-bone of the world, picked by the devil.”

It is impossible to describe the epithets and reproaches bestowed by the poor woman on her unlucky husband for bringing her into such a way. Epithets and reproaches which Tim had but one mode of answering, as thus: “Norah, did you see e’er a cow you’d like?” — or, “Norah, dear, hasn’t Poll Deasy a featherbed to sell?” — or, “Norah, honey, wouldn’t you like your silver buckles as big as Mrs. Doyle’s?”

As soon as night came Tim stood beside the furze bush spade in hand. The moment he jumped down into the pit he heard a strange rumbling noise under him, and so, putting his ear against the great stone, he listened, and overheard a discourse that made the hair on his head stand up like bulrushes, and every limb tremble.

“How shall we bother Tim?” said one voice.

“Take him to the mountain, to be sure, and make him a toothful for the old serpent; ’tis long since he has had a good meal,” said another voice.

Tim shook like a potato blossom in a storm.

“No,” said a third voice; “plunge him in the bog, neck and heels.”

Tim was a dead man, barring the breath.

“Stop!” said a fourth; but Tim heard no more, for Tim was dead entirely. In about an hour, however, the life came back into him, and he crept home to Norah.

When the next night arrived the hopes of the crock of gold got the better of his fears, and takings care to arm himself with a bottle of potheen, away he went to the field. Jumping into the pit, he took a little sup from the bottle to keep his heart up — he then took a big one — and then, with desperate wrench, he wrenched up the stone. All at once, up rushed a blast of wind, wild and fierce, and down fell Tim — down, down, and down he went — until he thumped upon what seemed to be, for all the world, like a floor of sharp pins, which made him bellow out in earnest. Then he heard a whisk and a hurra, and instantly voices beyond number cried out:

Welcome, Tim Jarvis, dear!

Welcome, down here!”

Though Tim’s teeth chattered like magpies with the fright, he continued to make answer: “I’m he-he-har-ti-ly ob-ob-liged to-to you all, gen-gentlemen, fo-for your civility to-to a poor stranger like myself.”

But though he had heard all the voices about him, he could see nothing, the place was so dark and so lonesome in itself for want of the light. Then something pulled Tim by the hair of his head, and dragged him, he did not know how far, but he knew he was going faster than the wind, for he heard it behind him, trying to keep up with him, and it could not.

On, on, on, he went, till all at once, and suddenly, he was stopped, and somebody came up to him, and said, “Well, Tim Jarvis, and how do you like your ride?”

“Mighty well! I thank your honor,” said Tim; “and ’twas a good beast I rode, surely!”

There was a great laugh at Tim’s answer; and then there was a whispering, and a great cugger mugger, and coshering; and at last a pretty little bit of a voice said, “Shut your eyes, and you’ll see, Tim.”

“By my word, then,” said Tim, “that is the queer way of seeing; but I’m not the man to gainsay you, so I’ll do as you bid me, any how.”

Presently he felt a small warm hand rubbed over his eyes with an ointment, and in the next minute he saw himself in the middle of thousands of little men and women, not half so high as his brogue, that were pelting one another with golden guineas and lily-white thirteens, as if they were so much dirt.

The finest dressed and the biggest of them all went up to Tim, and says he, “Tim Jarvis, because you are a decent, honest, quiet, civil, well-spoken man,” says he, “and know how to behave yourself in strange company, we’ve altered our minds about you, and will find a neighbor of yours that will do just as well to give to the old serpent.”

“Oh, then, long life to you, sir!” said Tim, “and there’s no doubt of that.”

“But what will you say, Tim,” inquired the little fellow, “if we fill your pockets with these yellow boys? What will you say, Tim, and what will you do with them?”

“Your honor’s honor, and your honor’s glory,” answered Tim, “I’ll not be able to say my prayers for one month with thanking you — and indeed I’ve enough to do with them. I’d make a grand lady, you see, at once of Norah — she has been a good wife to me. We’ll have a nice bit of pork for dinner; and, maybe, I’d have a glass, or maybe two glasses; or sometimes, if ’twas with a friend, or acquaintance, or gossip, you know, three glasses every day; and I’d build a new cabin; and I’d have a fresh egg every morning, myself, for my breakfast; and I’d snap my fingers at the ‘squire, and beat his hounds, if they’d come coursing through my fields; and I’d have a new plow; and Norah, your honor, should have a new cloak, and the boys should have shoes and stockings as well as Biddy Leary’s brats — that’s my sister what was — and Nelly should marry Bill Long of Affadown; and, your honor, I’d have some corduroy for myself to make breeches, and a cow, and a beautiful coat with shining buttons, and a horse to ride, or maybe two. I’d have every thing,” said Tim, “in life, good or bad, that is to be got for love or money — hurra-whoop! — and that’s what I’d do.”

“Take care, Tim,” said the little fellow, “your money would not go faster than it came, with your hurra-whoop.”

But Tim heeded not this speech: heaps of gold were around him, and he filled and filled away as hard as he could, his coat and his waistcoat and his breeches pockets; and he thought himself very clever, moreover, because he stuffed some of the guineas into his brogues. When the little people perceived this, they cried out, “Go home, Tim Jarvis, go home, and think yourself a lucky man.”

“I hope, gentlemen,” said he, “we won’t part for good and all; but maybe ye’ll ask me to see you again, and to give you a fair and square account of what I’ve done with your money.”

To this there was no answer, only another shout, “Go home, Tim Jarvis; go home; fair play is a jewel; but shut your eyes, or ye’ll never see the light of day again.”

Tim shut his eyes, knowing now that was the way to see clearly; and away he was whisked as before — away, away he went ’till he again stopped all of a sudden.

He rubbed his eyes with his two thumbs — and where was he? — Where, but in the very pit in the field that was Jer Driscoll’s, and his wife Norah above with a big stick ready to beat “her dreaming blackguard.” Tim roared out to the woman to leave the life in him, and put his hands in his pockets to show her the gold; but he pulled out nothing only a handful of small stones mixed with yellow furze blossoms. The bush was under him, and the great flag-stone that he had wrenched up, as he thought, was lying, as if it was never stirred, by his side: the whiskey bottle was drained to the last drop; and the pit was just as his spade had made it.

Tim Jarvis, vexed, disappointed, and almost heart-broken, followed his wife home; and, strange to say, from that night he left off drinking, and dreaming, and delving in bog-holes, and rooting in old caves. He took again to his hard working habits, and was soon able to buy back his little cabin and former potato garden, and to get all the enjoyment he anticipated from the fairy gold.

Give Tim one or, at most, two glasses of whiskey punch (and neither friend, acquaintance, or gossip can make him take more), and he. will relate the story to you much better than you have it here. Indeed it is worth going to Balledehob to hear him tell it.

He always pledges himself to the truth of every word with his forefingers crossed; and when he comes to speak of the loss of his guineas, he never fails to console himself by adding: “If they stayed with me I wouldn’t have luck with them, sir; and father O’Shea told me ’twas as well for me they were changed, for if they hadn’t, they’d have burned holes in my pocket, and got out that way.”

I shall never forget his solemn countenance, and the deep tones of his warning voice, when he concluded his tale, by telling me, that the next day after his ride with the fairies, Mick Dowling was missing, and he believed him to be given to the serpent in his place, as he had never been heard of since. “The blessing of the saints be between all good men and harm,” was the concluding sentence of Tim Jarvis’s narrative, as he flung the remaining drops from his glass upon the green sward.

The Dream of Treasure under the Bridge at Limerick

I heard of a man from Mayo went to Limerick, and walked two or three times across the bridge there. And a cobbler that was sitting on the bridge took notice of him, and knew by the look of him and by the clothes he wore that he was from Mayo, and asked him what was he looking for. And he said he had a dream that under the bridge of Limerick he’d find treasure.

“Well,” says the cobbler, “I had a dream myself about finding treasure, but in another sort of a place than this.” And he described the place where he dreamed it was, and where was that, but in the Mayo man’s own garden.

So he went home again, and sure enough, there he found a pot of gold with no end of riches in it. But I never heard that the cobbler found anything under the bridge at Limerick.

The Dream of the Treasure on the Bridge

Some time ago a man dreamed that he should go to the bridge at Regensburg where he would become rich. He went there, and after spending some fourteen days there a wealthy merchant, who wondered why was spending so much time on the bridge, approached him and asked him what he was doing there.

The latter answered, “I dreamed that I was to go to the bridge at Regensburg, where I would become rich.”

“What?” said the merchant, “You came here because of a dream? Dreams are fantasies and lies. Why I myself dreamed that there is a large pot of gold buried beneath that large tree over there.” And he pointed to the tree. “But I paid no attention, for dreams are fantasies.”

Then the visitor went and dug beneath the tree, where he found a great treasure that made him rich, and thus his dream was confirmed.

Agricola adds: “I have often heard this from my dear father.”

This legend is also told about other cities, for example about Lübeck (or Kempen), where a baker’s servant dreams that he will find a treasure on the bridge. Upon going there and walking back and forth, a beggar speaks to him, telling how he has dreamed that a treasure lies beneath a linden tree in the churchyard at Möln (or at Dordrecht beneath a bush) but that he is not about to go there.

The baker’s servant answers, “Yes, dreams are often nothing but foolishness. I will give my bridge-treasure to you.”

With that he departed and dug up the treasure from beneath the linden tree.

The Dream of Treasure

On the Tyrolean border near Wopnitz there lived a peasant from Krain whose name was Japnig. His domestic situation had fallen to the point that he feared his few remaining goods would be confiscated by the authorities.

One night he dreamed he should go to Stall in the Möll Valley, and, according to the dream, he would find a treasure on his way there. Japnig found this dream very striking, so he set forth immediately. Underway he met an old invalid on a bridge, who, as is customary asked him how far he was going.

“To Stall,” answered the peasant, then added, “And you?”

“I don’t know” answered the invalid, “I have neither home nor money.”

This all-too-frequent topic of conversation gave the two common ground, and they complained to one another about their hard times. Finally the peasant told the old soldier about his dream.

The latter laughed into his face and said, “Anyone can dream about treasure. I myself have dreamed three times that there was a treasure in the hearth of someone named Japnig, or was it Havenot — have you ever heard such a horrible name? What good is this to me? Do I even know if such a fellow exists? Dreams are foam.”

Japnig was right startled to hear his name. He became still as a mouse, then said farewell to the soldier.

He did not go to Stall, but after a small detour returned immediately to his home in Wopnitz, where he forthwith began to tear apart his hearth. His wife thought that he had gone mad, but mortared into the hearth he found a pot filled with thalers, which solved all of Japnig’s difficulties.

According to another legend, Japnig walked all the way to the bridge at Prague where he met the old soldier. That would have been a great distance, but this frequently told legend always features a bridge, with the favorites being at Innsbruck, Regensburg, or Prague.

The Dream of the Zirl Bridge

It was not going well for the peasant of G. in Rinn, and his shoes pinched him on all sides. Once he dreamed that he should go to the bridge at Zirl where he would discover something important. After having the same dream the following night he shared this information with his wife and declared that he wanted to go to Zirl.

But his old woman would not allow this, saying, “Why do you want to waste an entire day and wear out your shoes for nothing? You will not have as much as a green twig to show for yourself!”

So he remained unhappily at home, but behold, the next night he had exactly the same dream again. He arose very early and hurried to Zirl. At sunrise he was already standing by the bridge there. After walking back and forth for a quarter hour, he was approached by a goat herder who wished him a good morning, then drove his herd onward. He did not see anyone for a long time after that. Noon finally arrived, and hunger was tormenting him. He took a piece of Turkish bread [a confection made from peanuts] from his pocket and let it suffice, for he was not going to leave the bridge for any price. But however long he waited, no one came to him.

He was losing his patience, and he was irritated by the thought of how his wife would laugh at him and ridicule him for his gullibility. But he nevertheless held out, until finally the sun was about to set, and the goat herder returned with his herd. He was more that a little surprised to see that the man from Rinn was still there, and he asked him why he had been waiting there so long.

“You see,” said the peasant, “I dreamed that if I were to go to the Zirl bridge that I would discover something important.”

“Indeed!” answered the goat herder, laughing. “And I dreamed that if I were to go to G. in Rinn that I would find a pot of gold beneath the hearth.”

The man from Rinn had now heard enough. He ran home to see if the herder’s words were true. Arriving home late in the evening, he secretly dismantled his hearth at once, and he did indeed find a pot completely filled with gold. Thus he became the richest peasant far and wide. (Zillertal)

The Church at Erritsø

Many years ago there lived at Erritsø, near Fredericia, a very poor man, who one day said, “If I had a large sum of money, I would build a church for the parish.”

The following night he dreamed that if he went to the south bridge at Veile, he would make his fortune. He followed the intimation, and strolled backwards and forwards on the bridge, until it grew late, but without seeing any sign of his good fortune. When just on the point of returning, he was accosted by an officer, who asked him why he had spent the whole day so on the bridge.

He told him his dream, on hearing which the officer related to him in return, that he also, on the preceding night, had dreamed, that in a barn at Erritsø, belonging to a man whose name he mentioned, a treasure lay buried. But the name he mentioned was the man’s own, who prudently kept his own counsel, hastened home, and found the treasure in his barn. The man was faithful to his word and built the church.

And so, in light of all the above, here’s the BDLD version:

About two weeks ago, circumstances prevented the continued running of the blog off our own infrastructure, at least for a while. While roaming the world wide web searching for a new home, I discovered that our very own domain registrar, Go Daddy, actually offers free web hosting with the domain registration!

There are some reports of poor performance and intrusive ads with Go Daddy’s free hosting. So far, performance has been good and I have seen no ads; if any are seen, please contact me, preferably with screenshot in hand.

  1. R. Aryeh Kaplan, 7 Beggars and Other Kabbalistic Tales of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, Chapter 12 p. 121 – link. []
  2. ‘Vienna’ may be a diffusion from the R. Nachman versions; most of the R. Bunim versions agree that the protagonist was from, and founded his shul in, Kraków, but they locate the bridge in Prague. []
  3. Hészel Klépfisz, Culture of Compassion: The Spirit of Polish Jewry from Hasidism to the Holocaust, , p. 83 – link. []
  4. Martin Buber, The Treasure, in Tales of the Hasidim: The Later Masters, New York: Schocken Books, ©1948, 1975. pp. 245-246 – link. []