29th April 2012
When I think of spiritual traditions, I think about the story that I heard about Baal Shem Tov, who’s the person who ended up creating Hasidic culture. He was walking with an Orthodox rabbi and—I may be butchering the story a bit—they were walking together and there was a guy who had on his prayer robe, his prayer clothes, on, and he was on his hands and knees washing his wagon wheel, and his prayer shawl was getting dirty. The Orthodox rabbi was like, ‘Oh, what has it come to that these people are doing these mundane, dirty chores while wearing the sacred and ceremonial robes?’ And Baal Shem Tov’s response was ‘How incredible is it that, even while this person is washing his wagon, he’s praying?’
— Miles Seaton, in interview with Aki Sasamoto, The Believer, Sept. 2011, 83.