“Let me fall if I must fall. The one I am becoming will catch me.”

I often see this quote online, but I can't find the original source. I want to know if the Baal Shem Tov actually said this and in what context.

  • You think this is Skeptics.se? :)
    – user6591
    Commented Aug 24, 2020 at 12:30
  • It might help if you link to some of the places you’ve seen the quote.
    – Menachem
    Commented Aug 24, 2020 at 15:19
  • ראה פרי הארץ פרשת כי תישא בשם הרב המגיד באמצע דיבור עד מתי עצל תשכב
    – kouty
    Commented Aug 24, 2020 at 15:35
  • @Menachem It shows up in "quote sites" like this one: azquotes.com/author/19657-Baal_Shem_Tov Commented Aug 24, 2020 at 20:46
  • Is the Hebrew something like this: "תן לי ליפול אם אני חייב ליפול. זה שאני הופך לתפוס אותי"? If so, it sounds like a discussion of the consequence of either Teshuvah or Birur HaNetzutzot. Commented Aug 25, 2020 at 15:23

1 Answer 1


I am not sure 100%, but this quote is from a student of the Baal Shem Tov, the Maor Enayim Parshat Ytro, Rabbi Nachum from Tsharnobyl

אך האמת שהאדם הוא אינו יכול לעמוד תמיד על מדריגה אחת כי החיות רצוא ושוב שבא ומסתלק דהיינו כשהוא דבוק בהשם יתברך הוא מרגיש חיות ותענוג ואחר כך מסתלק ונופל מדריגתו ויש בזה רזין דאורייתא בטעם הדבר למה צריך ליפול ממדריגתו וטעם אחד הוא כדי שיבוא אחר כך למדריגה יותר גדולה שבכל דבר צריך להיות העדר קודם להויה וכשרוצים להגביה למדריגה יותר גדולה צריך להיות היעדר קודם לכן צריך ליפול ממדרגה שהוא עכשיו

.... Why needs a man to fall from his level? One of the reasons is that he needs to reach a greater level. Because, for everything, the non-existence precedes existence, since, he needs to fall from his level now.

There are some variations in sifre chasidut, and sometimes they give as source the verse in proverbs 24.16

Seven times the righteous man falls and gets up, While the wicked are tripped by one misfortune.

See also Peri Haarets Parshat Tisa

  • Thanks @kouty. But, the quote that I mentioned in my question seems to offer a different message. There's more emphasis on self-reliance; that the good inside of a person will ultimately prevail... which is true, but only when there's a connection to Hashem and Torah. A person shouldn't "ask" to be tested, either... This is why I want to see if the Baal Shem Tov actually said this and in what context. Commented Aug 25, 2020 at 8:15
  • @kouty Your citation is talking about the concept of "Yeridah l'tzorech Aliyah", which is discussed in the Chassidut of the Lubavitcher Rebbe quite a bit. But it doesn't see to be the subject of the OP's question. Commented Aug 25, 2020 at 15:20

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