Is it true the Baal Shem Tov knew his zivug before he got married to her? If yes how did he know?

That is, in this story, we read:

Rav Efraim Kitover, the Av Beit din of Brody, was once involved in a din Torah arbitrated by the Baal Shem Tov. The moment the Baal Shem Tov saw Reb Efraim, he realized that Reb Efraim's daughter was destined to become his wife. Rather than hide his brilliance, he "talked in learning" with Reb Efraim and literally dazzled him with his depth of knowledge and sharp intelligence.

Reb Efraim returned to the Baal Shem Tov's house later that day to suggest a shidduch between his daughter, Chana, and the Baal Shem Tov. Of course, the Baal Shem Tov was interested in the shidduch, but there was one problem.

What is the source for this story? Also, through what means did the Baal Shem Tov recognize that Reb Ephraim's daughter was his zivug?

  • 3
    BH I think most of us, a least in our times, know our zivug before we marry her... Nov 30, 2023 at 21:05
  • Presumably relates to this Zohar: אֲבָל וּמֵיְיָ אִשָּׁה מַשְׂכָּלֶת, בְּגִין דְּאִתְּתָא, כַּד אַחְסִין לָהּ בַּר נָשׁ, מֵעִם קוּדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא אַחְסִין לָהּ, דְּהָא לָא יַחְסִין לָהּ קוּדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא לְבַּר נָשׁ, אֶלָּא כַּד מַכְרִיזִין עֲלֵיהּ בִּרְקִיעָא. (toratemetfreeware.com/online/…)
    – The GRAPKE
    Dec 1, 2023 at 9:57
  • 1
    The same way David knew Batsheva would be the woman who would give him Shlomo?
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Dec 1, 2023 at 14:24
  • 3
    Youre talking about the Besht here, which according to chassidic lore was one of the greatest miracle workers and knew all the heavenly secrets, why is this particular story shocking to you?
    – Bach
    Dec 1, 2023 at 16:29
  • 1
    What was the one problem? I also agree with @Bach and I would add that I doubt there is any way to conclusively verify a chasidic story like this as historically "true." But certainly possible there is some kind of contemporaneous souce.
    – Avraham
    Dec 1, 2023 at 17:09


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