Yud Gimmel Elul, 5775
Moshe Shlomo, a village merchant, was a simple, good-hearted person, as was his wife Rivka. Although they had been married for fifteen years they didn't have any children.
Many times during that decade and a half, Moshe Shlomo had gone to the Baal Shem Tov and entreated him to pray for them to have children. The Baal Shem Tov always showered him with blessings-for wealth, for long life, for health, for happiness-but never for what he so dearly hoped to hear.
Ten more years went by. The Baal Shem Tov's blessings all came to fruition. Moshe Shlomo's business affairs prospered and expanded. The couple, however, grew even more unhappy. They still had no children, and no encouragement from the Rebbe.
One day, they both went to see him. "Why do you two look so sad?" asked the Baal Shem Tov. Hasn't G-d blessed you with great prosperity, good health, and pleasant dispositions? And you have made the most of these blessings to do many mitzvos and good deeds."
"It may be true, all that you say," they both answered, "but still, we have no children. What do we need all of this wealth for?" They burst into tears. "After 120, there will be no inheritor and no one to remember us."
The Baal Shem Tov did not respond directly. He simply said, "Tomorrow I'm leaving on a little journey with a few of my students. Why don't you two come along also?"
They were surprised by the invitation but they quickly agreed. The travelers set out the next morning. For two days they were on the road, until finally they arrived at a certain town. After a short rest, the Baal Shem Tov suggested that they all go out and have a look around.
As they walked, they came across a bunch of children playing in the sand. The Baal Shem Tov went over to them and said to the nearest one, "What's your name?"
Six of the little boys were named Boruch Moshe, while most of the rest were Boruch or Moshe or one of those two names in combination with another. They went into a few more schools, and also a yeshiva that had students from all the surrounding villages, and found the same pattern of names. Not only that, whatever girls they encountered along the way were mostly named Brocha Leah, or one of those names singly or in combination with another.
By now it was time for the afternoon Mincha prayer. The men went into a shul. As soon as the minyan ended, the Baal Shem Tov asked one of the local men why all the children of the town had the same names. The man answered obligingly that he would be happy to tell them the whole story.