Why Tell Stories

Posted: May 20, 2012 in Short Stories
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When the great Rabbi Israel Shem Tov saw that the Jews were being mistreated, he went into the forest, lit a sacred fire and said a special prayer, asking God to protect his people. And God sent him a miracle.

Later, his disciple Maggid of Mezritch, following in his master’s footsteps, went into the same part of the forest and said: “Master of the Universe, I do not know how to light the sacred fire, but I do know the special prayer; please, hear me!” And the miracle happened again.

A generation passed, and when Rabbi Moshe-leib of Sasov saw how his people were being persecuted, hewent into the forest and said: “I don’t know how to light the sacred fire, nor do I know the special prayer, but I still remember the place. Help us, O Lord!” And the Lord helped them.

Fifty years later, Rabbi Israel of Rizhin, in his wheelchair, spoke to God, saying: “I don’t know how to light the sacred fire nor do I know the special prayer, and I can’t even find the place in the forest. All I can do is tell this story and hope that God will hear me.”

[Taken from Aleph by Paolo Coelho]

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