8 posts categorized "Chassidic stories and parables "

It's Your House

It's your house

Thanks to Hashem, I'm back home safely in our beloved Land of Emuna. Thanks so much to everyone who helped make our speaking tour such a wonderful success.

An old Chassidic parable tells about a dimwit nonchalantly walking down the main street of his village while one of the houses is on fire. His head is in the clouds and he's smiling at some nonsensical thought that his mind is entertaining at the moment. Suddenly, someone yells at him, "Hey Herschel'e, the house that's on fire - it's your house!" What a rude awakening...

Many folks have the same rude awakening when they arrive at the Heavenly Court after their 120 years on earth. "Hashem gave you a gorgeous house," says the Heavenly Tribunal.

"Who, me?" replies the dimwit. "I never owned my own house - I rented."

"We're not talking about the wood and stone dwelling," says the Heavenly Tribunal. "We're referring to the exquisite edifice that housed your soul. You ruined it with Coca Cola and junk food. You failed to perform the required maintenance on it; instead of exercising, you smoked weed and wasted hours in front of a computer screen. You never thanked Hashem for the trillions of miracles He did for your 'house' every day. Instead, you undermined them. You destroyed the walls (of your arteries), the windows (of your soul) and the doors (of your heart). You received more than a beautiful house - Hashem gave you a home, your spouse!"

Uh-oh...

Join us today for our weekly shiur and broadcast from Jerusalem, entitled "It's Your House," a super-important shiur that you don't want to miss, which deals both with Chanuka and marital success. It will take place, G-d willing, in the ground-floor main sanctuary of the Chut Shel Chessed Yeshiva on 13 Shmuel Hanavi Street in Jerusalem at 7PM Israel time (12 noon EST); the shiur is open to the public - both men and women are invited. You can see today's lesson here - the broadcast, as well as our lessons posted from now on - are Mac and iPod compatible. If you tune in too early to the live broadcast link, you'll be sent to the main page of the Breslev Israel website, so try to tune in on time.  If you are not able to view today's broadcast live, then G-d willing, you'll be able to see the video tape of it later this coming week on Lazer Beams. 


Garden of Wisdom Lesson #4: The Encounter

Today, we return our focus to the Clever One from Rebbe Nachman's tale of the Clever One and the Simple One. After travelling around the world, the Clever One comes home and meets his old friend the Simple One, in a very stark contrast…

If you're new to this series, designed for the whole family, you can find earlier lessons at this link. Enjoy!


The Garden of Wisdom - Lesson #3

Today, we tell the story of the Simple Shoemaker from Rebbe Nachman's tale of the Clever One and the Simple One. In stark contrast to the Clever One, the Simple Shoemaker isn't very bright, but he sings and dances all day long … Don't forget to send us your letters and comments! There's a special email address that you'll get at the end of the shiur, and we'll be giving away prizes and surprises for the best letters.

As I promised on the vid, here are the words to the "Song of the Simpleton" so that the whole family can join in:

SONG OF THE SIMPLETON

People call me simpleton

But that just suits me fine

I don’t look at other folks

I’m happy with what’s mine

So what if they have a high IQ

And I’m not very smart

They complain all the time

But I’m happy with my part.

Everyone makes fun of me

But I really do not care

It’s better to be a simple guy

Than some high-brow debonair. 


Introducing the Garden of Wisdom: Lesson #1

Here's the series we've all been waiting for, designed especially for the whole family, from ages 4 to 104.

What is so special about the Tale of the Clever One and the Simple One, and how is it different from Rebbe Nachman's other tales? Here is the first of our new series of lessons on the Garden of Wisdom by my esteemed and beloved teacher Rabbi Shalom Arush, which I had the privilege of translating. G-d willing, this shiur will appear regularly on the Beams every Thursday. We sincerely hope that you fully enjoy these lessons. Let's get started:


Serving the same G-d

During the Omer, we must make a special effort to love, and at least respect, our fellow human. We curtail music and rejoicing during this time of the year because of Rabbi Akiva's 24,000 students who died in a plague. Yes, they were lofty Torah scholars, but they didn't properly respect one another. We must rectify this... 

The Melitzer Rebbe shlit'a told me the following story about his great grandfather, Rebbe Meir'l of Promiszlan. Keep it in mind before allowing yourself the "luxury" of feuding with a fellow Jew:

Serving the same G-d

Rebbe Meir'l of Promiszlan and Rebbe Yitzchok of Strettin were engaged in a long, drawn-out feud. Knowing that dissension serves no purpose, Rebbe Meir'l approached Rebbe Yitzchok and attempted to make peace. The latter only turned his face to the wall. "Please, Strettinner Rebbe, allow me to tell you a tale," said Rebbe Meir'l, and told him the following story:

During the time of the Spanish Inquisition, a Marrano* suspected of secretly being Jewish became deathly ill. The Inquisitors called the local priest, and told him to go see if the dying man would make last confession, proving that he's a Catholic, or else otherwise be burned at the stake as a Jew. The Priest and the Henchman entered the sick man's room, and the sick man turned his face to the wall, refusing to reject his true faith in Hashem during his last minutes on earth.

The Inquisitors said, "Ahah, he's a secret Jew!" The priest said no, he's embarrassed to confess in front of others. Everyone must leave the room!

Only the dying man and the Priest remained in the room. The priest, a Marranno himself, whispered in the man's ear, "You can say Shma Yisrael now, and express your belief in Hashem before you die. You no longer need to turn your back on me, because we both serve the same G-d." With his dying breath, the Marrano utterred, "Hear O Israel, the Lord our G-d, the Lord is one!"

"So you see, Strettinner Rebbe," said Rebbe Meir'l, "You no longer have to turn your back on me, because we serve the same G-d!" The feud ended on the spot.

*Marranos - the Spanish Jews who posed as Catholics on the outside, and secretly continued to practice their Judaism behind closed doors


Serving the Same G-d

The Baal Shem Tov worked so hard for Jewish unity, so that every Jew should love every other Jew. Although mixing in between a feud between two great tzaddikim is like standing between two Mack trucks about to collide head-on – dangerous, to say the least – it’s still painful when they fail to get along with one another.

The Melitzer Rebbe shlit'a told me the following beautiful story, passed down from father to son from his great great grandfather Rebbe Meir'l of Promiszlan; Keep it in mind before allowing yourself the "luxury" of feuding with a fellow Jew:

Rebbe Meir'l of Promiszlan and Rebbe Yitzchok of Strettin were engaged in a long, drawn-out feud. Knowing that dissension serves no purpose, Rebbe Meir'l approached Rebbe Yitzchok and attempted to make peace. The latter only turned his face to the wall. "Please, Strettinner Rebbe, allow me to tell you a tale," said Rebbe Meir'l, and told him the following story:

During the time of the Spanish Inquisition, a Marrano* suspected of secretly being Jewish became deathly ill. The Inquisitors called the local priest, and told him to go see if the dying man would make last confession, proving that he's a Catholic, or else otherwise be burned at the stake as a Jew. The Priest and the Henchman entered the sick man's room, and the sick man turned his face to the wall, refusing to reject his true faith in Hashem during his last minutes on earth.

The Inquisitors said, "Ahah, he's a secret Jew!" The priest said no, he's embarrassed to confess in front of others. Everyone must leave the room!

Only the dying man and the Priest remained in the room. The priest, a Marranno himself, whispered in the man's ear, "You can say Shma Yisrael now, and express your belief in Hashem before you die. You no longer need to turn your back on me, because we both serve the same G-d." With his dying breath, the Marrano utterred, "Hear O Israel, the Lord our G-d, the Lord is one!"

"So you see, Strettinner Rebbe," said Rebbe Meir'l, "You no longer have to turn your back on me, because we serve the same G-d!" The feud ended on the spot.

*Marranos - the Spanish Jews who posed as Catholics on the outside, and secretly continued to practice their Judaism behind closed doors