On the way to Jerusalem

One day a poor man decided to go to Jerusalem for job search. Travel arrangements were not so long: he put freshly-baked unleavened bread, flask of water and hope for a better life into his shabby saddlebag. He prayed before leaving and took the road. He walked through the woods and fields, waded across small rivers and crossed mountain ranges, but the road was not hard for him. He was overwhelmed with the sense of gratitude to God, when he raised his eyes to the sky and said: «Oh, Lord, I thank You so much for Your love for me, ordinary mortal. After all, You, Almighty God, never leave me without Your Father’s concern, you always manage to give me something to drink and to eat. Every single day we feel the need for food, and it is You who fill this need each and every day. Blessed be Thy name and Thy mercy!» Soon he felt tired and decided to have a rest in the shadow of a tree and still his hunger. But he put his arm into his saddlebag and found out that the sewing had been rotted of the old age and all his provisions had been lost. The grief of the poor man was great and fast at the same time: he took the hope and belief in God and continued his way. The more he was walking the more he became hungry and thirsty. And again the poor man looked up into the sky and said: «Oh, Lord, what’s next challenge have You prepared for me? Nevertheless, my love for You has no limits and I admire of Your power. Let my route be more complicated, even though I’m hungry, but with the help of Yours I will, for sure, arrive to Jerusalem, where food, water and work are awaiting me.» Focused on the way, the poor man kept walking, dreaming as if he reached Jerusalem and stilled his hunger and thirst. But at one point he noticed that he had his charyks¹ torn up, his legs were skinned so much that bloody marks remained on the road after him. He then sat down on a roadside stone for a moment and realized that there was no one around him and he had no idea where to go. Meanwhile his legs began to swell up and he felt intolerable pain in articulations of his body. And the poor man begged: «Oh, Lord, what are You doing to me? How cruelly You are exercising me! I took the road with the hope and belief in You. With my legs cut, sandal shoes lost, without food and water, how can I get to Jerusalem now? Take pity on me and send me at least a new pair of shoes from the heaven!» The poor man was complaining for long: either appealing to God for help or giving up hope and shedding tears in desperation. But after a while he heard a noise coming from the road. He looked there and couldn’t believe what he saw: a legless man sitting on a plank and pushing off with his bloody hands was crawling along the road. – What are you doing here? – asked the poor man in astonishment. – Don’t you see? I’m moving towards Jerusalem…And you, why are you sitting here? – answered the disabled man. The poor man was glad that there was someone whom he could tell about his misfortunes, and taking no note of time he began his story. But the legless man did not listen to him much and interrupted him in a mid-sentence. – For these words you won’t even get six kopeks at fahle bazar², – grumbled out the disabled man and continued crawling along the road. – Appreciate what the Lord gave you and don’t even think of complaining! And don’t lose faith! – shouted out the disabled man distanced a bit, after that he disappeared in road dust. The poor man was staring after him for long, thinking of the message he received from God. Either he felt pity for himself trying to stop tears that came to his eyes or he was delighted at the courage of the legless man. But soon the poor man found the new strength in himself. Having pointed his eyes up towards the sky, he said: – God is my companion, – and he started hobbling along the road to Jerusalem, feeling reinforced and having attained the great wisdom given him by the Lord.

God’s will be done

As many know, the Lord endowed Solomon with the ability to understand the language of birds, animals and plants. And one day the king was visited by a highly respectable rich man, who addressed the king with the following: – I’ve achieved everything: brought up children, great wife, moreover, I’m a very wealthy person and I help the poor. I am a happy one, but I could be happier, if You taught me to understand the language of birds. Being a clever ruler, king Solomon began to talk him out of it, as Solomon feared that such knowledge were likely to bring harm to him. For several days, implementing various ploys, the king had been attempting to make the oshir leave that idea, but the man insisted strictly on it, and, finally, king Solomon agreed and taught the man the language of birds. One day that respectable person was going along the road when he heard two birds sitting on a mulberry branch talking. – Have a look at the edge of a wood there, where rich man’s house is placed. Do you know what God has decided to do tomorrow? – What has He decided to do? –the second bird wondered. – Tomorrow he will find all his chicks dead in the yard. Having heard it, the man looked towards the house which was pointed at by one of the birds, and at once he realized that that was his house! Then he decided to cheat. He ran home and said: – Wife, I’ve decided to sell all our chicks. He took the chicks to the market and sold them out, then, he spent part of money he made on all kinds of sweets for his wife and children. He came back home and thought: «So glad I am that I’ve completed it in time. I have money left, there is no loss, my wife and children are pleased.» Few days later, relaxing in his garden, the man heard the conversation between the two birds again: – Do you remember that sly person, who had a chance to sell his chicks? So, tomorrow he will find all his cattle dead. The rich man thought: «It’s a good thing that I can understand the language of birds, because they have warned me!» He then headed for the market, sold his cattle out and prevented the tragedy. In just a few days the man heard the conversation of the birds for the third time. – Do you remember the person who managed to predict the events? But today he won’t succeed – his house will burn down! Having heard it, the oshir ran home and ordered his wife to get the children ready, collect all the stuff and immediately move to the mother’s place. That night the man sold his house. Several days passed but nothing occurred to the house. The man was amazed at the fact that the house had been not burnt down, furthermore, there was no fire at all, because new owner showed up close to it. Thus the oshir lost both his house and cattle. He was walking along the road when he heard the conversation between the two birds one more time: – Look, there is walking the one who managed to foresee the events. And he has not still realized how the Lord loved him. After all, when we face some minor issues, we should understand that this all is for the best, in such way God doesn’t let us get into big troubles. Putting a small disaster God just wanted to save him from having a serious mess. The Almighty concluded: better let several chicks die, than great misfortune to descend. But the man managed to sell the chicks. The Lord preferred to ward off a disaster and allow the cattle to die. But the man sold the cattle as well. Then the Lord decided that burning down his house would be better than let great mischief happen. But even in this case the man was ahead of the events. And today the most horrible thing is about to happen: this poor fellow is going to die. Will he be able to avoid misfortune thanks to his knowledge of bird language? But the man did not manage to escape his fate and he died that night.

Put your trust in God…

There was a flood in the valley located at the foot of grey mountains. The water reached lots of mountain villages and its level was going upper and upper. An elderly man was sitting at the wicket gate of his house. A man on a bicycle rode up to him and said: – Hey, distinguished grandfather! Get on my bike, and I'll take you away from here! – What bike can be at my age! I am a righteous person, always hoping for our Lord, He will help me! And you go your way, Godspeed to you. The bicycle rider left, meanwhile, the water continued to rise and people had no choice but to board to the boats. The old man got up onto a porch, when two young men sailed to him: – Grandpa, now listen to us! Water is coming, everyone can die ... Get on our boat, and we will take you away from here. – I am a modest and righteous man hoping for God. God is great, He will help me! In such way the elderly man refused of assistance. Meanwhile the amount of water was increasing, the elderly man climbed onto the roof of his house. A helicopter appeared above the elderly man and a ladder was dropped to him, people from the board announced: – Go up the ladder to us, grandpa! We will save you! And the elderly man answered: – Oh, don’t say that! Do you really mean I should seek salvation in human helping hands? The Lord is great, He sees everything, He will help me! The helicopter flew away and the water level continued to increase… In a moment the roof of the house was sunk and the elderly man drowned. He got to Paradise and saw the Lord sitting on the throne. The elderly man came up to Him and claimed: – God! What have You done? I rested all my hopes in You, and You have let me down! I told everyone on earth that God existed, that You were great and You would help me, but, after all, I got drowned: – You are stupid elderly man! Well, then who sent a bicycle rider to you? Who put a boat and a helicopter to you?! And what else could I do for you in order to make you realize how I love you?

Righteous Fagir

There lived an educated old holy man in one settlement. He was a kind person, he read a lot and generously shared with seekers his knowledge and experience given him by God. He was called rabbi the teacher among the people. Everybody addressed to him respectfully. He liked to travel to the neighboring mountain villages, talk to its residents and became very glad finding people whom he could help. He was known everywhere, he was met with respect and honor, and his fame was always half a step ahead. Once he set off for a distant settlement, and as soon as he appeared there a string of people started coming closer to him for their needs…And he prayed for ones, cured afflictions of the others, listened to the third and gave his advice to them. Once a man came to him and said: – Hello, My name is Fagir, and God sent you to me! For the first time in my life I have the opportunity to talk to the rabbi so much respected. And I do hope that you will help me solve the most serious problem of my life. I have a siddur¹, I read it every day, but I don’t know the sequence, I say prayers in a row. I had nobody to ask about it, what if I say prayers in the wrong way: for example, in the morning the prayers that should be said at night, and at night the ones that should be said during the daytime. Could you tell me how to say prayers properly, please? – All right, – said the old holy man , – take a sheet of paper and write down. The rabbi started speaking in details: what particular prayer to say and when, the man listened to him carefully and noted down everything, trying not to miss anything. When the old holy man finished up, the man thanked him and went home. Approaching his house, he realized that he had lost the sheet of paper, where the order of saying prayers was written, whether the wind blew that paper or anything else happened. Fagir went back to the old holy man. But, unfortunately, the old holy man had already left the village, and people said that he had gone towards the river. The man did not waste time and ran after the old holy man, hoping to catch up with him. And when he was on a hillock, he saw the rabbi walk down to the river, pull out his handkerchief, throw it into the water, stand on it and get to the opposite bank. Then, without a second thought, Fagir ran up to the river, threw his handkerchief into the water, stood on it and crossed the river too. He went ashore and shouted: – Hey, rabbi, rabbi, wait! The old holy man was surprised: he had no idea what was going on and stopped: – How did you get here?! – The same like you did, swimming on a handkerchief. –Well, why were you trying to catch me? I’ve lost my sheet of paper where I had the order of prayers to say. Will you tell me it again? The old holy man paused for a half of minute, then, he looked into the man’s eyes so that he could see directly the man’s soul, and said: –Don’t you get it? The way you have been saying prayers all your life is not so important. Just keep on doing it like you are used to. The main thing is that you have the name of God in your soul, I have just made sure!

Righteous Evstakh

There lived one famous rabbi in one city, who was already up in years and knew that his last hour would soon come. Once while praying, he asked God: – Who will be next to me in paradise when I die? At night, Rabbi saw a dream that he was in paradise, and a man named Evstakh from a distant city was sitting next to him. Realizing that he had little time left, the rabbi was about to start his journey as he wondered who this stranger was. The journey was long, but he reached the city on Friday afternoon and began to ask about Evstakh. The rabbi found out that that man was famous enough, because everyone he met knew about the one he was looking for: – Who are you asking about? Evstakh? About this poor man? He lives over there! The rabbi was shown the house where Evstakh lived, and the decided to go to Evstakh’s place for lunch on Saturday. And Saturday came. Approaching Evstakh’s house the rabbi heard loud voices being raised, music being played and songs being sung. The rabbi looked into the windows of the house and saw the following picture: the wine was flowing like water, some girls were sitting on host's laps, the guests were telling dirty jokes. The rabbi was terrified: “Can it be true that this man is going to be next to me in paradise? This man is a libertine who not only breaks the Sabbath, but also has missed the fear of God!” The rabbi gathered the courage and knocked at the door. Evstakh opened the door and asked what he wanted. – You know, I'm looking for Evstakh. – It’s me, I am Evstakh ... What do you want? – I need to talk to you. They sat on the bench, and the rabbi told Evstakh how he had asked God about the person who would be next to him in paradise when he died. – And I saw you in a dream, I was told your name and the city where you lived. So I have found you. Now tell me, please, why are you supposed to get to paradise? And Evstakh answers: – So, probably you had a bad dream or you are confusing me with someone else. – No, it was your name that I heard in that dream. Tell me about your life, and I’ll try to understand why you deserve paradise. – Well, what my life is... I do not remember my parents. The only thing I remember is that they always made serious preparations for the Sabbath, sat down at the Sabbath table. And I have no idea what kind of prayers to say and what to do on the Sabbath. It happens so that every Saturday I invite my friends and arrange a holiday for them. – No, that’s all is not what I mean. Tell me, what good have you done in your life? – Nothing. – Why do you think that is? - wondered the rabbi. - Well, tell me more about yourself. – Growing up a street boy, an orphan, I was always scolded by the neighbors, who asked me to finally settle down. But I didn’t have a chance, I did not get married. – How come, you did not get married? And this girl dressed in bridal gown, who is she? – It’s my daughter. – Your daughter? How is that? – Rabbi suspiciously looked at Evstakh. – You are not married, indeed! – It is another story ... Once in the woods I found a five year old child - abandoned girl ... Her parents were killed by robbers. I took her with me and raised her as my daughter. Two years ago she fell in love with the orphan, without father and mother like I was. So I was very happy for them and decided to help. I sold everything I had and arranged a wedding for them. And today is their wedding day. The rabbi hugged Evstakh and said: – I have many students who I teach to do good things: to help relatives and friends, the poor, to keep the commandments. If it were not for you, I would have thought that I had done my best. And only thanks to you, I realized how much I still have to do to deserve a place next to you in paradise.

Watermelon

There lived an old holy man of respectable age in one city. He was famous with his wisdom, but he was very poor. One day king heard of old holy man’s wisdom and informed him that he intended to pay a visit to the old holy man’s place and talk to him. – What are we going to serve the king? – asked his wife alarmingly. – We have almost nothing in our home! – You will bring what we have and do what I’ll tell you, – responded the old holy man. When the king came the old holy man invited him to dinner table and old holy man’s wife brought them a watermelon. The owner took that watermelon into his hand, threw it up, knocked on it, touched it with his fingers and then said to his wife: – We have another watermelon better than this one, so, bring it to us: The wife took that watermelon away and soon was back carrying a watermelon again. The old holy man did the same with the new watermelon and asked his wife to take it away and bring the other one. The wife said nothing and did what she was told. That time her husband was pleased: he cut the watermelon and served the meal to the king. Meanwhile their interesting measured conversation was coming to its end. The king thanked the old holy man and went back to his palace in a glad and good mood, caused by the hospitality extended by the old holy man. Afterwards the king remembered how regardful was the old holy man choosing watermelon, and imitating him the king each time made his servants to bring him another one… At the same time the king could not even think that the old holy man had only one watermelon at home…

Everything is in the power of the tongue

Once Persian shah fell seriously ill and had no luck recovering. He promised then to the one who would help him to get rid of his illness his daughter as a wife and half of his kingdom to the bargain. And one young man comes to him and says: – I know how to cure you. – Really? How to do that? – the shah wondered. – The lioness milk will save you, – the young man blurted. – But where to find a man who will be so brave to milk a lioness? Once you have proposed this, then you must do it! After that I will give my daughter in marriage with you and half of the kingdom into the bargain. The young man had nothing to do, he left looking for the milk of a lioness. He found a cave in the forest where lioness with her cubs lived. But how to milk a lioness he did not know. Then he had an idea: he brought ten little goats and every morning gave one goat to the lioness to eat. Day after day, the young man came closer and closer to the lioness, and after ten days, he already stroked the lioness and milked her while she ate a goat. Glad, carrying lioness milk, the young man hit the road. On his way, he got tired and decided to have a rest under a tree and fell asleep. And he had a dream that his organs were arguing with each other about which of them was more important. The eyes say: – Thanks to us, the owner found a cave and a lioness!” If we had not been there, he would not have been able to do it! – No! – say the legs. – We are more important! Because we boldly brought him to the forest and to the lioness, and we will bring him back to the shah! – Nothing like this! – say the hands. – Who milked the lioness? If not us, how would he have milked her? Therefore, we are more important. Finally the tongue started to speak: – And let's argue that the most important organ is me! – Why do you think so? – asked other bodies. – I told the shah that he needed the milk of a lioness! And if I had been silent, how could our owner have been able to get to the shah? The organs got angry with the tongue. – Ok, – said the tongue, – I'll prove it to you. – The young man woke up and thinks – what a strange dream he had. He again started his way and after some time came to the shah’s palace. – Have you brought the lioness milk? – the shah asked him. And the young man for no reason said: – Here, take it, I brought you the milk of a dog! The shah became angry: – How come, dog milk?! – Yes, here it is, it will cure you! The shah ordered to the guard to seize the young man and cut his head off. They took the young man to the block. His arms and legs trembled, his eyes started running around. – What have you done? They shout to the tongue. – Now he will need neither his hands, nor his legs nor his eyes! – So I have proved to you that I am the most important organ! – the tongue answered. – Now look how I will save you all. And suddenly the young man said to the guard: – I’ve forgotten the most important thing to say to the shah! – What did you forget? – Believe me, you will not be saved if you don’t take me right now to the shah! The guard brought the young man back to the shah. – I forgot to tell you the most important thing. – Dear shah, you have misunderstood me! – What happened? – You sent me for what reason? You wanted me to get lioness milk. I brought you the milk of a lioness. Just in the country where I got it, the lioness is called a dog. Don't you want to be cured? Drink this milk and you will be healthy! He drank the milk of a lioness and immediately felt relief. The shah gave his daughter and half the kingdom to the young man, and after that the tongue said to the organs: – Don't you know that one who has learnt to manage his own tongue is worth respecting, and the one whose speeches cure people deserves paradise?

King’s favorite

One king had a favorite worker. Once the king called him and said: – Sevgil, tonight I have decided to stay at your house and have dinner together. Go and cook some food and make bed for me. Sevgil went home, began to cook, took out the best flatware. He put the feather bed on his sleeping place for the king, and he laid Sumak rug on the floor for himself. Then he heard some noise on the street. He looked out of the window and saw that the king was coming surrounded by a large retinue. The retinue members were in expensive dresses, candles in golden candlesticks were burning ... And it all looked so rich and beautiful that it made Sevgil feel ashamed. – The king is used to luxury, and I don’t have a single expensive item in my house, – thought Sevgil. He collected all that he had prepared and hid. The king came into his house and saw - nothing was prepared for his arrival. Then he asked: – Sevgil, I told you that I was to come to visit you today. Why don't you meet me, how it is seemly to meet guests? – You see, king, – Sevgil replies in embarrassed manner, – I was preparing for your arrival. I cooked the food that was in my house, got the best dishes, made my bed for you and shook on the floor for myself. But when I looked out the window and saw what luxury retinue accompanies you, I was ashamed that even the smallest thing I saw, I cannot offer my distinguished guest. So I hid everything that I had prepared, and I thought – Let there be nothing than I could seem ignorant. – Sevgil, – the king shook his head, –I carried all this luxury into your house. I became tired of it in my palace. I consider it for happiness to taste the food with you in that simple dish that you have. After all, I do not have enough communication with you, while you are my favorite. And if it is necessary for you to feel not slighted, the next time you meet me, I will order to bring to your house everything that you would like to have to meet guests. And may God help us to love and be friends with each other, despite the utensils that are in our homes.

Blind boy

Once upon a time there lived a rabbi, who was a very righteous honest man. And one day he took his grandson to the bank of river. His grandchild started playing with his little friends, swimming, running, and the rabbi was sitting on the bank and waiting. Suddenly the rabbi saw a five year old boy alike his grandson sitting on the sand. That boy was blind and he could neither play with others nor swim in the river. The rabbi fell to thinking about it and started to pray to the Lord: – Almighty God! I beg You to give back sight to this boy! Let him celebrate and enjoy life, like his peers do! The rabbi was praying for so long, and, finally, he got God’s answer: – This boy is blind because of you. The rabbi was terrified: – How so? Why did he become blind because of me?! The Lord explained: – This child is blind just because I love you so much. – God, what kind of love is it that can make a kid suffer? – You don’t know the grief in your life, everything is fine with you. That's why this boy is blind. – But the child is innocent! Why such sacrifices? Give back the ability to see to him… The Lord responds: – If I make him able to see, in less than a day you will start pleading with Me to make him blind again. – That's impossible! I never wanted anything bad to happen to anyone and I’ll never pray that a child go blind! – cried out the rabbi. Then God agreed: – All right. For your sake I’ll give back sight to him. Come up to the boy and say a prayer above his head. The rabbi did what he was told and the boy recovered his sight. He saw all colors of the world around, he began enjoying the sky, water, grass and flowers. After a while, that boy started to collect empty bottles and break them on the bank of the river, where children were swimming. Coming out of the water, the rest children walked through the broken glass and got badly hurt. The rabbi’s grandson was one of the injured. The rabbi saw it and raced to rescue: who to bandage wounds, who to calm. Then he ran up to this boy and said: – What have you done?! The Lord will punish you for that! He gave you the ability to see, and you nearly made other children disabled! But the boy ignored the rabbi’s words and continued playing dirty tricks. And the rabbi begged: – Almighty God! I have been learning what is written in our sacred books all my life, but, in any case, I face challenges I cannot understand. Now I’ve got why You didn’t want to restore the boy’s sight. – No, you have not understood everything yet. I didn’t want to give the sight back to him not for that reason. – Why ever? And the Lord answered: – Listen, rabbi, that boy is going to kill your grandson in twelve hours in front of you, and it would be a lesson to you. If you can’t understand something, do not jump to conclusions.

Underground city

There was a beautiful city in a faraway land, where people lived happy lives without a care in the world, but one thing cast a shadow over them: as the city was very old the pipes, which were used as public sewer, were buried deep beneath the surface, got out of order. A solution needed to be found to this problem, on that occasion seventy two wise men gathered together. One of them suggested sending the strongest, healthiest and hardiest guy to repair the pipes. Another wise man remarked that it was impossible, as no one could suppose how long it would take to find the core of accident. The third one suggested sending a group of strong and healthy people there. At last, another wise man said: «Let’s send several couples of boys and girls there. We actually have no idea how much time it will take to detect and fix the breakage. If they fail, their children will manage to complete it». Thus a number of young couples were sent to the dungeon, and they were told: «Our city will die in fifty years, if you won’t repair the pipes». Some years later there formed a nation in the dungeon. The story of wonderful and bright city with beautiful flowers and trees and happy life up was handed down from fathers to their children, from children to grandchildren, while nobody could imagine what the life was like in that original great city. Whole nation was born and continued to live in a dark and muddy place among rats and mice. A lot of time passed and these people completed their task: they found the damaged pipes and fixed them. Thanks to their efforts, the city was saved. But they had never seen it. Fathers and grandfathers died, the stories about the beautiful city had been changed. Once, one of the wise men discovered a gap through which a ray of light was reaching the dungeon. The wise man brought people together and said: «Look at this ray of light! It is so little and so wonderful! We completed the task set by our ancestors - we repaired the pipes. Let’s now go up to the true world to the true light. Why do we have to live in this dungeon?» But the wise man was not lucky to persuade his people. Moving in darkness was customary, but moving towards the light requires courage from human being. The people became scared. They got used to living in the dark with rats and mice, they felt afraid of the light. They mured up the gap, that blocked the perpetration of the only one ray of light, which was found and shown by the deceased wise man. The people did not want the unknown. And these people still live in a dark and muddy place and they fear to step outside. Meanwhile rich, beautiful and happy city praises and blesses those ones, but it cannot wait for them to come back. Anyway, one popular wisdom states: «Az rah kyalatao furmush naebosh - do not lose the ways of your ancestors».

Wedding

Jewish wise men tell that one day Alexander the Great, having conquered another state, was going through a desert and ran into a small province. He sent his messengers there to find out what was it like. The messengers came back and said: – It's just a province, nothing special, but they all love to judge the courts! – I wonder, – said Alexander, – let's look into there. When Alexander entered the province, the residents, having heard about this, greeted him with symbolic keys to the city. And Alexander said: – I heard that you love to judge the courts. I want to have a look at such a court! – Right now one interesting case is ongoing, – the residents answered and led him to the courtroom. Alexander came in, sat down at the very end so as not to interfere the process, and began to listen to it. Two people are suing, and one says: – Your Honour! Here is the land I sold to this man! And he wanted to build a house there, so he began to dig and found the treasures. I think that these treasures belong to him, because everything that is on that land I sold to him! – What can you say? – the judge asks the second man. The second answers: – That's right, my friend says! I bought a field from him, but the contract does not say that he sells me the treasures that are buried in this land! So I have no right to take them. Therefore, I decided to return them to him. – No, I will not take them! – And I will not take them either! The judge thought: what to do? After all, no one wants to take the treasure! Meanwhile Alexander is sitting and smiling. The judge says to one of the applicants: – Now listen, do you have any children? – Yes, I do! – And do you have? – the judge asks the second one. – So do I! – Do you have a son who is ready to start a family? – the judge asks one of them. – Yes, I do! – Do you have a daughter who is ready to get married? – asks the judge the second man. – Yes, I do! And the judge said: – Here is my decision! Let's marry them and give them the treasures! These two people were delighted, hugged each other and said: – We did not know that under such circumstances we could become relatives! And Alexander of Macedon started laughing and couldn’t stop. Then people came up to him and asked: – What's so funny? Did you like our court? – What kind of court is this? I have not seen such courts in all my life! The court turned into a wedding! – What would you do if you were a judge? – I would kill one, then I would kill the other, and after I would take the treasures for myself. – Yeah, – said one of the crowd. – The power seeker will never know what justice is.

Skull

One day the army of Alexander the Great set off on campaign. The path ran through a large desert. Many days and weeks Alexander’s caravan was moving, the water supplies were over, provided that the end of the desert was not visible. All of a sudden, a lake of outstanding beauty appeared before Alexander and his men. They ran up to the lake and began drinking water with greed, but when they quenched their thirst, they felt the water was so sweet, that being steeped in it salted fish they had in their food supplies became as sweet as sugar. Alexander wondered and decided to find out the secret of that lake. He ordered his soldiers to dig a trench and drain all the water from the lake. The soldiers made a trench and the water started disappearing. The bottom of the lake became empty. Alexander descended there and saw a door sparkling in strong bright rays of the sunshine. Having rubbed the door, he discovered that it was made of pure gold. Alexander was amazed. “This door is likely to be the starting point to Garden of Eden,” – he thought and tried opening it. Though, he failed. Alexander then pleaded and exclaimed: – My name is Alexander the Great and I am the lord of the world! Won’t it open in front of me?! At that moment the door opened slightly and a human skull flew out, after that the door closed promptly. Alexander looked at the skull and he couldn’t understand what was going on, when suddenly he remembered visiting Jewish wise men in Jerusalem. He said to his servants: «Bring these wise men in here.» And Alexander asked the wise men: – What sort of skull am I holding? And the wise men answered: - This skull is a special one! It weighs more than all the gold and diamonds you have robbed in all your life! – No, you don’t mean that? – responded Alexander. – And you go check! Then Alexander ordered to construct a huge balance: he took all jewels he had and put them on one balance pan, and on the other pan he set the skull. As soon as the skull was placed on the balance, it outweighed everything that was on the second pan at one. People were amazed. And Alexander sent his messengers to Jerusalem again to find out the reason why the skull was so heavy. They came back with the answer. – The Jewish wise man advised to close the eye pits of the skull, and this would help the gold to outweigh. Alexander blindfolded the skull and his jewels outweighed it. – What does it mean? Then messengers responded: – The Jewish wise men said there was nothing more insatiable in the world but human eyes, however much worth a person had, it would never be enough! That is why the door you wanted to enter is not for you, it’s designated for the righteous.

Immortalized name

Once, Kyalyaq Bebe was visited by his grandson. A little grandson runs up to him and demands to tell him another parable. And then the old man asks: – Do you want me to tell you an ancient story that happened once to the commander and conqueror Alexander the Great? – I do want, I do want, – the baby cried out happily, and the grandson made himself comfortable and got ready to listen to the story. – Once upon a time, – began the old man, Kyalyaq Bebe, – Alexander the Great, one by one, began to conquer states and territories of kings and shahs. Once, he and his army were approaching to Yerushalayim - the capital of the great Jewish state of Judaistas. Having reached the gates of the city, with his numerous retinue he saw that an old high priest was walking towards him, and he held in his hands a symbolic key to the city. The thing is that the Jewish wisemen after consulting decided not to enter into opposition and to surrender the city without a fight. Seeing the old man approaching, Alexander quickly jumped off his horse and headed towards the old man. All Alexander's retinue was greatly surprised by the act of their king: as he had never dismounted before the representatives of conquered cities. Then everybody was even more shocked when they saw how King Alexander knelt down and kissed the bottom of the cloak of the high priest of Yerushalayim. – What’s happening to you, great king? They exclaimed. – Explain us your behavior. – The thing is, – said Alexander, “that every time I mounted my horse and joined the battle, I saw the figure of a stately old man ahead of me and knew that I would succeed, because the old man’s face had never left me. And I thought that it was the Lord himself who helped me in battles. And just now I saw the venerable high priest of Yerushalayim and realized that this particular figure had accompanied me for many years. – Immortalize my name in this holy city, – the king of Macedon addressed to the old man. – How can I do it? – replied the high priest. – Mount a statue of me in your sacred Temple, so that everyone could give me honors at all times. – Hasboh shalom, hasboh shalom, – the old man answered. “This idea would not be understood by our people as well as this would be a sacrilege of our sacred object — the Temple of ours, as the Lord said: “Do not set yourself an idol in your possessions”. And then, a new conqueror will come to Yerushalayim and, first of all, he’ll destroy your statue. Alexander shook his head, realizing that the old man was right. – But I know, great king, how to perpetuate your name, – the high priest continued. - From now all children to be born this year will bear your name in our country, regardless of whether it is a boy or a girl. – What is good for me from that? – Alexander was astonished at the old man’s offer. – It's very simple, – said the high priest. – According to the customs of our people, it is customary to give our grandchildren the names of grandfathers, for ever and ever people will call their children by your name. And soon there will not be a nation on the earth, which won’t include boys and girls named after you. Alexander was delighted with the wisdom of the old man, and he did not hurt the holy city, and the thick clouds of war and violence were dispelled, and the people of Israel did not suffer. – All year long children born in Yerushalayim were called after the name of the great King Alexander, – concluded the old man Kyalyaq Bebe. – What about you? Do you want to perpetuate your name? – turned Kyalyaq Bebe to his grandson. – And how can I do it, my dear grandfather? – asked the little grandson in a cheerful voice. – Everything is very simple! – answered Kyalyaq Bebe. – Study our books, fear God, deserve the love of your people with your wisdom and kindness! For the good name of a man is better than anointing to reign oil. And everyone will respect you and will gladly call their sons by your name.

Parable

One a decent woman bought a ticket at an airport, and then she checked in for her flight. She had some free time left and decided to go to a cafe where she bought a newspaper and a pack of waffles. She wanted to have a seat somewhere, but that place was fully occupied. After a moment, she took a look around and saw a religious Jew sitting at one table; she approached him, sat down at the table close to the Jew, spread her newspaper and started to read. Few minutes later she closed her paper and opened the waffles to have a light meal. As soon as she unpacked the waffles, the religious man put his hand out and took one. The woman was amazed at what she had seen: “How so? He has no manners!”, - she thought. But she said nothing to him. Then she took a waffle too. The man noticed it and took the second one. And the woman was astonished: “Ok, he took one waffle without asking, but he should have asked for my permission to get a second one!”. She said nothing to him again. But when she picked another waffle, the religious man’s hand went to the waffle pack and took a waffle out. The woman got angry. She took another waffle, so did the religious man. Thus they were picking waffles one by one until there was only one left. At that moment they looked at each other: no one dared take it. Few minutes later the religious man took the last waffle and divided it into two parts, he gave one half to the woman and left the second half for himself. The woman gave up at that point: she jumped up in anger, threw her part of the rest waffle in man’s face, grabbed her purse and moved away. Meanwhile, the boarding was announced. The woman entered the cabin, took her seat, but she couldn’t calm down. The plane took off. The woman was about to paint her lips, she opened her purse… lo and behold! She found in it the pack of waffles that she bought in the cafe…

Everything for enjoying!

Once a Jew got tired with work on Friday before Shabbat and he did not have time to go home to meet the festive evening. Having thought over a little, he got an idea: in accordance with canons and customs, no one would deny hospitality to him, so he headed towards the most famous rabbi Baal Hochma the wise man. Entered the threshold of wise man’s house, he asked: – Rabbi, can you shelter me for blessed Sabbath? – Sure, with great joy! – answered Baal Hochma. – You only have to pay me 200 shekels for it. The guest was deeply amazed of such impudence, but, nevertheless, gave the money to the rabbi, and the guest himself, not having peace of mind, kept thinking: “How can such a famous wise man turn out to be so impudent and greedy for money?” Well, I'll drive him to complete bankruptcy! First of all, he went to the bathroom and, sparing neither hot nor cold water, calmed down a bit at the thought that thus he had returned 30 shekels to himself. Then he began to eat viands in the fridge: he tried everything he could, and calmed down that he had got another 40 shekels back. After a good night's sleep, in the morning he began his day with a good shower, and then again he took food in the fridge. All day lying in the luxurious garden, leg to leg on the downy feather beds, satisfied and happy, he began to start to return home. – I am very grateful to you for your hospitality, because I enjoyed it a lot. – Wait a minute! – answered Baal Hochma. He opened his safe and gave the guest 200 shekels and said: – Do not forget to take your money back. Surprised guest asked: – So, why did you demand the money from me yesterday? And why are you giving it to me back now? Rabbi Hochma answered: – And how would you get such an excellent pleasure, if you did not pay for that?

Kopek price

Once upon a time, there lived Jews in a small village. And they appointed one respected God-fearing person as Gabbai of Tzedakah to collect alms for the needs of the poor and the community. He worked properly and always performed his duties. One rich man lived in the same village, and when it was necessary to get money, he went to the rich man, knocked at his door and said: – Hello dear! I collect money for the poor and for the community. I have not come to you before now, because there was no need. Now we have to find more money, and I ask you to help us. – Wait here, – said Oshir. The rich man brought one kopek and put it into Gabbai’s hand. Gabbai shrugged his shoulders and said: – Aren’t you ashamed? I made such journey and came to your place hoping that you would help, and you have given me only one kopek! Gabai got angry, threw the coin on the ground, turned around and left. Much time has passed since then, the wedding between two young people was to take place in the village. But the day before the military recruiter came and said: – We are taking this man to the army, like all others! The bridegroom begged: – Tomorrow is my wedding day! How dare you pick me up the day before the wedding?! But the recruiter did not want to listen to anything and left. In the evening the head of the community came to the recruiter to ask for the young. And the recruiter said to him: – I understand everything and I am ready to give up for a good ransom, - and he assigned the amount. The head of the community grabbed his head: – How can I come by so much money? – It’s my ultimate decision, and I am not going to change it, - answered the recruiter. The head of the community came back to his people, and they began to think what to do. They were thinking and thinking, but couldn’t imagine where to take so much money. All what they had was not enough, but they did not want to go to the rich man. Meanwhile one guest named Chofetz Chaim was on a visit in the village. He came to the gathered people, sat down aside and began to listen. When everybody stopped speaking, Chofetz Chaim asked the head of the community: – Why don’t you go to oshir? – Gabbai has already gone to his place, but he does not want to give us anything. Then Chofetz Chaim said: – It is necessary to check it, I will go myself to the rich man. Chofetz Chaim came to the house of the rich man and knocked at his door. Oshir opened the door. – Hello! – said Chofetz Chaim. – The following situation has come about in the village: people have no idea how to get money. All our hope is you! – Well, – said the rich man, – wait here at the door, – and disappeared. When he returned, he took out one kopek and put it into Chofetz Chaim’s hand. Chofetz Chaim bowed and thanked the rich man: – Thank you! Let your wealth increase! As soon as the rich man heard these words, he said: – Wait a minute! – he went into the house. The rich man came back and brought fifty kopeks. And Chofetz Chaim thanked the rich man another time. Then again the rich man went into the house and brought out a rouble. Chofetz Chaim bowed and was ready to leave. – Stop! –Said the rich man. – Come into the house! Chofetz Chaim entered the house after the oshir. The rich man brought him the amount which the community lacked for the ransom. – Here it is, you can buy out your bridegroom! – Sorry, I have one question to you! There is notoriety about you in the village, but what has just happened shows that you are a good man! Can you tell me, why you don't give money to people who live in this village? – Asked Chofetz Chaim. And the rich man answered: – I've tried. I gave one kopek to Gabbai, but he neglected it and threw the on the ground. And I know that a person for whom even one kopek has no price does not know how to value money, which means that such a person cannot be given any money at all. But you are another matter. I am ready to give you money, because I know that my money in your hands will reach those who really need it.

Gift for mom

There lived three brothers, they lost their father early, and their mother raised them on her own. When the sons grew up, each of them became successful and got rich, while the mother grew old and stayed to live in her small house. The sons decided to thank the mother for everything she did for them. The eldest son said: – I bought a huge house with servants for my mother. Let her live high even in her old age. The middle son said: – I bought a fancy car with a driver for my mom. Let her travel comfortably in her old ages. And the younger son said: – I overtook you all. You know how mother loves to read Torah, but she has grown old, and her eyes are not so good, so it is hard for her to read. I came up with it and decided to gift her a parrot. 20 rabbis have been teaching this parrot for 20 years, and now it reads the whole Torah by heart. He just needs to hear the chapter number, and he starts right away. The brothers agreed that it was the best gift. After some time passed, the sons came to see their mom and began to ask: – How are you, Mom? How did you like our gifts? And she said to the eldest son: – Thank you, son, for your gift. But why do I need a house with so many rooms? After all, I live only in one, and all others stand empty. She told the middle son: – Thank you, son, for your wonderful gift, but just where do I travel in such an old age? And my eyes see almost nothing, and I even can’t admire views from the window. And she said to her younger son: – Thank you, son. You know what mom needs. The soup from that chicken that you sent me was so delicious!