Friday, November 16, 2012

A Hasidic Tale for Day 6

Michael Getty

Day 5:

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs and toast
Lunch: For me, the last of the *%$!! lentil soup; for Brian: leftover macaroni and black beans
Dinner: Pasta with marinara sauce, baked acorn squash

After a week of very survival-level food strategy, as opposed to all the contorted and hoity-toity things I did before this week, I'm remembering a Hasidic story.

A man goes to his rabbi and complains that all his friends are more prosperous than he is -- bigger houses, more beautiful wives, and more thriving businesses. He tells the rabbi that every day he looks around his cramped, dingy house and feels like a failure. “Rabbi," he sobs, "My house is much to small for my wife, my two children, myself and all my dreams to fit.

“Everything will be fine,” the rabbi assures him, “but first you have to go back home, buy a cow and bring her into your house as well.” Now the man is sure the rabbi has lost his mind, but being brought up to always listen to the rabbi, he goes home, buys a cow and brings her into his house as well.

By the third week, he is going out of his mind, so he runs back to the rabbi and explains, “First I complained that my house was too small, so you had me bring in my two dogs and cat and the family goat. Then you had me buy a cow and bring her into my house as well. Now I can’t sleep, can’t eat, can barely think at all from all the noise, and thrashing about, and chaos and clutter that is everywhere I turn. Rabbi you have to help me – it’s driving me crazy!”

So the rabbi takes the man by the hand and says, “Everything will be fine. Go home immediately and take the two dogs, the cat, the family goat and the cow out from your house."

The man runs home as fast as he can, empties the house of all but his wife and two daughters and himself, and then sighs a giant sigh of relief, looks around his empty home and says, “Thank God for this beautiful home with all this luxurious space in which my family can live. What a lucky man I am!”

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