The Power Prayer and Holy Names

There was once a very educated man who studied the sciences and the art of debate. He believed that science held the answers to everything that could be asked. Many times he would make fun of religious people. He felt their belief in something that could not be defined by numbers of the laws of science were foolish and superstitious. He felt prayer was a waste of breath and amounted to nothing.  It was very clear that he doubted the value of prayer and Holy Names, and many thought he did not believe in them at all.

Now it came about toward the end of his life that a certain man from a faraway land was possessed by a daemon. This very educated man mocked at those who alleged that a daemon had possessed that man, and thought them superstitious fools who would believe anything. He declared: “This is a natural illness, a form of a medical disorder of the brain.”

In order to make the truth clear to him, he was told: “Indeed, you will see a remarkable thing.” This man was lying on his bed without any sensation and in his hand people placed many things and various written documents; and he did not move or feel anything at all.

Then they placed in his hand a certain paper on which the Name of the Holy One, blessed be He was written. This is a Name which is not known to those who interpret the Bible text literally, since they recognize only the ten divine Names that are found there. As soon as this paper was placed in his hand the man cried aloud and flung the paper away with great force, though his eyes were closed and he could see nothing.

Then they placed in his hand an herb which is called

oregano

  the beauty of the mountain

No sooner did the herb touch his hand, he flung away forcibly, and a voice could be heard, but not like the first time. They placed the paper on which the Name of the Holy One, blessed be He was written and the herb in the hand of the possessed man  as they constantly prayed many times during the next 6 days, on the eve of the seventh day which was the Holy Sabbath Day, the man opened his eyes and asked for the blessed wine and hallowed bread. The daemon that possessed him was gone.

The very educated man could not respond at all, and he admitted that none of his knowledge of science could explain what had happened. Then the very educated man admitted the power of prayer and Holy Names and was not ashamed to do so.

A Medieval Tale from Lombardi

May all your tales end with Shalom (peace)

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 Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation. (Joel 1:3) 

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The Carpenter

When Jewish people come together a special connection takes place as people from across the Jewish spectrum share in prayer, observance, food, and camaraderie. The question invariably is raised how can so many different Jewish people come together and have fun and develop special friendships. How can we get past the, sometimes insurmountable, differences and share in our beautiful and holy traditions.

So many questions are asked and the answers are not so difficult as one listens to those around. In an old story, one remembers…

In a certain city lived a carpenter who was well-known for his fine craftsmanship. Merchants, noblemen and other wealthy people visited him regularly, asking him to build fine furniture for them. The carpenter never disappointed anyone. Time and time again, he consistently created beautiful cabinets and graceful bookcases that were amazing to look at. His fame as a craftsman spread throughout the land, until word of his skills reached the king.

The king had the carpenter summoned and told him that from then on he would be employed in the king’s palace. He would be personally responsible for building furniture for the royal family. The king invited him to live in special quarters, and assured the carpenter that he would provide for both him and his fam­ily. In addition, he would pay the carpenter handsomely, guaranteeing him a generous monthly salary.

Excited, the carpenter packed up his tools, family and belongings and moved into his new home palace grounds.

Some time afterwards, the carpenter became sick and lost his eyesight, leaving him unable to work. He went to many doctors and they gave him all kinds of medicines. The treatments slowly took effect, but after spending so much money on the doctors, he was in time left penniless.

The carpenter needed more medication but was unable to pay for them, his wife suggested that he sell his tools, in order to buy the medicines that he needed.

Carpenter story

“Absolutely not!” shouted the carpenter. “I may not presently be able to work, but the king, nonetheless, acts kindly towards me and dis­plays understanding for my situation, as he realizes that I will soon be able to work again. However, if I sell my tools, it is a sign that I am no longer a carpenter.., What will I do then?”

The same thing applies to the Jewish people. While we may no longer serve Hashem (G-d) in the ways that the earlier genera­tions did, we nevertheless, trust in Him with all our hearts – for the Name of G-d is within each of us, and we remain servants of the King of all Kings! 

May all your tales end with Shalom (peace)

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The Palace and the Pigeons

Once there was a king who was loved by all the people in his kingdom. The was peace and the people lived well. Then one terrible day the dark skies and fury of war came to the kingdom, even to the capital city. The palace was destroyed and ransacked by enemies.

The king walked through the ruins of the palace. For the wood and stone of the palace he had no tears, but for the crown jewels and family heirlooms, passed down for many generations, for these there was no way to comfort the king.

The king gathered his wise men, but none any advice to offer. The jewels had been scattered to the farthest points of the kingdom and to many other lands, the most precious of them taken across the seas to the farthest reaches of the globe. Now the king had a daughter who was very dear to him, and in her wisdom she saw what needed to be done.

So the king and his daughter gathered and trained pigeons to return to the palace, to recognize the crown jewels and carry them back on their journey. Each day they would release the pigeons in the vast fields surrounding the palace, and some would discover the jewels and family heirlooms scattered about and return them to their home. The king was glad and smiled at his daughter.

Then the king’s daughter sent them further away, and again they returned, carrying a few more of the precious things that her father had lost. As far away as they were sent, they quickly returned.


Pidgeon Stories

Now the most valuable jewels, those in the most distant lands and most hidden places, those jewels had not yet been recovered. The pigeons did not venture far enough to find them—they were too eager to return home.

The king’s daughter knew what must be done, but she could not tell her father, for it was too hard, too dangerous, too awful. The king looked into her eyes and he knew. He destroyed his palace once again, levelling it to the ground, removing its every trace. When the pigeons attempted to return, they found nothing, no more than an empty pasture with scattered stones and smoldering wood. They were hungry for their food and sick for their home.

Until the most adventurous of the pigeons traveled far abroad and found other palaces, and in those palaces they found hidden the king’s most precious jewels, and gathered them and polished them and kept them in their wings. And at night they cried, for they knew this was not their home.

They patiently wait for the day the can return to their beloved home.

May all your tales end with Shalom (peace)

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Why the People Screamed When They Prayed

Two men were good friends from the time they were children. When they grew older, one became a Rosh Yeshiva (headmaster/rabbi at a Jewish school) and the other became a very successful merchant. At one point, the Rosh Yeshiva had to go on a trip to collect money for his yeshiva. During his trip, he visited the city where his friend the merchant lived. The merchant was delighted to see his old friend, and he invited him to spend Shabbos at his house.

The Rosh Yeshiva gladly accepted the invitation. Before Shabbos, he gave his friend the money he had collected during his travels so far, asking him to safeguard it until his departure.

Friday night, the two friends went to pray in the local shul (synagogue). The Rosh Yeshiva was surprised to see that the people in the shul screamed loudly when they prayed.

Later, when they were eating the Friday-night meal, the merchant asked his guest what he thought of the community. “I am very impressed with the community,” the Rosh Yeshiva responded, “but can you explain to me why the people here shout so loudly when they pray? Where does this custom come from?”

The merchant declined to give an answer as his wife brought out the Shabbos food. The question was soon forgotten as the two friends began discussing Torah matters and remembering things from their childhood.

In shul the next morning, the strange behavior of people screaming loudly when they prayed repeated itself, and the Rosh Yeshiva was very bothered by the loud shouting of the congregants.

At the day meal, he again asked his friend for an explanation of this unusual custom, but again the merchant avoided the question. The same thing happened at shalosh seudos, after the two returned from a noisy Minchah.

Immediately after Havdalah that night, the Rosh Yeshiva got ready to leave, and he parted warmly from his friend who had hosted him so graciously. As he was about to leave the house, he asked his friend to return the money he had given him for safekeep¬ing on Friday.

“What money?” the merchant asked in surprise.

“The money that I collected on this trip,” the Rosh Yeshiva replied. “I gave it to you before Shabbos, don’t you remember?”

“I’m sorry,” the merchant said, “but I don’t remember you giving me anything for safekeeping.”

“What?” the Rosh Yeshiva sputtered. “How can you not remember? I gave you a thick wad of money!”

“I don’t recall anything of the sort,” the merchant said calmly.

The Rosh Yeshiva realized that he was in deep trouble. He had given his friend tens of thousands of crowns, all of the money he had worked so hard to raise during his trip, thinking that his friend would hide it away in his safe until Shabbos was over. It hadn’t occurred to him to ask his old friend to sign a paper stating that he had received the money. Who would have ever thought that his friend would dream of taking the money for himself?

But now, to his dismay, he realized that he had been naïve in trusting his friend, for his friend valued money far more than friendship.

Seeing that his friend had no intention of returning the money, he raised his voice and shouted at him, “You rasha (wicked man)! Where’s all the money I gave you? How can you dare to do such a thing? This is money that was collected for the yeshiva!”

The Rosh Yeshiva’s shouts were loud enough to be heard out¬side on the street, but the host just listened impassively.

“Excuse me,” he said, “why are you shouting? Can’t you talk calmly and quietly?”

“How can I talk quietly after you hurt me so deeply?” the Rosh Yeshiva continued to yell.

Suddenly, a broad smile spread over the host’s face. He walked over to his safe, removed the money, and handed it to his stunned friend the Rosh Yeshiva.


Jewish Prayer

“Listen to what you are saying,” he told him. “When someone is in pain, troubled or upset, they raise their voice and scream. Is has been this way since ancient times when Samuel wrote: ‘In my distress I called upon the L-rd, and cried to my G-d; and he heard my voice from his temple, and my cry entered into his ears.’ (II Samuel 22:7) So why are you so surprised that the members of our community raised their voices and shout when they pray? They are in pain, and they know that through prayer they can be healed from all of their pain and suffering. And that’s why they scream!”

This is how every Jewish person should approach prayer. He should feel that he has the opportunity to pour out his heart to his Father in Heaven, tell him everything that is hurting him, and ask him to take pity on him and save him.

May all your tales end with Shalom (peace)
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Two Merchants, Silver and the Witness of the Tree

There were once two merchants whose names were Yosef and Chanan. Now Yosef was a very simple and hard-working man who was always saying Psalms and greeted everyone with a good word and a smile. Chanan was very knowledgeable in the ways of buying and selling and was always trying to get more wealth. Yosef and Chanan were friends and frequently traveled together and often shared space at the markets.

One day, after the market closed, the two merchants took to the road. When they stopped for the night they counted their profits and discovered they had between them over 1000 silver coins. When they arrived at the next market Yosef suggested they divide the profits equally.

Chanan thought for a moment and answered his friend, “there are many in the market who would try to take our money and then we will have nothing. Let us hide the money under a tree and if we need money we can get it and divide it equally.”

The two merchants found a large oak tree, dug a hole and buried their bag of silver coins. The very next day, while Yosef was in the marketplace Chanan came and took the money from the hiding place.

A few days past and Yosef decided that it was time to divide the money. He found Chanan the two of them went to the oak tree in the forest. They dug beneath the tree and found nothing.

Chanan became very angry and said, “is this the way friends treat one another? Return the money and we will go our separate ways and never speak of this again.”

Yosef was shocked and confused. “I have not been to this place since we buried our profits.”

Chanan became even angrier and demanded they go to the holy rabbi of the village for justice. The holy rabbi listened to Chanan as he presented his account of the situation and asked, “are there any witnesses to the truth of what you are saying?”

Chanan thought for a moment and answered the holy rabbi, “the oak tree under which we buried the silver shall be the witness.” Chanan looking very serious continued, “let us ask the old oak tree who stole the silver.”


Witness Tree

The holy rabbi was surprised at the words of Chanan, but agreed to go with the two merchants to the old oak tree in the forest.

That night Chanan went to see one of his close friends and persuaded him to hide in a hollow of the oak tree. “When the rabbi asks, who stole the money?” He told his friend to respond, “Yosef took it in the darkness of night.”

The next day the two merchants and the holy rabbi went into the forest. They went to the old oak tree where they had hidden the money. The rabbi walked around the tree three times then asked, “tell us if you can, who stole the bag of silver coins?”

A voice came from inside the tree, “Yosef came in the night and took the money.”

The holy rabbi was wise and asked Chanan if there were any other witnesses. Chanan thought for a moment and answered the moon is also a witness for no case can be determined without two witnesses let us ask the moon what it had seen. The holy rabbi was again surprised by Chanan’s answer.

The holy rabbi lifted his arms toward the moon and said, It is written, “The heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment” (Isa. 51:6). I remind you that before asking for justice from you, we should ask for justice for ourselves, for it is said, “The moon shall be confounded and the sun ashamed” (Isa. 24:23).  Tell us if you can, who stole the bag of silver coins.”

The holy rabbi and the two merchants waited quietly for the moon to bear witness of what happened that night to the silver coins hidden beneath the old oak tree. The wind whispered, but the moon remained silent.

The rabbi saw some men who were working in the forest and asked them to set the tree on fire. The flames began to climb up the trunk of the tree when a voice cried out, “let me out! Let me out! I don’t want to burn to death!”

They dragged a man out of the hollow of the old oak tree. He was singed and very afraid, but he confessed that it was his friend Chanan who had stolen the money.

Yosef was given all of the money and Chanan was punished by his own words, his own trickery and the judgment of the holy rabbi.

May all your tales end with Shalom (peace)

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Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation. (Joel 1:3)

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New Year’s Day – Rosh Hashanah and Blessings

The snow and wind blew while sounds of celebration were heard from outside the wooden synagogue. It was the eve of the secular New Year’s. Many men were gathered around tables studying the holy words of Torah.

Suddenly the door to the holy rabbi’s private room opened and the holy rabbi himself came out and greeted everyone:

“L’Shana Tovah Tikasevu v’Techasemu!”(May you all be inscribed and sealed for a good year!)

With that the holy rabbi went back into his room and closed the door. Everyone who was studying the holy words of Torah were very surprised. Surely the holy rabbi knew that this was not Rosh haShanah, but the secular New Year? Why then did he extend such a greeting.

Some time later, the door opened and the holy rabbi again greeted the men studying the holy words of Torah. Hours passed and the holy rabbi offered the greeting a third time.

Puzzled by the holy rabbi’s behavior, the men went to one of the holy rabbi’s students and asked him to go to his master’s room and ask about the meaning of his strange actions through the night.

The student went and knocked on the door of his teacher, the holy rabbi and entered. The holy rabbi looked up from his studies and greeted his student: “Shalom Aleichem” the student answered: “Aleichem Shalom.” The Rabbi continued: “what brings you to my study at such a late hour?”

The student looked at his teacher, cleared his throat and asked: “many have been studying Torah tonight and you greeted them as though it was Rosh haShanah. This seems a little out of the ordinary. What is the holy reason for your greetings, this night of all times?”

The holy rabbi thought for a moment, smiled and explained:

“Last Rosh Hashanah, the Day of Judgment for all the Jewish people and the world, the Jewish people prayed with intensity in their synagogues. Their prayers and the sounds of the shofar ascended to the heavens. Moved by the waves of heartfelt pleas, the Holy One, blessed be He, left his Throne of Justice to ascend the Throne of Mercy. There he wrote a decree which stated that the coming year would be a year of health and happiness for all Jewish people and peoples of the world.


Davengif

When Yom Kippur, the fearful Day of Atonement, came and He saw how all of the Jewish people fasted and wept and poured out their hearts in prayer as “all are judged on Rosh haShanah and the verdicts is sealed on the Day of Atonement.” (Rosh haShanah 16a) The Holy One, blessed be He lifted the pen to sign the decree of blessings for all of the people in the world.

At that moment, the Dark Accusing One approached to protest: “yes, O L-rd, on Yom Kippur they fast and have remorse, dressed in white as the angels in heaven. What of all the rest of the year when they are filled with sins and wickedness?”

The decree was not signed. 

When the Jewish people gathered together boards and scraps of wood to build succas for the holiday of Succos (the Feast of Tabernacles), prepared to eat and sleep in the succas, the defending angel appealed:


Wooden Succah

“Ribbono Shel Olam, Master of the Universe, You see these succas which even the poorest of Your children are building with so much joy, according to Your command “You shall dwell in booths for seven days” (Leviticus 23:42) and in the days of old “on the Festival of Tabernacles Israel would offer up seventy bullocks, one for each of the seventy nations of the world, and prayed that they might live in peace.” (Pisikta Kahana 175b). Have You heard them pray, ufros aleinu succas sh’lomecha (spread over us the shelter of Your peace). Please sign the decree now. 

And so it would have been, had not the Dark Accusing One not objected: “yes, for the boards, which are here today and gone tomorrow. But for themselves – for their homes, their businesses, their entertainment – they erect strong buildings of brick and stone and glass that last forever!”

Then came Simchas Torah, the Jewish people embraced the Torah and danced with it in their synagogues in boundless joy. Again, the Defending Angel argued that the Holy One, blessed be He, should sign the decree: “See, oh G-d, how your children are happy with Your Holy Word, the Torah!”

The Dark Accusing One intervened: “yes, for one night they dance merrily with your Torah, their heads turned and their spirits lifted by a drop of schnapps. But in a more sober mood when their minds are clear, do they fulfill the mitzvahs, which are written in the Torah?”

The decree was not signed. 

Every window was filled with light during Chanukah. It seemed as though the light of the first day touched every soul. The words of the morning prayer, “v’chol ayin lecha tetzapeh” (every eye longs for you) were realized.

ChanukaLight1

The Defending Angel argued that the Holy One, blessed be He, should sign the decree:

“Look, and see how Your children are bringing Your holy light into the world. For indeed ‘the spirit of man is the candle of the L-rd.’ ” (Proverbs 20:27) 

The dark accusing one interjected: “true, they kindle lights and may touch the soul with holiness, but are they honest and holy in the marketplace or with other people?”

The decree was not signed. 

And so it is that the judgment written in favor of the Jewish people and all the peoples of the world  on Rosh haShanah has remained unsigned all these many weeks until tonight. For when the New Year began and with it started all of the drunkenness, the shouting and brawls that usually occur on that night, the Defending Angel approached G-d and said: “O Lord, see how they begin the New Year tonight. Listen to the screams and noise as well as the sounds of discord, look at the shamelessness and the corruption – and remember how Your children began the New Year on Rosh haShanah, with prayer, with repentance, and with holiness.”

To this, the Dark Accusing One could not say single word. 

And so it was that, after some four months of delay, the Holy One, blessed be He, at last signed the good decree for the Jewish people and the world.

“Therefore,” the holy rabbi concluded, “I greet you tonight with L’Shana Tovah Tikasevu v’Techasemu!,” (May you all be inscribed and sealed for a good year!)

May all your tales end with Shalom (peace)

And May the tales you live in the coming year be filled with blessings

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Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation. (Joel 1:3)

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The Blanket Made By Zadie

Itzik the Schneider was a tailor and everything he sewed was filled with love and faith. When his ainikle (grandson) was born, he sewed a very special blanket that kept the baby warm. As the boy grew, the blanket began to tatter and tear, so zadie took his scissors, needle and thread and made his grandson a coat out of that worn out old blanket.

The coat kept the boy warm as he went to school and played with his friends. The boy loved the coat so much, he was hardly without it. Little boys grow but not coats, and one the coat no longer fit the boy. Again, zadie took his scissors, needle and thread and cut down his grandson’s coat into a vest. The boy loved the vest and wore it almost everywhere, but one day as he was working on a special project for his zadie (grandfather), some paint and glue splattered onto the vest. The vest was ruined and the boy was very upset. Zadie, however, looked at the vest and then to his grandson, told him to not worry, and took the vest, the scissors, needle and some thread and made a wonderful tie for his grandson. The boy wore the tie to school and many special occasions, he loved the tie very much. The boy was visiting his zadie (grandfather) for a holiday and as they sat and ate, zadie was telling stories and singing songs something terrible happened, the tie became stained with soup and food. The boy was very sad, Zadie looked at the tie and smiled.


Yiddish Tailor

After the holiday he took the tie, his scissors, needle and a little thread and made a handkerchief for his grandson. The boy used his special handkerchief until it became tattered and worn. The boy was very gloomy, so zadie took the handkerchief, his scissors, needle and some thread and made small cloth covered button. The boy was very happy and he wore it, button every single day and then…. One day, the button fell off. He looked everywhere but could not find the button that his zadie made for him with needle, some thread and a lot of love. He sat down and cried for a very long time. He found it hard to think or even meet with his friends but then…. One day, he took a pen in his hand and some paper and began to draw and write.

He remembered the blanket, the coat, the vest, the tie, the handkerchief, the cloth covered button, and all the good times he enjoyed with each of these items. He drew pictures and wrote stories about each thing and shared them with his friends. He soon began to understand that while the past can no longer be the present he can always remember.

The same is true for each of us when we suffer a loss.  The sadness that we experience is very real but with time, and sometimes a lot of it, we can begin to appreciate new things about ourselves, our families, our friends, and our community. This does not mean that the person has been erased, it means that we remember and will never forget them because those memories are forever.

May the memories of all your loved ones be a source of strength and blessing

and

May all your tales end with Shalom (peace)

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Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation. (Joel 1:3) 

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A Chanukah Gift of Stories

What does a story teller give as gifts for Chanukah?

Stories of course.

The Season of Lights – Chanukah is coming very quickly as it begins at Sundown on December 12, 2017.  Most people in the Jewish communities throughout the world can rattle off a list of Chanukah traditions such as lighting the menorah each night; playing dreidel games; eating foods cooked in oil (latkes and Sufganiot); and exchanging gifts. 

The age-old tradition of telling stories in the glow of the Chanukah menorah is fading as people turn to their cell phone, computers and social media. The stories carry messages of greatness, nobility, and wisdom while at the same time raising the hopes for a better tomorrow. 

Please read and enjoy the stories below aboutChanukah. Share them with others, comment, join in a discussion, or just “like” the stories and tell us which are your favorites.

Chanukah

 Chanukah during the Holocaust, 20th Century Miracle – An Article from 1981

Chanukah stories

Chanukah and Passover are celbrations of freedom. What do they have in common?Chanukah – Egypt – Passover: Is There a Connection

Chanukah stories

The Jewish people have fought throughout history for faith, Chanuka and the Fighters

Chanukah stories

Chanukah is a celebration of Jewish Women, Chanukah: The Dedication of Jewish women


Chanukah stories

The flame of faith burns bright on Chanukah, The Chanukah Flame of Faith

Chanukah stories

Dreidel is more than just a game, The Mystery of the Dreidel

Chanukah Stories

a short Chanukah story about growth and self improvement, A short Chanukah story, Can One Fix a Spirit on Chanukah

Chanukah Stories

There is more to see than just the menorah, Chanukah Lights and the Blessings of Sight, allows one to see others in a special light.

Chanukah Stories

The lights of the menorah warms people to their very soul and  brings about  Shalom Bayis, Torah and the Menorah of Peace

Chanukah Stories

May all your tales end with Shalom (peace)

Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation. (Joel 1:3) Please share these gifts of wonderful stories with others and start or join a discussion on the Story Tour Blog about the stories.

The Story Tour Blog has grown to over 300 short stories about faith. Many visitors to the Story Tour Blog have requested that the stories be gathered together into a book. 72 of these special tales are now available in the new book that would make a special gift for Chanukah

ORDER YOURS TODAY 

Story Tour: The Journey Begins

StoryTourBook1

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Click here for the the new book, Story Tour: The Journey Begins filled with 72 stories from the Story Tour Blog

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The Powdered Gem

Once there was a king who was known for his wisdom and kindness and he had a son. He loved his son and hoped that he would grow in knowledge and strength, so he sent him off to faraway lands to learn about the many ways people see and understand the world around them. The prince studied the nature of foreign plants and art of making powders and potions to heal. He discovered several different ways of speech and communication in the many lands he traveled through. After a few years the prince returned to his father.

The king was proud of his son and was sure that he would grow into a fine leader. One day, the prince told his father he wasn’t feeling well and took to his bed. As the days went by the prince became so sick he stopped eating. The king called for the doctors and they told him the prince had fallen gravely ill, and that they were unable to find a cure for his illness. The king sent messengers throughout the kingdom offering great reward if someone could cure his son.

One day a man from a faraway land came to the palace and claimed to know a cure for the prince’s illness. He described a certain precious stone which, if one would grind it to the finest of powders, mix it with a fine wine, and give it to the prince to drink —he would be cured.

The gem needed for the cure was very rare, and could not be found anywhere in the kingdom and beyond. Only one of the needed precious stones was to be found in the center of the royal crown. Removing this gem would mean destroying the ancient crown. The crown had been the symbol of the royal family for over 50 generations and it was the king’s most precious possession.

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The king’s ministers were happy to discover the gem, but they were distressed that they would have to destroy the royal crown to provide it to be ground up for the cure for the prince. Sadly, informed the king that the precious stone for the prince’s cure had been found.

The king was happy to receive such good news and commanded that the precious stone be removed from the royal crown and be ground to a fine powder to prepare the cure for his son. The king then ordered that the cure be made as quickly as possible.

As the cure was being prepared, terrible news that the prince’s condition had worsened and that his breathing was slow, his heart beat hardly heard that his lips were sealed shut. The prince was so sick that he could take anything, not even liquids, into his mouth.  The nobles and royal physicians in the palace were certain that, under the circumstances, the king would surely direct that the stone not be ground, so that the honor and splendor of the royal crown could be preserved.

Everyone was shocked when the king commanded them to hurry and crush the gem and to prepare the medicine without delay, and then to pour it into the mouth of the prince.

“Destroy the crown, grind the stone to powder, make the medicine”, the king said frantically, “Who knows? Hopefully a single drop will enter the mouth of my son, and he will be healed.”

The king in his wisdom realized that “No crown carries such royalty as that of humility” (Rokeach, 13th Cent) and that the Holy One, blessed be He “created medicines out of the earth, and let not discerning man reject them. (ben Sira 38:4)

In a world of choices one can become very confused and distracted by many things. It is very hard to focus on what is important, but in all circumstances one should “Choose life so that you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

May all your tales end with Shalom (peace)

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 Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation. (Joel 1:3) 

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The Story Tour Blog has grown to over 300 short stories about faith. Many visitors to the Story Tour Blog have requested that the stories be gathered together into a book. 72 of these special tales are now available in the new book that would make a special gift for Chanukah

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 Story Tour: The Journey Begins

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Stories From Story Tour Blog Available in Book

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The Season of Lights – Chanukah is coming very quickly as it begins at Sundown on December 12, 2017.  Most people in the Jewish communities throughout the world can rattle off a list of Chanukah traditions such as lighting the menorah each night; playing dreidel games; eating foods cooked in oil (latkes and Sufganiot); and exchanging gifts. 

An age-old tradition is telling stories in the glow of the Chanukah menorah. The stories tell of greatness, nobility, and wisdom while at the same time raising the hopes for a better tomorrow. 

The very backdrop to the spiritual stories is attractive to its readers allowing one to peek into the beliefs, and lifestyles of a vanishing age of a faraway world and reminding them that the messages are eternal – just as strong today as they were yesterday. 

The book, Story Tour: The Journey Begins will remind readers of forgotten stories of faith that strengthen and reaffirm hope for a better world. 

Buy a copy of Story Tour: The Journey Begins as a gift for someone special today. Story Tour: The Journey Begins is available from the publisher, Xlibris http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000905091/Story-Tour.aspx   or online at Booksamillion, and Barnes & Noble, and Amazon

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