Posted on כ׳ בכסלו ה׳תשע״ג (4 December 2012) by Rabbi
Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gets understanding….Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to those who lay hold on her; and happy is every one who holds her fast.
Proverbs 3:13, 17-18
Three close friends lived in a certain city. Together they decided that each one of them would travel to a different land and study a particular wisdom of that land. They agreed that upon concluding their studies, they would reunite and demonstrate what they had learned.
They did exactly that. Each one traveled to a distant land and pursued a different field of study.
After several years, the designated time arrived and the three friends came to the appointed meeting place. They were ecstatic to see each other once again, and once the initial joy had passed, they began to show off what they had learned.
“In the land that I was in,” said one of the friends, “I met an expert craftsman who taught me how to fashion powerful binoculars that enable one to see extremely far distances…”
“I,” said the second friend, “met a remarkable coachmen who taught me how to construct a wagon capable of traveling at great speeds. It can travel the lengthy distance of several miles in the blink of an eye!”
“And I,” said the third friend, “met an elderly doctor who taught me how to concoct an amazing medication capable of healing every type of illness!”
As they were admiring each other’s wisdom, the first friend displayed the binoculars he had made.
The friends took turns gazing through the powerful binoculars. Amazingly, they were able to see the capital city, which was a very long distance away. Looking inside the city, they observed a great commotion taking place. People were running through the streets in a panic, expressions of anguish and suffering etched upon their faces.
Adjusting the binoculars slightly the friends were able to discern the reason behind the commotion: The king’s daughter had taken ill, and the doctors had given up hope of finding a remedy. A proclamation therefore went out calling upon anyone capable of lending assistance. In addition, whoever succeeded in curing the king’s daughter would receive an enormous sum of money as a reward.
“It is a pity that I am not in the capital right now,” said the friend who had been taught the art of healing. “Had I been there, I would have presented the king’s daughter with a remedy that would cure her instantly. However, I am too far away…”
“That is not a problem in the least,” remarked the second friend. “Why, the coach that I built could get you to the capital in a matter of minutes.”
The three friends boarded the remarkable coach, and, indeed, they arrived in the capital in the blink of an eye. They stopped at the palace gates and immediately presented the king’s daughter with the amazing remedy.
Lo and behold, upon tasting the medicine, her condition improved considerably. Before long, she underwent a total recovery!
At that point, however, the friends began to argue as to which one of them was entitled to the hefty reward that the king had offered.
“If not for my binoculars,” said the first friend, “you would never have known that the king’s daughter was sick.”
“So what?” answered the second friend. “If not for my coach, it would have taken you a month to get to the capital city”
“You are both correct,” said the third friend. “But what good would it have done you to know that the king’s daughter was sick? And once you would have gotten to the capital — what would you have done then? Truthfully, it was only my medication that made all the difference!”
The king listened to their claims and after consulting with his sagacious advisors, turned to the men and exclaimed, “It is certainly true that if we are to judge on basis of what transpired in the past, it would be rather difficult to determine which one of you deserves the reward. But if we take the future into account…Let us see,” continued the king, “From now on, we will have absolutely no use for your wondrous binoculars. The same thing applies to the spectacular coach. We may very well require more of this unique medicine, however. Therefore, the reward shall be granted to the provider of the medicine!”
There are three partners in the creation of a human being: the Holy One, blessed be He, a father, and a mother. Yet when we desire to know which one of the three a man must obey and respect the most, we must realize that once a child is born, his parents have fulfilled their part of the partnership. Yet we are forever dependent on the Holy One, blessed be He, as He continuously provides us with life!
May all your tales end with Shalom (peace)
Listen to more stories told by the Master Storyteller, Rabbi Rachmiel Tobesman – The Treasures of the King, the Princess and the Peat Digger, Seven Jewish stories, on iTunes and Amazon or Coins, Candles and Faith, eight stories of faith on iTunes and Amazon