Posted on October 18th, 2009 by Rabbi
A certain rich man had ten sons. He swore that on the day of his death he would give each of them one hundred dinars. In due course he lost part of his money and all he had left was nine hundred and fifty dinars. So he gave the nine hundred to nine sons, and the youngest one said to him: “Father, what shall I do? How can you leave me penniless?” And his father said to him: “I swore to give each one of you one hundred dinars and I could not break my oath. But only fifty are left me, and I have taken thirty of them for shouds when I die, so I shall give you the other twenty. For I never thought that the money would be lost to me. But I have ten companions. I shall give them to you and they are better than a thousand dinars. And he instructed his companions about his youngest son, and then he died and was buried.
The nine sons went off to traffic, each going his own way, and the youngest one was left at a complete loss, not knowing what he should do. Meanwhile he spent nineteen dinars and only had one dinar left. Then he said, what use can those ten friends my father left me be, when he told me that they would be better than a thousand dinars? But he took counsel and invited them to his home and spent the last dinar for a feast. They ate and drank with him and said to one another: “This is the only one of all the brothers who keeps his father’s affection for us. We have to keep that affection too and not let him go, but show him kindness for his deeds.”
So each of them gave him a cow in calf and money. The cows gave birth and he sold them, and gathered his money together and tried his hand at commerce. The Lord blessed him and made him richer than his father. Then he said: “My father said truly that friends are better than all the money in the world.”
Therefore a man should increase friends and honor and keep them. And it was in this sense that Ben Sira said: “There will be many who ask after your well being, but reveal your secret only to one in a thousand.”
May all your tales end with Shalom (peace)