Posted on October 31st, 2010 by Rabbi
A king had three loyal advisors who were very close to his heart. One day, the king was told that his trusted friends were plotting to rebel against him. He was further told that his friends made fun of him behind closed doors, and that the king had misjudged them and believed them to be true.
The king summoned his three friends and commanded each, one of them to take control of a dog from the royal kennels and to care for it for three months. After three months had passed, they were to return to the palace.
The king then instructed that any money that was needed to care for the dogs would be provided from the royal treasury to the three men.
The first man took the money but did not use any of it to care for the dog. Instead, he fed the dog his own leftover food and used the money to have a beautiful gold crown fashioned as a gift for the king.
The second man gave the dog just enough food in order for it to remain alive.
The third man, on the other hand, spent all of the money on food for the dog, and the dog grew so fat that it was unrecognizable. When the three months had passed, the friends came before the king.
The first man presented the king with the beautiful gift that he had purchased. The king was delighted and, in return, gave the man a reward from his treasury that was worth many times more than the crown.
The second man showed the king the weak and emaciated dog; the king sent him home without any reward whatsoever.
When the third man displayed the overweight dog, the king —furious over the fact that the man had wasted the money by spending it so unwisely snatched the dog away from him.
There are three types of individuals in the world: The first are the righteous, who do not derive any pleasure whatsoever from materialism and employ all of their powers in the service of Hashem. With the good deeds they perform, they fashion a beautiful crown for their Creator how great is their reward!
The second group consists of those individuals who derive just enough benefit from the world in order to sustain their bodies, not a drop more or less.
The third group consists of those who waste away all of their days, pursuing the delights of this world. In the next world they will be punished for investing all of their powers in order to feed their bodies.
May all your tales end with Shalom (peace)