Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Old Miser

Once upon a time, a long time ago, there lived an old miser. 
Whenever a poor person would ask him for money, he would scoff and turn away from them.
He was very mean and never gave Tzedakah to anyone. 

One day, when he was at home, there came a KNOCK on his door. When he opened the door, standing there was a mother, father, and a little girl. Their clothing was ragged and they looked like they haven't eaten food in many days.

"Please," said the father "we are very poor and very hungry. I can't get a job. I have no food, no clothing, and no house. Please, Please, can you give us a little Tzedakah money?"

"Harumph!" replied the old miser "it's not my fault that you are poor. Too bad!"
And with that, he slammed the door in the poor family's face.

Astonished that the old miser wouldn't have pity on them, they went to the local Rabbi.
When the Rabbi heard how cruel and mean the old miser was to the poor family, he decided it was time to pay the old miser a visit.

That evening, while the old miser was having his supper, there came another KNOCK on his door.
When he opened the door, he was surprised to see the Rabbi himself standing there.
"Please come in" said the old miser to the Rabbi.

"Today," began the Rabbi, " a very poor family came to your house begging to be given a little Tzedakah. Instead, you slammed the door in their faces!"
"It's my fault that they are poor" replied the old miser, "maybe Hashem made them poor because they are bad people."
"Or maybe Hashem made them poor so that you can do a Mitzvah!" replied the Rabbi.

Upset over this comment, the old miser took out three pennies from his pocket and threw them at the Rabbi!
"Here," said the old miser "give this to them!"

Disgusted, the Rabbi got up and left the house.

The old miser had enough of people constantly asking him for money.  He decided that he was going to move someplace where no one knew him, and then no one would ask for Tzedakah from him.

Early the next morning, he packed all his money and possessions in a large trunk, tied it to his horse and buggy, and left town. The new town was a few days journey away, and he was half way through the journey when the old miser's life changed forever.

As he was riding, a band of thieves stopped him and took his horse, buggy, and his trunk filled with all his money and belongings! He was left with nothing but the clothing on his back, in the middle of nowhere.

The old miser decided that he would start walking back to his old town. By foot, it would take him a few days until he returned. As he was walking, it started to rain causing the dirt road to become very slippery. The old miser tripped and fell many times, tearing his clothing and giving him bruises on his face and hands.

In the meantime, the thieves decided that they needed to hide the trunk of money they stole. They decided to sink the trunk at the bottom of the river, and would come back later to retrieve it. 

It was now three days later, and the old miser finally made it back to his town. He was very hungry and his torn clothing and dirty appearance made him look like a beggar. 
In addition, he got very sick from all the rain and walking so that he was unable to speak.

When he got to town, he stopped the first person he saw to ask for help. The passerby looked at the dirty old man and said "I don't give charity to dirty beggars!"

The old miser tried to get the next person to help, and she responded "It's not my fault you are poor! Now get away from me you horrible person!"

Devastated, the old miser tried to ask one more person for help.
"Here," said the person, taking three pennies out of his pocket and throwing them at him "now get away from me!"

Exhausted, the old miser went to the edge of the river and sat down.
Then, he began crying. He realized that everything that happened to him was because he was always mean to people that asked him for Tzedakah. He cried and cried, begging Hashem to forgive him. He realized how wrong he was, and asked for forgiveness. After crying for most of the night, the old miser fell asleep by the river's edge.

The next morning, he awoke starving, for he has not eaten in over three days. Knowing that no one would give him money for food, he decided to try to fish for food himself.
He took off his shoelace and hooked one of his buttons around the end. He then threw that end into the river, hoping that a fish would bite it.

Instead, the shoelace got stuck on something.
He tried to pull it free, but to no avail. He once again cried out to Hashem for help, for now he truly has reached the bottom. He lost all his money, has no food, and now he can't even catch a fish to eat! How sad and lonely the poor old miser felt.

With one last tremendous effort, he gave the shoelace a strong tug.
Suddenly, it began to move! Struggling, he continued pulling and pulling, until finally, the shoelace broke the surface of the water. And attached to the end... was his trunk with all his money and possessions! 

He thanked Hashem and knew what he had to do.

After he got cleaned up and ate some food, he went straight to the poor family he was mean to. He apologized to them, and bought them a house to live in, new clothing, and enough food to last them a lifetime.

He then told the Rabbi to send any beggar to him, for he would make certain to help them out in any way possible. The old miser was very generous with his money. He was never mean to any poor person, and was always glad to be able to do a Mitzvah. 

From that day on, the old miser never forgot what it was like to be poor and lonely. And now, everyone calls him the Good Old Tzaddik!


Saturday, February 25, 2012


Once upon a time, not too long ago, there was a lady named Rochelle who was married to Yankele.
All that Rochelle wanted was to have a little baby. All her friends had a baby, but sadly, she still didn't have a baby after being married for many years.

When her friends would tell her how cute their babies were, Rochelle would sigh and be very sad.
"My baby is so cute" said one friend, "because last night he threw up all over the house!" Rochelle just sighed and wished she had a baby.
"Well," countered another friend, "my baby is the most adorable because he woke up at 2am, kicked me out of my bed, and stole my blanket!" Again, Rochelle just sat there and sighed.

Every night, before going to sleep, Rochelle would take out a Tehillim and daven to Hashem that she should have a little baby.

Mandella was Rochelle's best friend. She would try to get Rochelle out of the house and to do a Mitzvah and in that merit maybe she would have a baby.
"Come Rochelle," Mandella said one day "a Tzedakah needs extra help. Let's go over and see if we can volunteer."
"I can't" said Rochelle. "I'm just too busy! I have to go to work, then to my gym class, and then I have to say Tehillim. I just don't have time to help out!"

Another time, Mandella told Rochelle; "Our shul needs people to cook food for sick people. Could you help out?"
"I can't" said Richelle. "I'm just too busy! I have to go to work, then I have to see my therapist, and then I have to say Tehillim. I just don't have time to help out!"

Each time that Mandella tried to get Rochelle to volunteer and help out a fellow Jew, she always responded that she was just too busy. Eventually, Mandella gave up trying to get Rochelle to do Mitzvos.

One Sunday, while Rochelle was working out on her treadmill, there was a KNOCK on her door.
Rochelle opened the door and standing there was an old man, with a shimmering white beard and a long flowing coat.
"Hello Rochelle." said the man.
"Wha..? How did you know my name?! Who are you??" asked Rochelle astonished.
"My name is Gavriel" he said. "I need your help."
"Oh," said Rochelle, "I'll get my purse and give you money."
"No!" responded Gavriel. "I need you to help by saying Tehillim for a friend for a Refuah Shelama."
"I can't" said Rochelle, "I'm just too busy! Sorry!"
And with that, she closed the door on Gavriel.

The next Sunday, at exactly the same time, there was once more a KNOCK on the door.
"Hello Rochelle" said Gavriel when she opened the door.
"What? Do you want Tzedakah this time?!" she asked.
"No, I just want you to say Tehillim for a friend for a Refuah Shelama."
"I can't" said Rochelle, "I'm just too busy! I told you that last week. Sorry!"
Once again, she closed the door.

Week after week, Gavriel came to her house asking for her help. But each time, she would say she was too busy.

One Sunday, at the same time, there came the familiar KNOCK on her door.
Knowing that it was Gavriel at the door, Rochelle decided that she didn't want to open it this week.
But Gavriel kept knocking and then starting ringing the door bell non-stop. Exasperated, Rochelle opened the door for him.
"I told you," Rochelle shouted, "I am too busy to say Tehillim for your friend!"
"But it's not for my friend" replied Gavriel, "it's for your friend."
"What are you talking about..?" asked Rochelle. 
Just at that moment, the phone rang. Rochelle turned to look at the phone, and when she turned back, Gavriel was gone, nowhere to be seen.

When she picked up the phone, it was her husband, Yankelle, on the other end.
"You have to come to the hospital right away!" he said hurriedly.
"What? Why? What happened" asked Rochelle.
"Your best friend Mandella was in a horrible car accident! Come quick!" he said.

Rochelle rushed to the hospital, and waited in the waiting area to hear of news of her best friend.
While sitting there, she took out her Tehillim and starting davening like never before. She was crying and begging Hashem to help her friend. She davened with such intent, that she didn't see the doctor waiting for her.

"Will she be OK?" Rochelled asked of the doctor.
"Thank G-d" he replied, "she'll be fine. She broke a few bones, but nothing too serious. She should recover nicely."

Every night, for the next month, Rochelle took out her Tehillim and davened that her friend should be better and heal up fully. At the end of the month, her friend came home from the hospital.

Rochelle cooked meals for her, and made sure that she was well taken care of. Whatever Mandella wanted, she got. Soon, Mandella was up and about and back to her old self.

Soon afterwards, Rochelle realized that she was pregnant! A few months later, she gave birth to a beautiful, healthy, baby boy.

It was the night before the bris, and Rochelle was getting ready to go to bed. All of a sudden, there was a loud KNOCK on the door. Rochelle went to answer the door, and standing there was Gavriel.

"Mazel Tov Rochelle! Mazel Tov!" he cried.
"How did you know I had a baby?" asked Rochelle.
"Could I please come in?" he asked.
Instead of walking into the house, he sort of floated inside.
"My name" he said "is really Malach Gavriel. Hashem sent me here to help you."
"You wanted a baby for a long time" he continued "but you weren't ready. All you ever cared about was yourself. How could you take care of a baby if you only think of yourself?! Only after your friend was hurt did you start putting the needs of others before yourself, and then did Hashem see that you were ready to have a baby."

As soon as he finished telling this to Rochelle, he vanished, never to be seen again.

From that day on, Rochelle made certain to help and care for others. Whether it be a Tzedakah organization, a friend that needs help, or any fellow Jew, Rochelle made sure to go out of her way to help them. She instilled this value in her little baby boy, who grew up to be one of the greatest Tzadikkim of all time. 
All of this because Rochelle finally realized, that you must always help a fellow Jew.

                                                  THE END

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Tale Of Two Friends

Once upon a time, not too long ago, there was a little girl named Shaindela. She was such a sweet girl and everyone got along with her. She was a very happy girl, and was always smiling. However, there was one thing Shaindela was a little sad about. Her family was not very wealthy. Actually, they were very poor. Her mother and father both had to work fourteen jobs so that she and her siblings could live in the house, have food and clothing, and go to school.

When her friends would ask her why she always wore the same outfit to school everyday, she would blush and say "Um, because it's my most favorite dress!" 
Even though she was sad that her parents had to work so hard and that she didn't have a lot of toys, she never was jealous of any other girl. In fact, her best friend was the exact opposite of Shaindela.

Rivkela's family was very wealthy. She had hundreds of pairs of outfits and dresses to choose from, she also had every Nintendo ever invented, and lived in a beautiful big mansion. Rivkela and Shaindela were best of friends. They enjoyed the same interests, the same books, and were in the same first grade class by Mrs. Morah. They always sat next to each other on the bus and enjoyed each others company.

One day, as Shaindela was getting off the bus, the janitor, Mr. Schlamazale stopped her. "Shaindela", said Mr. Schlamazale. "I meant to give this to you." and he handed her a brown envelope. 
"This isn't mine.." said Shaindela. 
"Yes it is", said Mr. Schlamazale "I saw it fall out of your knapsack yesterday when you went into Mrs. Morah's classroom. I saw it fall out of a knapsack of a little girl with brown hair, so I knew it must be you!"
"But there are a lot of girls with brown hair in my class!" said Shaindela.

Just then, Mrs. Morah told Shaindela to come to class, as they were going to bake cookies. So Shaindela quickly took the envelope and put it into her knapsack. The whole time she was in school, she forgot about the envelope and was busy working and learning. When school was finished, she ran to the bus and chatted non-stop with Rivkela. When she got home that evening, she was busy doing her homework, and helping her mother. Shaindela completely forgot all about the envelope sitting on the bottom of her knapsack.

A few days later, when Shaindela got onto the bus, she saw Rivkela sitting there looking sad. 
"What's wrong?" asked Shaindela. 
"I don't know what I did with it!" replied Rivkela.
"Did with what?" pressed Shaindela.
"My Daddy gave me some money to give to Mr. Rabbi Principal, and I lost it!" sobbed Rivkela
"Don't worry, Rivkela. I'll help you look for the money." replied Shaindela.
"I already looked everywhere! I looked in my cubby at school, in my closet, and I looked in all my 147 dresses! I lost my Daddy's money!" cried Rivkela.
"Well," said Shaindela, "it's like Mrs. Morah always says. We have to help a fellow Jew. Don't worry, I'll think of something!"

The entire bus ride to school, Shaindela was deep in thought. Finally, when they arrived at school, she had an idea! She got the entire class together and said: "Rivkela lost some money her father gave her. She looked everywhere and can't find it. We have to help a fellow Jew, so I decided we are going to all work together to make some money."

"But how can we make money, we are only in first grade?" said one of their friends.
"Well," said Shaindela, "you are good at baking. So you can bake cookies and sell them. And you," pointing to another friend, "are great at babysitting. You can earn money that way. And you guys," pointing to more friends, "can wash cars!"  And on and on, until everyone was assigned a job to help make money to replace what was lost.   

Shaindela took it upon herself to make certain that everyone was doing their part. Everyday, she would call all the girls in their class and ask them how much money they made. 

Finally, when Shaindela thought they had collected enough money, she told Rivkela to bring the envelope to Mr. Rabbi Principal. 

"My Daddy asked me to give this to you." Rivkela said to Mr. Rabbi Principal.
"Thank You", he replied, taking the envelope from her.

When the Principal got back to his office, he opened the envelope and onto his desk fell out...
78 pennies, 6 nickels, 3 dimes, 2 paperclips, 1 wad of chewed up bubble gum, and 100 bills in Monopoly money.

"Hmmmmmm" said Mr. Rabbi Principal to himself.

After school at Rivkela's house, the girls were thrilled that they were able to collect money to replace the lost money. As they were chatting, there was a Ring from the doorbell. 

"Rivkela" said her Mommy, "could you please get that?"

Rivkela went to open the door, and standing there, in her doorway, was Mr. Rabbi Principal!

"Hello Rivkela", said Mr. Rabbi Principal "is your Daddy home?"

Mr. Rabbi Principal and Rivkela's Daddy were talking for a long time. Finally, Rivkela's Daddy asked her to come over.
"Did you give Mr. Rabbi Principal the money?" asked Rivkela'a Daddy.
"Umm, yes..." said Rivkela.
"Did you give him the money I gave you in the brown envelope?" continued her Daddy.

Just then, Shaindela remembered all about the envelope in her knapsack! 
"I'll be right back" Shaindela exclaimed, and ran to get the envelope.

"I'm sorry Daddy" cried Rivkela. "I lost the money you gave me, and was too embarrassed to tell you. So Shaindela said that we always have to help a fellow Jew. She got all the kids together and gave us each a job to do so we can raise money. Shaindela even gave some of her own money! And then, when we thought we had enough money, I gave it to Mr. Rabbi Principal."

"I have it!" cried Shaindela returning. "Mr. Schlamazale gave the envelope to me, thinking I dropped it, but it was Rivkela. I put it into my knapsack and forgot all about it until right now!" She handed the envelope to Rivkela's Daddy.

Afterwards, everyone was happy. Rivkela was happy, because her Daddy was not upset at her. Rivkela's Daddy was happy that his money was found, and even Mr. Rabbi Principal was happy.

But... the story doesn't end here...

That night, as Shaindela was getting ready to change and go to bed, there was a Ring at the doorbell.
"Shaindela" said her mother, "could you please get the door?"

Shaindela went to open the door, and standing there, in her doorway, was Mr. Rabbi Principal!
"Hello Shaindela", said Mr. Rabbi Principal "is your Daddy home?"

Mr. Rabbi Principal and Shaindela's Daddy were talking for a long time. Finally, Shaindela's Daddy asked her to come over.

"I am so proud of what you did!" said Shaindela's father. "Mr. Rabbi Principal told me all about it! He said you organized all the kids together to help out a fellow Jew."

"Well.." said Shaindela, "I just did what Mrs. Morah always says..."

"But I have even better news" interrupted Mr. Rabbi Principal. "When Rivkela's Daddy heard how hard you worked to help Rivkela out, he wanted to thank you. So, he decided that from now on, your Mommy should stop working, and your Daddy should only work one job!" 

"What? But we can't afford to do that!" said Shaindela's Daddy.

"You can!" continued Mr. Rabbi Principal "because when I told Rivkela's Daddy how hard you and your wife work, he decided that to thank Shaindela, he was going to pay all your bills. That way, you can spend more time with Shaindela and her siblings, and less time working!"

"And finally" said Mr. Rabbi Principal "he thanks you Shaindela, for helping out your fellow Jew!"


Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Special Siddur

Once upon a time, not too long ago, there lived a great Rabbi. The Rabbi learned Torah everyday and was a big Talmid Chacom. For the last year, the Rabbi was working on a special Siddur he was writing. Not only was the outside of the Siddur very pretty and decorative, but inside it was just as majestic. He wanted it to be the best Siddur, so carefully and meticulously he wrote each letter. It would take the Rabbi all day just to finish one page, slowly  and deliberately hand writing each part of the Siddur. 

Today, the Rabbi was on the last page. Finally, after a full year of working on it, the Siddur was complete. The Rabbi made a blessing that this Siddur should be used everyday. And with that, a new Siddur was born!

Oh, how happy the Siddur was! It couldn't wait until some Jewish person would pick it up and daven from it. 
Sadly, this wasn't going to happen any time soon.

Shortly after the Rabbi finished writing the special Siddur, he moved away. The Rabbi's son came to the house to clean up. He saw the Siddur on the table and placed it in a cardboard box along with other items. When the son got home, he placed the box in the basement, forgetting that the Siddur was still inside it. 

Year after year, the poor Siddur was stuck in a box downstairs with no one around to daven from him. How sad and lonely the Siddur felt.

One day, the Rabbi's son came downstairs to get something. Thinking it might be in the box, he opened it up. Inside, he saw the Siddur, and realized that he left it there all this time!

"What should I do with this Siddur?" thought the Rabbi's son. "I already have a Siddur, but I don't want to leave this Siddur down here any longer!"

After thinking about it, the Rabbi's son decided that he would donate the Siddur to the local Yeshiva. The principal of the Yeshiva was very happy to accept it. He placed it on the bookshelf among the other Siddurim. How happy the Siddur felt!

The next morning by davening, a young boy took the Siddur off the shelf and davened from it. The Siddur was overcome with joy! To have someone finally use the Siddur to daven to Hashem. The next day, a different boy davened from the Siddur. Each and every day, a different boy would use it and the Siddur couldn't be happier.

After a few months, it started getting warmer and warmer outside. Soon, it was summer vacation and the Yeshiva was closed. The Siddur was sad to see the boys go, but waited patiently on the shelf for school to start again. The Siddur counted down the days until school would be back in session.

After a few weeks, school was to start again tomorrow! The principal sent the janitor to clean up the Siddurim, so that they would be ready to use for davening tomorrow. The janitor was Mr. Schlamazale.

Mr. Schlamazale took his feather duster and went to go clean the Siddurim. He noticed that the special Siddur was sticking out a little bit, so he tried to push it back into place. But it was stuck! So he pushed harder and harder, until......CRACK! The front cover and many of the pages of the Siddur were torn almost in half!

"Uh Oh" thought Mr. Schlamazale, "I better hide this Siddur before the principal finds out!"

So he took the special Siddur and hid it in the junk closet. The junk closet was filled with odds and ends that didn't have a home. Hardly anyone ever came to the junk closet. The poor Siddur was now ripped and torn, and stuck in a closet where no one would daven from it. How sad the Siddur was!

School started again the next day, but none of the boys noticed that the Siddur was missing. Days turned into weeks, and then into months, and the special Siddur still sat stuck in the closet.

Reuven, a boy in first grade was a great student. He was friendly with everyone and loved to learn and daven in Yeshiva. One day, his Rebbe asked him to look in the junk closet for a certain item.

"Sure!" replied Reuven, and off he went to search in the closet.
After moving around a few items, he found the piece his Rebbe asked about. Right before he was about to close the closet door he noticed the special Siddur sitting in the corner. Slowly, he picked it up and blew the dust off it. He brought it back with him to his Rebbe.

"Here is the item you asked for Rebbe" said Reuven. "While I was in the closet, I saw this Siddur..", and he handed it to his Rebbe. 

"Hmm" said his Rebbe, "this Siddur looks in bad shape." "I think we should put it into the Shaimos pile."
Shaimos is where all the torn and broken Siddurim and Chumasim get put, never to be used again! The Siddur was heart-broken! It didn't want to be placed in Shaimos, it wanted someone to daven to Hashem from it!

"Well," asked Reuven, if it's OK with Rebbe, could I keep this Siddur?"

"Sure!" answered the Rebbe "No one was using it anyway since it was just sitting in the closet. It's all yours Reuven."

Reuven took the Siddur home that night and carefully taped it back together. The next morning, he took the Siddur to Yeshiva and davened from it. Reuven davened very slowly, saying each word out loud. How happy this made the Siddur!

Every day, Reuven would use the special Siddur to daven from. On Friday afternoons, he would take the Siddur home and use it on Shabbos. When summer came along, Reuven packed up the Siddur and took it with him to camp. He never let the Siddur out of his sight. The Siddur was so happy!

Many years passed, and now Reuven is an old man. Since the time he found the Siddur, he has used it every single day. Today, Reuven gave the special Siddur to his son, and made a Brecha that he too should use the Siddur everyday. 

Well, many more years have passed. Each one passed the special Siddur from son to son, that even until this very day, the special Siddur is still being used somewhere to daven to Hashem.


Sunday, February 5, 2012


Once upon a time, in the town of Radan, there lived a person named Schlamazale.
Schlamazale did not like the Jewish people that lived in his town, and was always trying to get them into trouble. He would always come up with silly reasons why the Jewish people should be thrown out of the town or put into jail.

One time, Schlamazale ran to King Dovid, and told the king: "You must put all the Jewish people in jail!"
King Dovid asked: "Why? What did they do?"
Schlamazale answered: "Well, remember it was raining for two days straight? I think the Jewish people caused that! You have to get rid of them right now!"
King Dovid just rolled his eyes and told Schlamazale to stop bothering him.

Another time, Schlamazale ran to King Dovid and said:
"You have to throw all the Jewish people out of town right now!"
King Dovid said: "What do you think they did this time..?"
"Well.." said Schlamazale "I got up this morning and stubbed my toe on my bed! I am certain that the Jewish people caused that to happen!"
Once again, King Dovid just rolled his eyes and told Schlamazale to stop bothering him.

Schlamazale was very upset that King Dovid didn't listen to him about the Jewish people. Schlamazale decided that he would need to come up with an evil plan so that King Dovid would have to throw all the Jewish people in jail.  

Schlamazale thought for a long time until finally, he had a great idea! 

King Dovid had a very precious jewel that he loved to look at. It was in a clear glass case in a big room so that everyone could just enter into the room and view the lovely jewel. The room was never locked because King Dovid wanted people to be able to enter and see the jewel whenever they wanted. The room was called the Viewing Room. It was King Dovid's favorite room in the entire castle.

Schlamazale decided that he would steal the jewel and hide it in the Rabbi's house. Then it would look like the Rabbi and the Jewish people stole the jewel! When King Dovid would find out, he would definitely throw the Rabbi and all the Jewish people in jail!!

That night, Schlamazale sneaked into the Viewing Room. Very slowly, he took the jewel out of the case and put it into his pocket. Then he quickly went to the house where the Rabbi lived. Quietly he entered the house, and placed the jewel underneath the Rabbi's couch. Schlamazale then went home and got into bed smiling, because he knew that tomorrow, the Rabbi and the Jewish people would be in big trouble! Hahaha!

Meanwhile.. while Schlamazale was snoozing, a fire broke out in the Viewing Room and rapidly spread to every surface of the room. By the time the soldiers and firefighters of the castle got to the room, there was nothing left to save. Everything was just ashes. 

When King Dovid heard the news, he asked: "But what about my precious jewel? Were you able to save it?"
"We're sorry your highness," said the firefighters, "but the entire room is just ashes. Your jewel must have melted!" King Dovid stared crying, sad that his precious jewel was gone forever.

The next morning, Schlamazale woke up unaware of the fire that occurred the night before. He went before King Dovid; "Oh king! I have news about your precious jewel!" sang Schlamazale. 
"My jewel...?" asked King Dovid anxiously.
"Yup, your special jewel. I saw the Rabbi of the Jewish people sneak into the Viewing Room last night and take your jewel! Then I saw him hide it underneath his couch."

King Dovid suddenly arose from his throne and started running to the Rabbi's house. 
"You're going to throw him and all the Jewish people in jail? Right??" asked Schlamazale.
But King Dovid wasn't even listening.

When they reached the Rabbi's house, the King banged on the door and demanded to be let in. The Rabbi was shocked to see the King himself standing outside his house. But he let the king in without a word. The king ran to the couch, and pushed it aside. There, underneath the couch, was the king's precious jewel! 

"See" said Schlamazale, "I told you he took it! Are you going to throw him in jail? Huh? Huh?"

The Rabbi was very confused what was going on, but didn't say a word. 
Then King Dovid approached the Rabbi and said..."Oh Thank You! Thank You!"
"Hashem must have told you that there would be a fire in the Viewing Room" continued King Dovid, "so therefore you went in and took my precious jewel out before-hand! I can't thank you enough for all that you have done for me!"

"As a reward" said King Dovid "I am making you the Rabbi, my chief adviser, and from now on,whatever the Jewish people want, they will be granted."

King Dovid decided to send Schlamazale to a far away land, so that he would never bother the Jewish people again. The Jewish people then lived happily and peacefully forever after.



Saturday, February 4, 2012

Brute The Taxman

Once upon a time, many hundreds of years ago, in the land of Yerushalayim, there lived a king named King Dovid. Everybody loved King Dovid, for he was a fair and nice king. He treated his people with respect and dignity. But, there was someone that worked for King Dovid that was not nice. His name is Brute The Taxman.

People called him Mean Brute The Taxman, and his job was to go around town and collect taxes. And boy, was he mean!!

He would go to a house, and bang very hard on the door screaming:
"Open up! It's me, Brute The Taxman!! You need to pay your taxes NOW!!"
 If someone didn't have money to pay, he would take their clothing or furniture instead. He would never give them a chance to bring the money on a different day.

One time, Mean Brute was walking in the street and saw a poor beggar sitting on the side of the road. Mean Brute approached the beggar and said:
"You have to pay taxes!"
The poor beggar responded:
"But I have no money, no house to live in, not even any food to eat. How can I pay taxes?"
Mean Brute said: "Too bad! You live in this city, so you have to pay our taxes!"

And with that, Mean Brute took the coat that the poor beggar was wearing.
"Please" said the poor beggar, "that's my only coat. It's winter time and very cold. Please don't take my coat, I will freeze out here!"
"Too bad!" said Mean Brute. "Since you won't pay taxes, I am taking your coat as payment instead!"
Then Mean Brute left the poor beggar sitting on the side of the road, with no coat to protect him. Mean Brute was very mean!

When King Dovid heard how Mean Brute was treating people, he called Brute into his chambers. King Dovid told Mean Brute:
"You have to stop being so mean! Everyone that lives here is Jewish, and you are Jewish. You have to be nicer to your fellow Jew!"
 "Hah!" Said Mean Brute. "My job is to collect taxes, and that is what I am going to do!"
"But you could be nicer." begged King Dovid. "If someone has no money to pay today, then come back a different time. Please, be a little nicer!"
 "I have to collect taxes, and that's that!" Said Mean Brute turning to leave.
"Wait!" Said King Dovid. "Before you leave, take this." King Dovid then handed Mean Brute a little Chumash. "Put it in your pocket and carry it with you wherever you go. That way, when you collect taxes, you'll feel the Chumash and maybe you'll remember to be nicer to your fellow Jew."
Mean Brute took the Chumash, shoved it into his pocket, and left the palace.
But even with the Chumash in his pocket, he was still mean. And he wasn't any nicer. He still would bang on doors and take away anything people had. He was mean as mean could be.

Finally, King Dovid decided that something had to be done about Mean Brute. After thinking about it, King Dovid decided that he would send Mean Brute to a far away land to collect taxes there. In those days, there were no airplanes. People had to travel by boat, which could take weeks and weeks until it reached the land. King Dovid hoped that if Mean Brute was stuck on a boat for such a long time, he would think about all he has done wrong and realize that he needs to be nicer to his fellow Jew.

Although King Dovid had good intentions, it didn't help at all. Mean Brute just sat back with his Pina Colada and enjoyed the sunshine the entire boat ride. He never once thought about how mean he was and how needs to be nicer to his fellow Jew.
When the boat reached the far away land, Mean Brute was just as mean as ever. He went banging and shouting from one house to the next. Taking money, clothing, furniture, or whatever the person had, until everyone had paid their share of the taxes. 

When the time came for Mean Brute to go back home, he had many trunks and chests filled with gold, silver, money, couches, clothing, shoes, and toys from all the people. He stored them onto the boat, and then boarded with the rest of the passengers.

The captain of the boat back home was called Captain Schlamazale. That is because he sometimes did things without thinking. When the boat was in the middle of the ocean, Captain Schlamazale decided he wanted to see what would happen if he pushed a new button. He never pressed this button before, so he was curious to see what would occur.

On the button were big red letters saying: DO NOT PUSH THIS BUTTON!

Well, Captain Schlamazale pushed the button anyway! Instantly, the boat swerved right, then left, flipped around in a circle and hit a big rock! Water started gushing into the boat, and the boat began sinking. Uh Oh!

There was only one life raft on the boat, and everyone started running towards it.
Suddenly, they heard someone scream. "STOP!".
Mean Brute was standing there blocking the life raft.

"My job is to bring this tax money back to the kingdom. There is no room for all my trunks and chests of money and all of you people.You will just have to stay here" said Mean Brute.

"Stay here!" the people cried. "The boat is sinking! If we don't get on that life raft, we will all drown!"

"Too bad!" said Mean Brute. He then started to pick up a chest to put onto the life raft. As he was lifting the chest, he felt the little Chumash that was still in his pocket. Suddenly, he remembered what King Dovid told him, about helping out his fellow Jew, and realized what he must do.

"Alright," said Mean Brute. "I'll leave the trunks and chests of money here. Everyone get into the life raft. And do it fast before I change my mind!"

Quickly, everyone piled into the raft. As the last person got onto the raft, the boat sank to the bottom of the ocean with everything on it, even all the tax money collected by Mean Brute.

Though the people were saved from the sinking ship, they still were in the middle of the ocean. "How will we survive?" the people started asking. "We have no food and we are still many days away from getting back home?!" The people started crying, thinking that they were all going to starve.

"You should have done what I did." said Mean Brute. He opened his coat and showed the people that inside he had lots of loaves of bread. "I put these in my coat when I knew the ship was sinking."

"Could we please have some?' asked the people on the raft.

"No no!" Said Mean Brute. "Too bad! You should have done the same!"
And with that, he closed his coat tight!

But as he was closing it, he felt the little Chumash in his coat pocket and remembered what King Dovid said about helping is fellow Jew.

"Argh. OK, I'll share my bread with you" said Mean Brute. He then gave everyone a loaf of bread.

Next, Mean Brute took out a huge jug of water and was about to take a sip, when he saw all the people staring at him. "Erghhh... fine! I'll share my water with you too!"

Now the people were safe on the boat with food and water, but it still was a long time until they would get back to land. Again, the people started crying, thinking they will never make it back home. So Mean Brute took out the little Chumash, and started reading about how Hashem saved Avrohom, Yitzchok and Yaakov. "We'll be saved too," said Mean Brute.

A few days later, the life raft landed on land back at the kingdom. Everyone got out and was singing and dancing, happy to be back home! Everyone was excited, except for Mean Brute. He thought that King Dovid would be mad at him since he lost all the tax money.  He was afraid he would be punished or sent to jail!

While everyone was dancing, Mean Brute ran away and decided to hide.
He found a little cave, which had a fig tree and a little river. Mean Brute hid in that cave for a few days, eating the figs and drinking the water. All he had in the cave was his little Chumash, so he started to read and learn it. In a few days, he finished one chapter, then a week later, the next. Soon, he finished the entire Chumash and was starting again.

Finally, one year later, Mean Brute decided it was time to come out of the cave and to face King Dovid. By this time he had a long beard and knew all of the Torah. So he left the cave and went straight to the palace, directly into the chamber where King Dovid was.

Mean Brute said:
"You might not remember me King Dovid, but I am Mean Brute. You sent me to a far away land to collect taxes for you. But on the way back, the boat began sinking. I could either save the tax money or the Jewish people. And I remember what you told me about helping a fellow Jew, so I saved the people. I was too afraid to tell you this until now. So I was hiding in  a cave. I have learned all the Torah, and I realize that I was very mean and I was wrong for how I treated people. Please don't punish me or throw me in jail!"

King Dovid just sat there staring at Mean Brute. Then King Dovid got up out of his chair and walked straight up to him and stared in his eyes. Then, the king grabbed Brute and....gave him a big hug and kiss! "I was looking all over for you" said King Dovid. "I can not thank you enough!"

"Not only did you save all those people, you also saved my daughter!" King Dovid said. "My daughter was on that ship, and she told me how you let the people on the life raft, gave them food and water, and read from the Chumash to them. Because of you, my daughter and all those other people are still alive!"

"But" said the king, "I am not done with you yet!".

"Uh oh" thought Mean Brute, "now I am going to get punished!"

"From now on" said King Dovid, "you will no longer be called Mean Brute. Instead, you will be known as Rabbi Boruch! For you truly know what it means to help a fellow Jew!"

From that day forth, Rabbi Boruch was the Nice Taxman. He wouldn't bang on doors shouting anymore. Instead, he quietly knocked. If he saw a poor beggar on the road, he would open his wallet and give the poor beggar all of his own money! Then he would offer the poor beggar to come and stay in his house.

Rabbi Bourch never forgot what it meant to always help a fellow Jew.