Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy With What You Have

Once upon a time, not too long ago, there lived a man named Yankele. He was a nice man and was friendly to everyone. Whenever his wife needed help, he would readily lend a hand. If a friend needed something, Yankele was there in an instant.

There was only one thing that Yankele didn't like, and that was his job.
He would have to get up very early in the morning and would work until late at night. His job was to go into a cave and to dig up big rocks. Then he would have to carry these rocks up to the edge of the river. When he would collect 50 big rocks, a boat would come and take the rocks away to build homes and buildings. 
He would always come home late at night with his back and arms hurting, very tired from all his hard work.

One day, as Yankele was almost finished bringing all the rocks up, a little butterfly came floating in. It gently landed on the big pile of rocks Yankele had assembled. As it fluttered its wings, the big pile started to rumble, and suddenly, all the rocks fell into the river! 

Oh no! Now Yankele was going to have to carry another 50 big rocks up to the river edge, otherwise he wasn't going to get paid.

When Yankele got home that night, his wife realized he was not in a good mood. He complained about his hard work, and how he had to work twice as hard today. "And what's worse," continued Yankele, "is that I work so hard but all our neighbors work less but still have bigger homes and better cars. It's not fair!"

"Well" replied Yankele's wife "it says in the Torah:
Who is rich? Someone that is happy with what they have. 
So you just need to be happy and then you'll feel rich too!"

Yankele didn't like that answer at all. Before he went to bed that night, Yankele Davened to Hashem. He asked to not have to work so hard any longer and to be rich. 

While Yankele was sleeping, he had a dream. In the dream, the Malach Gavriel came to him and said;
"Yankele, Yankele. Hashem has heard your request and will answer your prayers. Tomorrow morning, go to the big rock by the beach and start digging. There you will find what you are looking for!"

When Yankele awoke the next morning, he took his shovel and went to the beach. When he found the big rock, he started digging. After a few minutes, there was nothing but sand. He dug more and more, and still, all he could see was sand. He was about to give up when his shovel hit something hard. It made a 'Thunk' sound. He dug ferociously, and there he saw, a big metal chest!
He pulled the chest up onto the beach, and slowly opened it up. Inside, was tons of money and jewels and old silver coins! It was worth millions of dollars! Yankele was so excited! He lugged the chest home and told his wife of their good fortune!

As the days passed, Yankele grew very fond of his money. So much that he never wanted to leave his house anymore. If friends wanted Yankele to go out with them, he would say "No!" Soon, he never even left his room, for fear that someone would steal all his money. He would have his wife bring all his meals to his room, so he could keep a watchful eye on his money 24x7.

"Won't you please come out for just a little bit?" begged his wife.
"No!" responded Yankele, "I am never leaving this room again! We are rich and i want to make certain that no one takes our money away."

A few months passed, and Yankele wasn't looking so good. He never saw his friends, never got any sunlight, and hardly slept for fear that someone would take his money.

Then, one day, there was a knock on the door to his room.
"Who is it?" grumbled Yankele.
"It's me, Mr. Schlamazale." said the voice. "Your wife asked me to come and install a kitchen in this room for you, so you don't have to leave to get food."
"Wonderful!" said Yankele, and he let Mr. Schlamazale inside.

Now, Mr. Schlamazale wasn't really so good at building things. Actually, this was his first ever job! He tried his best, but he didn't really understand where everything went. "Hmm," he said thinking to himself, "do I connect the green wire to the blue or to the yellow? Or maybe the red to the black? Or maybe the white to the purple?! Well, I guess it doesn't make a difference!" So he connected all the wires together!

 After Mr. Schlamazale was done, there was a brand new kitchen in Yankele's room.
"Now I will never have to leave this room, and I can always watch my money.. hahahaha!" said Yankele
"Come Mr. Schlamazale, let me make you some food as a thank you for installing this kitchen for me." said Yankele.
"Oh boy, that would be great!" said Mr. Schlamazale.

Yankele went to turn on the stove, and as he turned the dial, a humongous BOOM was heard. The room shook and in the next minute, the entire room blew up into a billion little pieces!

After the smoke settled, all that was left of the room was Yankele, Mr. Schlamazale, and a pile of ashes. All the money, jewels and coins were nothing but dust.

"My money...!" cried Yankele, "it's gone, every last penny!" And he started sobbing.
"Uhh, I'm sorry." said Mr. Schlamazale as he got up and ran away.

The next day, Mr. Schlamazale stopped by the house to apologize to Yankele.

Yankele came to the door, and when he saw Mr. Schlamazale, he lifted his hands.
"Don't hit me!" said Mr. Schlamazale in panic.
And with that, Yankele grabbed Mr. Schlamazale and gave him a big hug and a kiss!

"Wha..?" said Mr. Schlamazale.

"I've been living in this room for months," said Yankele, "not going outside, not seeing any of my friends, and hardly even seeing my wife. But now that I don't have any more money, I don't have to live like this anymore. I realized that I have a good wife, a nice house, and great friends. I don't need anything more in life. It's like the Torah says, a rich person is someone who is happy with what they have."
"So thank you Mr. Schlamazale for blowing up my room and all my money! Otherwise, I would never have left that room!"

"Oh," responded Mr. Schlamazale "you're very welcome! But, is there any way I can still get that breakfast from yesterday...?"



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