Sunday, January 13, 2013

Rafi the Boaster

Once upon a time, not so long ago there was a boy named Rafi. He was nine years old and was in the fourth grade. He was a very good boy, he always listened to his parents, did all his homework and had lots of friends. And, Rafi was very smart and was excellent in all sports.

If there was a match test, and the highest score would be 100, Rafi would get an 105! If he scored a 3-pointer at basketball, Rafi would get 4 points! And when Rafi hit a Grand Slam at baseball, 5 people would run home! He was that good!

It only became a matter of time until Rafi started boasting about all his accomplishments. Whenever he would be with his friends, he would tell them all about his home-runs, or great scores on school tests. One time, he invited his new neighbor over to his room to play. For three hours, Rafi went through all his awards and trophies! The boy never wanted to come over again.

"You know," Rafi's Mommy said "Tatty and I are very proud of all your accomplishments. However, you shouldn't boast about them to everyone".
"Why not?" replied Rafi "I am very good!"
"Yes," said his mother, "but you have to remember that the talents you have are a gift from Hashem. And just as Hashem has given you this gift, so too can He take it away!"

Rafi was not happy that his mother didn't want him to boast anymore. He just went to his room and brooded all night long.

The next day was little league practice, and Rafi was excited to hit some home runs.

"Hello boys!" came an unfamiliar voice, "your little league coach is sick so I will take over for today. My name is Mr. Schlamazale!"

After getting all the boys name and positions written down, Mr. Schlamazale looked over the list and said; "Rafi, come here please."
"Yes?" asked Rafi.
"You look sad," Mr. Schlamazale said "what's bothering you?"
"Well," replied Rafi, "my mother doesn't want me to boast about my accomplishments. But I really am good at a lot of things!"
"Oh pooey!" said Mr. Schlamazale. "If you're good at something you should let the whole world know! They call me the Home Run King. Let me show you why!"

With that, Mr. Schlamazale picked up a baseball bat.
"Hey pitcher," he shouted, "throw me a ball!"

The pitched wound up, and threw the ball over the home plate. The ball was so fast, Mr. Schlamazale never even got a chance to swing! 
"Uh," said Mr. Schlamazale "I was just getting ready. Pitch me another one!"

The pitched wound up again and threw the baseball. Mr. Schlamazale swung with all his might, but he missed the ball and instead went spinning in a circle from all his momentum.

"Uh," said Mr. Schlamazale "I was getting a feel for the bat. Pitch me another one and then I'll show you why they call me Home Run King!"

The pitcher wound up, Mr. Schlamazale was ready for it.
When the pitcher threw the ball, Mr. Schlamazale swung harder than ever! But, the bat slipped from his hands and flew threw the air! It barely missed the pitcher, and then just like a boomerang, it circled around and BONKED Mr. Schlamazale right on the head!

"Ohh, what pretty stars!" said Mr. Schlamazale as he fell to the ground.

Everyone went rushing over to make sure he was alright.
After some time, Mr. Schlamazale got up and said, "I'm OK, but oh vey, what a headache I have!"

Rafi learned an important lesson that day. Just like his mother told him, Hashem gives us gifts and can easily take them back. Rafi never boasted again, and while he still did good at tests and sports, he would always say that Hashem just gave him a gift, and he was lucky to have it.