web analytics
August 3, 2015 / 18 Av, 5775
At a Glance
Kidz
Sponsored Post


The Meaning Of Hunger

Tales-of-The-Midrash-logo

In the days of Shlomo HaMelech, the richest man in the land lived in Yerushalayim.  His name was Bavsi and he was known as a wicked miser. He oppressed his servants and his slaves and made their days bitter with toil from dawn until late at night. Because he was so stingy, he did not give them enough food to eat, so they and their children constantly suffered from pangs of hunger.

His evil reputation became so widespread that people began to say, “Stingy as Bavsi.” Others even said, “Evil as Bavsi.” All manners of stories used to be told about his stinginess. It was said that he had purposely not married so he wouldn’t have to support a wife and children. There was also a story told that the day after his brother came for dinner, no food was given to his servants and slaves in order to make up for the cost of his brother’s dinner.

 

Becomes A Food Profiteer

One time a great famine raged in the land. The wealthy but upright citizens opened their granaries and distributed food among the poor – but not Bavsi. He kept his granaries well-secured and put additional locks on the doors. He even reduced the food rations of the people of his household. He became a food profiteer, selling for very high prices, and his wealth multiplied.

Bavsi’s behavior aroused the people’s ire, and they muttered angrily against him until their indignation finally reached Shlomo HaMelech. When the wise king heard what was being said about Bavsi, he grew angry and he decided upon a plan to teach him a lesson.

He sent a royal chamberlain to him with an invitation to dinner. Bavsi was overwhelmed by such an honor from the King and he rejoiced greatly.

“It seems that I have found great favor in the eyes of the King,” he thought. “How my enemies will rage over my good fortune!”

All day long, Bavsi refrained from eating. He wished to arrive hungry at the King’s table so that he might consume more of the royal courses.

 

Told Rules Of Conduct

Upon Bavsi’s arrival at the royal palace, a chamberlain conducted him ceremoniously into a separate room and said, “The King will sup with you alone tonight. The following are the rules of conduct for when you sit down at the table with the King. You must do what I tell you, else the King will grow angry. And woe to you if the King should grow angry!”

“I will do as you bid me,” answered Bavsi, a little frightened.

“First of all, you must never ask for anything, neither from the King, nor from any of the servants. Secondly, no matter what you may see happen, you must not ask any questions nor utter any complaint. And lastly, when the King asks you whether you are enjoying the various courses, you must outdo yourself in praising them, even if they should not please you. Promise me, you will remember and obey the rules.”

“I promise,” swore Bavsi, uneasily.

“Very well then,” said the chamberlain. “There is still one hour before supper so I will have you wait in another room until I call you.”

The chamberlain then conducted Bavsi to a room. There, an open door led into the royal kitchen.

As Bavsi waited patiently, he saw through the door the elaborate preparations being made for the King’s and his supper. The aromas of the sizzling roasts and other courses were wafted through his nostrils. Since he had not eaten all day, he was very hungry, and the smell of food only teased his appetite. Several times, he had to exercise great self-control to keep himself from going into the kitchen so that he might still his hunger. He gritted his teeth and waited for supper.

The time arrived at last.  The chamberlain entered and led Bavsi into the royal presence.

“Sit down, my friend,” King Solomon said to him affably. “Do not be bashful, and eat to your heart’s content.”

Bavsi seated himself. A servant entered and placed a baked fish on a golden platter before the King. The King commenced to eat and as he ate, he exclaimed with rapture, “What fish! How delicious!”

And when the King had finished eating the fish, the servant then placed a dish of fish before Bavsi.

Overjoyed, Bavsi made an eager move toward the fish before him, but at that very moment, another servant snatched it from him and carried it to the kitchen.

Bavsi was on the verge of saying something, when he suddenly recalled the instructions the chamberlain had given him, and he kept his peace.

A servant then brought the King a fine broth in a golden bowl. The King drank the broth with relish while Bavsi waited impatiently to be served in turn. When the King finished his soup, the servant, as in the instance of the fish, also brought Bavsi a golden bowl of soup. But no sooner did he make a movement with his hand towards it, when another servant snatched it from him. The same happened with the roast and with the other courses.

Bavsi was beside himself with hunger and indignation. He cast looks of hatred at the servants, but he had to remain mute and smiling as he sat facing the King.

To the hungry Bavsi it seemed as if the meal would never come to an end.

“I hope you are enjoying your supper,” King Solomon remarked politely.

“I am indeed, O King! Everything is delicious,” the unhappy Bavsi answered.

“I am delighted to hear that,” said the King.

“The food has the taste of paradise in it,” said Bavsi with enthusiasm, recalling further the chamberlain’s instructions.

 

Detained Overnight

When the meal was over, Bavsi, faint with hunger, arose, anxious to make his departure. But the King held him back.

“Don’t go, my friend!” he said. “Do not part from me so fast. The night is still young. I’ve commanded the musicians to regale us with fine music!”

Reluctantly, Bavsi remained.

The musicians entered and played wondrously upon their instruments. But the music only annoyed Bavsi, for he could think of nothing but food.

After the musicians had finished, Bavsi once again rose to go.

“Don’t go, my friend,” said Shlomo HaMelech.  “The hour is too late for you to go home. Sleep this night in the palace.”

Bavsi knew that every word of the King’s was a command, so he remained.  He did not sleep all night because of the pangs of hunger.  Angrily he began to reflect on the possible meaning of the King’s conduct.

“Why did he invite me to a supper at which I was not allowed to eat?” he asked himself.

 

The Truth Dawns On Him

Suddenly it dawned on him that the King had only meant to teach him an object lesson in hunger.

Now, by means of his own experience, he understood the torment of need.  He, the wealthy Bavsi, the well-fed one, who had always despised the poor and had laughed at them when they cried that they were hungry.

The lesson had such a profound impression upon him that from that day onward he changed his ways and he became a different person.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Meaning Of Hunger”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Jerusalem Arabs in court for charges of assaulting Jews.
Jerusalem Arabs Arrested for Brutally Beating Religious Jewish Couple
Latest Kidz Stories
Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

Ptolemy, King of Egypt, had requested that 72 sages be sent to his country to translate the Torah. They were wined and dined and then the king put to them 72 questions, to test their wisdom. The Second Day On the second day, the king made a grand feast and he again began questioning the […]

Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

The first question the king asked was, “What shall a king do to make his rule successful so that he can reign all of his life in peace and happiness?”

Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

Aristeas remained in Jerusalem viewing the sights. He was honored by being permitted to view the kohanim doing the avodah in the Beis HaMikdash.

Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

“Greetings to you,” they called out, “will you be kind enough to give us a blessing?”

“In Chad Gadya we find that the shochet kills the ox and is immediately killed in turn by the Malach HaMaves.

His fifth stage of life starts when he is 18 years of age. He is then compared to a mule.

To his amazement and disappointment, however, David HaMelech showed not the slightest indication of stopping for even a moment.

When his students saw the mule, they decided to clean it and smooth it for their teacher.

Rav Yosef Shmuel looked at the guests and said, “I am very sorry, but I am hired to do the holy work of teaching children Torah. I am not allowed to waste even a moment from this work. This evening, when I have finished, I will be glad to see you and talk with you.”

Finally, his wife came in with the dinner that she had hurriedly prepared and which was not comparable to the wonderful repast she had given away.

The great giant of his time, the Vilna Gaon, once said that the Shaagas Aryeh had the entire Talmud and its commentators at his fingertips and that he could relate the gist of all of them and their sources in one hour.

As for myself, I can only answer that the yetzer hara has persuaded me to take the position because of the honor.

“It must be that beggar,” he exclaimed. “He probably stole my cane.”

“If, however, he rules the other way – that something is not kosher when in reality it is kosher – and thus robs a poor man of his money, this is a far more serious thing.

“Come now, I insist. Tell me what errand of mercy you are on so that I too may have a share in the mitzvah.”

One of the most remarkable men in chassidic lore was Rav Yaakov Yitzchak Horowitz, known as the Chozeh of Lublin. Rav Yaakov Yitzchak was responsible for chassidus capturing the hearts of the vast majority of Polish Jewry. He was not only a great scholar but also possessed humility and modesty, traits that drew many other […]

More Articles from Rabbi Sholom Klass
Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

Ptolemy, King of Egypt, had requested that 72 sages be sent to his country to translate the Torah. They were wined and dined and then the king put to them 72 questions, to test their wisdom. The Second Day On the second day, the king made a grand feast and he again began questioning the […]

Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

The first question the king asked was, “What shall a king do to make his rule successful so that he can reign all of his life in peace and happiness?”

Aristeas remained in Jerusalem viewing the sights. He was honored by being permitted to view the kohanim doing the avodah in the Beis HaMikdash.

“In Chad Gadya we find that the shochet kills the ox and is immediately killed in turn by the Malach HaMaves.

His fifth stage of life starts when he is 18 years of age. He is then compared to a mule.

To his amazement and disappointment, however, David HaMelech showed not the slightest indication of stopping for even a moment.

When his students saw the mule, they decided to clean it and smooth it for their teacher.

Rav Yosef Shmuel looked at the guests and said, “I am very sorry, but I am hired to do the holy work of teaching children Torah. I am not allowed to waste even a moment from this work. This evening, when I have finished, I will be glad to see you and talk with you.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/kidz/midrash-stories/the-meaning-of-hunger/2013/10/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: