web analytics
August 31, 2015 / 16 Elul, 5775
At a Glance
Kidz
Sponsored Post


The Downtrodden People

Tales of the Gaonim-logo

The great sage Don Yitzchak Abarbanel (1437-1508) would never stop lauding the brilliance and sagacity of his fellow Jews to King Alfonso V of Portugal. Abarbanel was the King’s treasurer and he was respected and loved by the monarch.

Once, while riding in the royal chariot, a discussion came up.

“You can never make me believe that every Jew is a genius or at least smarter than his heathen neighbor,” said the king.

“Very well,” answered Abarbanel. “Let us experiment with the first Jew we encounter on the road.” Turning a corner they encountered a poor Jew with a walking stick wearing tattered clothes. He carried a sack on his shoulders that contained all of his belongings.

“Stop the coach!” commanded the king as he invited the frightened Jew into the royal coach.

“Fear not,” said the king. “I only want to discuss something with you.”

Noticing Don Yitzchak in the coach, the Jew felt relieved.

“Tell me,” asked the king, “where do you come from and what is your occupation?”

“I live in one of our provinces, Your Highness,” he answered. “I am a junk peddler and my wife, children and myself barely eke out a living.”

 

The Chosen People

“Listen to what I have to say, Jew,” said the king. “You are one of the people who believes himself to be the chosen of G-d and that the world was only created for you. Then why are you so miserably poor wandering from town to town, hounded and chased in every country? You remind me of a poor creature we have in the insane asylum who keeps shouting that he is King Alfonso, although he is beaten every day by the guards. What is your answer to this?”

The peddler suddenly grasped his forehead and exclaimed, “Woe is me. I just reminded myself that I lost my dear heirloom, which is very valuable to me. My mind will not be at ease until I find it.”

“Don’t worry,” said the king, “what could it be worth, two or three talents of gold? I’ll give you ten talents of gold, so you can forget about it.”

“Not so,” said the Jew. “No money in the world can replace its value to me.”

“Very well,” said the king. “Tell me where you lost it and I’ll arrange for my servant to look for it.”

“It is near a new building that is being built a few kilometers back where I stopped to rest this morning.”

The king ordered the coach to turn about, and they rode until they came near a building in the process of being built.

 

Who Is The Proprietor?

Pointing to the workers, the Jew asked the king, “Your Highness, can you tell me who the proprietor of this building is?”

“Surely,” answered the king, “the man who is standing on the bottom watching all the working men climbing over the building.”

“I beg to differ,” answered the peddler. “I believe the owner of the building is the man who is standing at the top shouting commands to the workers. Also, your man seems to be afraid that something may fall on him and he is now running into the house.”

Turning to Abarbanel, the king laughingly said, “This is your smart Jew? Any fool can see that the foreman of the construction is only the temporary boss.

“While he and his workingmen are building the house they are on top and the real boss has to keep quiet. But when the house is completed the real owner will take it over and he will eject the workmen.”

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 Downtrodden People”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Survivors in Auschwitz.
Auschwitz Provides Tourists with Outdoor Showers to ‘Cool Down’
Latest Kidz Stories
Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

The poor farmer was thunderstruck and mortified. He ran back to the Chofetz Chaim and fell on his knees before the tzaddik, his eyes filled with tears.

Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

“Every year when I do the service in the Kodesh HaKedashim I behold a figure, that of an old man – an angel – who is always dressed in white and who enters and leaves with me.

Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

The sages asked them, “Why are you unwilling to instruct others?”

Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

Shimon HaTzaddik was appalled that the young man had become a nazir knowing that his hair would be cut.

“Let us ask that gentleman to explain this difficult passage to us,” they said to one another.

Her deed found great favor in the eyes of the Almighty and He sent blessings on the work of her hands so that she became wealthy.

On the third day, while waiting outside, they again heard a noise from the room.

“What!” she cried. “Didn’t you know that the ring contained an expensive diamond, which was worth a lot of money?”

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 […]

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.

“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.

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

The poor farmer was thunderstruck and mortified. He ran back to the Chofetz Chaim and fell on his knees before the tzaddik, his eyes filled with tears.

Gaonim-Midrash-logo-NEW

“Every year when I do the service in the Kodesh HaKedashim I behold a figure, that of an old man – an angel – who is always dressed in white and who enters and leaves with me.

The sages asked them, “Why are you unwilling to instruct others?”

Shimon HaTzaddik was appalled that the young man had become a nazir knowing that his hair would be cut.

“Let us ask that gentleman to explain this difficult passage to us,” they said to one another.

Her deed found great favor in the eyes of the Almighty and He sent blessings on the work of her hands so that she became wealthy.

On the third day, while waiting outside, they again heard a noise from the room.

“What!” she cried. “Didn’t you know that the ring contained an expensive diamond, which was worth a lot of money?”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/kidz/tales-of-the-gaonim/the-downtrodden-people/2013/12/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: