Pick Your Table!

Pick Your Table!

Based on a parable attributed to the famous rabbi, Maharam MiRottenberg:

There once was a great rabbi,
Who had a dream one night.
And in the dream he got to see,
A most amazing sight.

The rabbi got the chance to see,
What we'd all like to know.
He found out where givers end up.
And where the selfish go.

First he was led into a room,
Where selfish folk are taken.
A great, big GORGEOUS banquet hall.
Said he, "Are you mistaken?"

The tables were set beautifully.
Great food was piled up high.
"But wait - no one is eating!"
The rabbi wondered, "Why?"

"Why are these people starving?"
He got his answer soon.
Strapped onto each of their arms:
A three-foot-long spoon!

So each one sat there, hungry.
Food in front of each nose.
But they could find no way to eat,
Without bending their elbows!

Then the rabbi was led out,
To the place where givers go.
But it looked just like the other place.
Cried the rabbi, "No way! No!"

A great, big GORGEOUS banquet hall.
Tables set so beautifully.
But here, the people sitting down,
Looked happy as could be.

Three-foot spoons were strapped on,
In this hall - just like the other.
But in this place, each arm stretched out -
To reach the mouth of another!

"So that is it!" the rabbi laughed.
"To see this is a treat!
Here nobody goes hungry.
Here each one gets to eat!"

"They were so used to giving.
Not one minute ticked by.
Before these souls had figured out,
How to help the other guy!"

"In this banquet hall also,
Their elbows could not bend.
But that would not stop them,
From reaching out to help a friend."

"But oy! Those other fellows!
In the other banquet hall!
They're so used to being selfish
They can't think to give at all!"

"Givers get used to giving.
And selfish folk to taking.
But if they knew where they'd end up,
They'd fix the mistake they're making!"

The rabbi told about his dream.
A dream he was quick to share,
Because he felt it could help us,
To stretch ourselves, to care.

He found out where givers end up,
And where the selfish go.
The places aren't different,
But the people make it so.

And right here, right now
Each day that we are living,
Can really feel like Heaven,
If we spend our days giving!

Bracha Goetz is the Harvard-educated author of several children’s books, including Remarkable Park, What Do You See in Your Neighborhood? and The Invisible Book. You can contact Bracha for presentations or questions here.
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Bracha Goetz Baltimore October 30, 2017

Level ב U.L.Y.O.P.,

Thank you so very much for all of your encouragement! I hope you will enjoy reading my books too which you can find in bookstores and on Amazon also! Reply

Level ב U.L.Y.O.P. Brooklyn, NY October 30, 2017

HAHA This is a funny way to learn this lesson. Great story, We loved it, Thanks.

Please write more stories for us to read.

Giving is not just a mitzvah but it also helps in life. Reply

Kylo Ren The First Order December 28, 2016

Nice I'm always negative because I'm a bad guy. I'm not being negative right now. Please read me saying "thank you," okay Bracha Goez? Okay. Thank you. I like you. Make a book. Ignore my Stormtroopers. Thank you again. Reply

Captain America Dallas, Texas, USA December 23, 2016

Nice Hey, Bracha Goez, remember me? Bella? I love this story! It might be your best one! Reply

Anonymous April 6, 2016

love Beautiful story Reply

Anonymous February 17, 2015

A beautiful mashal (Parable). Sounds like something I heard from my childhood.

troy H NC, USA March 5, 2014

Great story that parallels every human concern in life and beyond. Thinking about others frees us from self, the reward which we all tend to seek. Thanks, Troy H. Reply

Leah Engel adelaide, sa, australia via chabadsa.org.au March 21, 2013

this is a really good story about... ahavas yisroel !!! (btw I already posted) Reply

Leah Engel Torak Gardens, adelaide , SA, Australia via kids.tzivoshashem.org January 9, 2013

wow! a really nice story (and educational story) Reply

Anonymous brooklyn, Ne June 5, 2012

wow what a beautiful story Reply

tata December 7, 2010

This is a lovely story what teaches a wonderful moral ... We really need to learn how to help others. If you help others, others will help you. Reply