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Stories mythical and mystical, with messages so pertinent they can only be told from far-off lands...

Fables & Parables

Fables & Parables

Stories mythical and mystical, with messages so pertinent they can only be told from far-off lands...

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The King's Friend
Based on an urban legend
The Dancing Jews
The Baal Shem Tov was once asked: "Why do Chassidim burst into song and dance at the slightest provocation? Is this the behavior of a sane person?"
Cracked Vessels
Each day the old woman put the yoke over her shoulders and went down to the river, filled the cans, and walked back to her modest hut...
Rocks and Diamonds
"Oh, you little boy," said the man, resting his free hand on the little boy's shoulder. "You don't know what it's like to have to schlep rocks. When you'll be big like me you'll be happy with a little oven, too"
Work
Why must everything be so difficult? Couldn't G-d have designed our lives so that we wouldn't need to encounter disappointments, challenges and toil every step of the way?
Life After Death: A Parable
Suddenly the world convulses. Upheaval. Writhing. A crushing, staccato pounding. One brother disappears into the turmoil. The second brother bewails the tragedy--the death of a perfectly fine fellow. Why didn't he take better care? Why did he fall into the abyss?
The Fireman
A Parable
He ran to the nearest hut and set fire to its straw roof. The fire began to spread very quickly. “Don’t be alarmed!” cried the lad. “Now watch me.”
The Palace and the Pigeons
The precious jewels had been scattered to the farthest reaches of the globe. How would the king recover that which was most dear to him?
Blintzes
He stopped before the huge glass window and gazed at the rich people sitting in the plush warm room talking and laughing while eating delicious cheese blintzes...
Cholent
“Why have they stopped crying?” wondered the villager. “Are they no longer hungry?” Then he remembered the cholent . . .
The Splattered Gem
“Grind, mix, pour, squander the entire gemstone,” commanded the king. “Who knows? Perhaps a single drop will enter the mouth of my son, and he will be healed!”
Two Birds of Paradise
Perhaps it was the oils of the black bird’s feathers that refracted the light of the sun into so many rainbows. Perhaps it was the mystery of her absolute blackness, or the contrast she held against the bright morning sky. All that could be said is that it was a beauty as indefinable as black is dark.
The Clock on the Tower
For as long as anyone could remember, there was a clock mounted high up on the tallest building in the town. But times change. A murmur of discontent was heard in an element of the population . . .
The King's Gift
Just as the sun had sighed its last rays, the king and his guards sighted a small bright cottage, whose light bravely defied the dusk of an already darkened valley...
A Million Little Cables
"This was all good and well," explained the old navy diver, "when the ship had been under for a month or so. After that it would begin to rust and the hooks would bring up only huge chunks of iron, leaving the rest of the ship behind"
The Mud Hole
Two lost souls, a wealthy businessman and his coachman, arrived in a city one Friday afternoon . . .
Beggars at a Wedding
The day of the wedding arrived. Hundreds of beggars took their places around tables laden with the best food money could buy. But then tragedy struck . . .
First-Class Stowaway
“Sir, you have a first-class ticket,” said the conductor. “Why you are lying under a bench in a third-class car?”
The Cat
Everyone has a right to an opinion. It is inevitable, however, that certain opinions will carry more weight than others
The Artist
“Your Majesty,” said the artist, “I humbly ask that you make no judgment of my work until fifteen minutes after it is unveiled.” An unusual request, but the king nodded in agreement.