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Why the Reedcutter Didn't Die

Why the Reedcutter Didn't Die


Shmuel and Avlet, a Persian astrologer, were sitting together watching people go to the pond to cut reeds.

Avlet said to Shmuel, “That man over there is going to go to the pond, but he won’t come back. A snake is going to bite him and he’ll die.”

Shmuel said, “If he’s Jewish, he’ll come back.”

Sure enough, as they were sitting, the man came back.

Avlet stood up and took the man’s bundle of reeds off his back. Inside, among the reeds, was a snake that had been cut in two.

Shmuel asked the man, “You must have done something good to be saved from death like that. What was it?”

The man answered, “Every day, all of us put all our food together and then share it. Today, one man had nothing to share and he was embarrassed, so I told everyone, ‘Today I’m going to collect the food.’ When I got to him, I pretended to take something from him so that he wouldn’t be embarrassed.”

Shmuel said to him, “That was very charitable of you.” and then explained the phrase “Charity saves one from death” (Proverbs 10:2) to mean not just that it saves from an unnatural death, but that it saves one from death itself.

Talmud, Shabbat 156b
Translated by Esther Rabi.
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Gary W. Harper Saylorsburg, PA February 17, 2015

If you work in accord with the Word of Hashem, without ever thinking about any reward, and do it just because it is the right thing to do, then you will be rewarded in ways you cannot even fathom. That sort of act is a true mitzvah, one which hastens the coming of Mashiach. Reply

Bea/Paul Agle WNY February 12, 2015

13 Attributes of Mercy says... chairty gives you mercy not life Something we always seem to forget...

We cannot do anything to give ourselves life or bring about our death. HaShem is King and Master. Our charity makes us His and when you are His... mercy/favor is yours. Mitzvot or not... your choice but its your choice to have favor or got it alone without His favor. B"H Reply

Anonymous US February 11, 2015

Why the Reed Cutter Didn't Die This story means to me that the one who gives is enriched even more than the one who has received the kindness. And the lesson is that giving is life sustaining and we can never be impoverished no matter our circumstances as long as we have something to give. Even if all we have to give is an encouraging smile. And the greatest gift we have from our Creator G-d is is Life itself and it is protected when we love and give to others. This is a lovely story. Reply

Casper February 11, 2015

Nice Story. Inspirational. Reply

Anonymous February 11, 2015

Great story!
Thank you for the inspiration.
We should guard each person's dignity. Reply

Rivka Melbourne February 11, 2015

This is not a children's story Rivkah B.It is a very good reminder in the form of a parable.I enjoyed it and found it helpful. Reply

Rivkah Bergman Tiberias January 27, 2015

why the reedcutter didn't die children's stories should have a lot of pictures. Reply

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