Friday, January 2, 2009

A Couple of Short Stories

Here is a story about the limits of management:

Rabbi Israel Salant, the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, once sat with his fellow rabbis discussing their congregations. Rabbi Israel listened as the other rabbis told of struggles with their rebellious and unruly flocks.

“I have no such problem,” he volunteered. “I have full confidence that my congregation will follow any command I give.”

The other rabbis looked at him quizzically. “What is the source of your confidence?” they asked.

“It is simple,” answered Rabbi Israel with a smile. “I never give my congregation any command I do not think they will follow.”

And here is another story that I wish I'd put in my book, from A Simple Jew:

"There's a story about Reb Meir Premishlaner – he would hike daily up an icy slope to use the Mikvah (ritual bath). Despite already being an older man, he seemed to make the trip with great ease – an act which prompted a group of youths to attempt the difficult trip themselves. They, however, were unable to successfully make the trek, and returned to the town bruised and sore. When asked how he managed to make the trip, the Tzaddik replied, 'One who is tied above does not fall below.'"

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