We are pleased to participate in the A to Z Blog Challenge (http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/). The Story Crossroads theme for this year is Kindness Across Cultures: Stories to Prove We Care. Each post highlights present-day and folktale examples.
Jewish people span across the globe and bring along with them the wisdom from the today to the yesteryear. No matter the struggles faced, the Jewish people are ready to help people in need. This is a picture of a man playing a violin in Jerusalem, the Old City, and was taken by Steve Evans. He has granted permission for Story Crossroads to use this image.
Present-Day Joy & Judiciousness
The American Jewish World Service has a particular interest in pursuing justice for other people in kind and daring ways. They support civil and political right worldwide as well as disaster relief and environmental improvements. Their website is here: https://ajws.org/. There is also a 1 1/2 minute video that is a more stunning way to share what they do and why they work for justice: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=MqDW7rXQBJs.
Past Joy & Judiciousness (Folktale)
So many Jewish stories are out there that is was truly hard to figure out which one to feature here. In the end, I enjoyed this story that comes from this Chabad.org website by Elchonon Isaacs: https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/3692093/jewish/The-Secret-of-the-Innkeepers-Blessings.htm.
Here is a summary:
A Rabbi learned about a faithful Innkeeper named Psachya. Word got around that whenever people met with Psachya, the blessings that Psachya bestowed came to pass. The Rabbi wanted to see if Psachya could be a hidden Tzaddikim, a wholly righteous man who has mastered impulses and is filled with God’s love. The Rabbi watched as people came to the inn not even to stay the night but simply to be blessed. He saw how hospitable Psachya was and always aimed to please his guests. When the Innkeeper was paid, the Rabbi was curious when Psachya put the money in a crack in the wall. Finally, the Rabbi revealed his identity and asked Psachya why his blessings come to pass. Psachya did not know though he said that about a year ago the inn was in disarray and he and his wife had hardly anything. His wife asked for him to find a partner to run the inn. Psachya decided that God would be his partner. Half of the inn was Psachya’s while the other half was God’s. When he received payment, he gave half to God in the wall. The Rabbi then understood why God honored the blessings from Psachya.
Interesting Notes on Kindness
- Psachya was known for his kindness and not purely that blessings came to pass when shared by him
- The Rabbi was impressed that Psachya truly was kind and wished for anyone there to be happy
- Instead of being cross, his wife calmly gave advice on searching for a partner to run the inn
- Psachya remembered his agreement/promise with God and gave half back to God
- Psachya and his wife continued in happiness and in kindness and did not let greed overtake them
What stories of kindness do you know associated with the Jewish culture? Anywhere in the world – past or present? Please share in the comments…or anything on your mind.
While you enjoy this blog, Story Crossroads has year-round offerings including the culminating Festival on May 23, 2018 (see schedule here: https://storycrossroads.com/2018-schedule/).
We thank our funders such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the Utah Division of Arts and Museums, the Western States Arts Federation, Utah Humanities, the City of Murray, the South Jordan Arts Council, Utah Valley University and many other individuals. Join us in the support by attending or donating or both! (Click here to donate or get tickets.)