A Parable for Rosh Hashanah


This is an adaptation of a parable from the Maggid of Dubno (Rabbi Jacob Kranz)

“Once there was a wealthy man who wanted to protect his fortune so he hid his wealth in different places in his house. He died before telling his young son where he had hidden the money. After the father’s death, the son lived in the home but he had no work and he had little to eat. He grew increasingly desperate and one day was counting out his last few silver coins when one of the coins dropped, and he crawled on the dirty floor to find it. He searched all over but he couldn’t find his coin. In desperation he pulled up the floorboards and found one of the sacks of golden coins his father had hidden. He opened the sack and was amazed at his fortune. He searched all through the house and found more and more sacks of gold but he never found his original, lost silver coin.”



I’m not sure what the Maggid of Dubno intended to convey with this story, but I love the juxtaposition of the two ideas: the house (the world) is filled with hidden treasure but the silver coin (youth? innocence? simplicity? the father?) is never found again. The parable also speaks to the idea of “looking for one thing but finding another” – a theme that runs back to Yacov’s “G-d is in this place and I, I did not know” moment. It is also a story about searching – what causes us to search, what we find and what we do not find. 

The parable also has a message for us for the coming year: Keep looking, don’t give up hope – the next floorboard you pull up will reveal great treasures.




  

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