Friday, September 24, 2010


It happened once upon a time in a small village where poor and god fearing people lived. The houses were very small, one room, really more like a hut, with the floor stamped out of earth and the roof decked with straw. In this one room the whole family lived, the parents and many children, a lot of children usually. They slept there, cooked and ate there, summer and winter, all the same. One day one father could not stand anymore how crowded it was and he went to complain to the Rabbi. Rolling his cap in his hands and bowing his head he started to blabber:  "Oojojoijojoi, Rebbe, I am a poor man and I believe in god and I am observant and I keep the food kosher and pray on Shabbes, but may I be helped? My house is so small and full of people, there is no space, it is too crowded, there is no place to put my feet up and rest, the children fill every corner! And the bad smell, oh it always smells bad, the air is sticky! And the noise they make, oijojoi Rebbe, it is too much, it is unbearable! I am going out of my mind! Please Rebbe,  help me, tell me what to do!"
The Rabbi listened quietly, nodded from time to time, stroked his long gray beard and finally said: "From tomorrow you will bring all your goats to live with you in the house. Come back to me next week!" The poor man started to whine: "But honorable Rebbe, what are you saying? There is no place for those filthy goats!"
But the Rabbi only waved his hand and said: "Do what I told you and come back in one week!"
So he went home, lamenting all the way and not at all understanding what the Rabbi wanted from him. But he did obey and brought the goats in to live with them - oijojoijoijoi and again ojojoijojoi - it was impossible, it was horrendous! The mess was ten times bigger, the smell twenty times worse, the noise thirty times louder, and there was no place to lie down to sleep, they all slept sitting up!
When the week was over, the poor man returned to the Rabbi: "Dear Rebbe, I did what you told me to do, but this is ruining my life and  my wife threatens to run away!"
The Rabbi was smiling silently into his beard and then he ordered: "Take the goats back to their pen and come to me again in one week!"
He went home and gladly did as he was told! Oh, oh, oh, how wonderful life was all of a sudden, how spacey the house was and how clean it smelled and how fresh the air was!!! So much place! Up with his feet to rest! No more loud bloating of the goats, only laughter from the children! And he got hugs and smiles from his wife!
He paid a visit to the Rabbi after a week, he kissed the Rabbi's hands, put a schissele full with goat milk on the table and said: "Thank you Rebbe for your wisdom and your advise! My life is wonderful again, and in my home is a lot of place!  May the Rebbe live a long life!"

The goats photographed by my husband in Turkey.


Eva said...

Now wonder that a far descendant of this man founded the Relativity Theory.

Bernstein said...

Es ist eben alles relativ - vielleicht sollte ich mir auch Geißen zulegen???
Hab ein wunderschönes Wochenende
GlG Inbar

Michelle said...

I wish you a beautiful relaxing Weekend full of Joy!!!

2 B's World said...

Eine wundervolle Story...da wird man doch ziemlich nachdenklich. Und dankbar!

Eine schönes Wochenende Dir und deiner Familie
Liebe Grüße von den 2 B'S

Smithy said...

A wonderful legend with a valuable lesson, Yael! Have a brilliant weekend :)

Sheva said...


This is a brilliant story with a great moral. It teaches you to appreciate what you already have, and to be grateful for what you have. Yael, your blog keeps me coming back!


Dawn of LaTouchables said...

I agree with Sheva, but then I was looking at those goats and thinking, 'Who are they looking at? It must be Uri!'

So here is a little story. It's true. Last week I was riding my bike through the corn fields on the way to the little train station outside of my town, so I could catch the s-bahn to the big city. On the dirt path between the fields, I passed a little fenced-in green oasis with a hut and seven goats. There were big ones and there were small ones. I stopped my bike to stare at them, and they stared at me, then one by one they came to the chain-link fence and stuck their noses through the links, standing on their hind legs and begged to be fed. I looked at their big eyes, and I looked at the ground outside the fence, which was littered with corn kernals outside the reach of the goats. Bending down, I gathered a handful and taking one in my fingertips, gingerly held it up to the goat's lips. I was fully expecting him to bite me, but instead he stuck his pink tongue out and smooched his lips, sucking it sweetly into his mouth. It was like being kissed!

I fed all those goats and was kissed dozens of moment of the day!

Yael said...

Dawn, I LOVE your little encounter with the goats! Ah, and yes, they kiss beautifully!