Tuesday, August 28, 2012

#BlogElul day 10: Memory

I thought about giving a sermon teaser, but instead, here's a story from Rabbi Shmuel Betzalel Sheftel, known as Rashbatz (circa 1829–1905) as told by Yossy Gordon: 
 In a small town in Russia lived a porter who made his living by transporting people and packages to and from the train station. The porter had a young son who assisted him with his work. Every morning the two would awaken very early, recite their morning prayers, eat breakfast, prepare the horse and wagon, and hit the road. During the summer months, when the sun often rose as early as 3:00 AM, the porter and his son awoke even earlier. 
A summer fast day arrived on the Jewish calendar. The porter roused his son at the usual time, and off to the synagogue they went. When they had finished praying, the porter informed his son that today there would be no eating due to the fast.
The day wore on. The son grew hungrier and hungrier. He began to ask his father incessantly when they would finally eat. Finally, the day ended and his hunger was satisfied. 
The following morning, the boy refused to budge when his father tried to wake him. With an air of indignation the boy told his father, “I do not want to get up, and I do not want to work. I am afraid that you will not let me eat anything today either!”
“Ah, my son, have no fear,” replied the porter. “Today is not yesterday.”
Whenever Rashbatz told this story, he would tap his listener on the shoulder, as if to exclaim, “Get up! Get up! Today is not yesterday!”

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