My late rebbe, R' Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, zt"l, (זכר צדיק לברכה) was a master storyteller. He taught: "a good story is one where the mind surprises the heart". "A Year of Stories" is dedicated to his memory. I invite you to forward the link to these stories so that they find their way into the hearts of other listeners and tellers.
A man woke up in confusion every morning. He never remembered where he put his clothes the night before, and every morning he would spend a lot of time searching for the things he needed to put on. One night he hit upon a brilliant idea.
He exclaimed, "I need a system! I must have an accounting for everything."
And so that evening he made a list, writing down the exact location of each article of his clothing. He then pinned the note on his pillow, and fell asleep.
When he awoke the next morning the first thing he saw was the list. He immediately reached for it and with the note in hand, he confidently rose from his bed and read the list aloud.
"Pants - bedpost. Check.
Shoes - under the bed. Check.
Socks - in the shoes. Check."
As he checked off each article of clothing, he put them on - one by one - until he reached the last of the items.
"Cap - doorknob. Check!" With a final flourish, he placed the cap on top of his head, and smiled. "There, I did it, it worked!"
In the next moment however his smile turned to concern, for as he checked the list one last time he realized that something was missing.
"Hmmm....," he wondered.
"Where am I?"
Story re-crafted by R' Mark Novak from a version found in The Stories We Pray by Joel Luric Grishaver, who crafted his version from Chasidic Tales Re-Told, edited by Edith Samuel and prepared by R' Harvey Fields (out of print). A personal note: When a storyteller follows up a story by telling the listener what it means, my heart sinks and my mind withdraws. I leave it to you, gentle reader, to place these stories into the context of your personal journey, gleaning whatever meaning or interpretation resonates within.
Let me know if you use the story and in what context. And......I'd love to hear YOUR stories!
And if you are enjoying these stories/teachings and would like to support our work please consider offering a tax deductible donation to DC's Jewish Renewal community,
Minyan Oneg Shabbat. Thank you.
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"Year of Stories" followers, let me know at RebMarko@gmail.com,
with "Year of Stories" in the subject line.
Mark Novak is a "free-range" rabbi who lives in Washington DC and works, well, just about everywhere. In 2012 he founded Minyan Oneg Shabbat, home to MOSH (Minyan Oneg Shabbat), MindfulMOSH (Jewish mindfulness gathering), and