There’s No Place Like Home

There’s No Place Like Home

Martin Buber, in Hasidism and Modern Man, tells the well known story of Rabbi Eizik, son of Rabbi Yekel of Cracow.

After many years of great poverty that had never shaken his faith in G!d, Rabbi Eizik dreamed that someone told him to look for a treasure in Prague, under the bridge that leads to the king’s palace.

When the dream occurred a third time, Rabbi Eizik set out for Prague. But the bridge was guarded day and night and he did not dare start digging Nevertheless, he went to the bridge every morning and kept walking around it until evening.

Finally the guard, who had been watching him, asked in a kindly way whether he was looking for something or waiting for somebody. Rabbi Eizik told him if the dream that had brought him here from a faraway country.

The guard laughed: “And so because of a dream, you wore out your shoes to come here! As for having faith in dreams, if I had had it, I once had a dream that told me to go to Cracow and dig for treasure under the stove in the room of a Jew – Eizik, son of Yekel, that was the name! Eizik, son of Yekel! I can just imagine what it would be like, how I should have to try every house over there, where one half of the Jews are named Eizik and the other Yekel!”

As he laughed again. Rabbi Eizik excused himself, traveled home, dug up the treasure from under his own stove, and used the treasure to build the House of Prayer that is called “Reb Eizik Reb Yekel’s Shul.”

“Take this story to heart,” added Buber, and make what it says your own. “There is something you cannot find out there in the world… there is a place within yourself where you can find it.”

Re-told in Spiritual Judaism, by David Ariel, Pg 53

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R’ Zalman tz’l teaches that a good maisa – a good story – is one where the heart surprises the mind.

Please feel free to use these stories in your teaching and in your holy conversations. ​​I welcome your gentle comments.