Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Atheist and the Bear

HODESH TOV (which means good New Month)
"When Adar (the month of spring time) arrives, we increase joy"
(Ta'anit 29a).

We have had several false springs weather wise this year..cold, hot, cold hot. Now as I am leaving for Israel for two weeks on Sunday, the weather is turning warm...spring has sprung!

An atheist was walking through the woods.   
"What majestic trees"!  
"What powerful rivers"! 
"What beautiful animals"! 
He said to himself.

As he was walking alongside the river, he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him. He turned to look. He saw a 7-foot grizzly bear charge towards him. 

He ran as fast as he could up the path. He looked over his shoulder & saw that the bear was closing in on him. 

He looked over his shoulder again, & the bear was even closer. He tripped & fell on the ground. He rolled over to pick himself up but saw that the bear was right on top of him, reaching for him with his left paw & raising his right paw to strike him.   

At that instant the Atheist cried out, "Oh my G-d!" 

Time Stopped. 
The bear froze.
The forest was silent.

As a bright light shone upon the man, a voice came out of the sky.  "You deny My existence for all these years, teach others I don't exist and even credit creation to cosmic accident." "Do you expect me to help you out of this predicament? Am I to count you as a believer"?   
The atheist looked directly into the light, "It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask you to treat me as a believer now, but perhaps you could make the BEAR a believer"?

"Very Well," said the voice. 

The light went out. The sounds of the forest resumed. And the bear dropped his right paw, closed his eyes & spoke: 

"Blessed art you O Lord King of the Universe for the food I am about to Eat"

Love Yehuda

Gratitude For Encouragement

Someone shared with me that a phrase would run through his mind quite frequently. It was, "You can do it!" Whenever something he was doing seemed to become too difficult, he would hear an inner voice saying, "You can do it!" Whenever he felt too tired to take care of something he knew he had to take care of, he heard this inner voice saying, "You can do it!" This seemed so much a part of him that he took it for granted and didn't give it much thought.

When it was suggested to him to think about gratitude for those who had encouraged him, he remembered a childhood incident. He had an older brother who had repeated this phrase to him a few times. His brother was just three years older, but when he was little, those three years made a big difference. Without his realizing it, those words stayed with him and helped him innumerable times.

Over the years he had grown apart from his older brother and there was a lot of tension and stress in their relationship. They tended to avoid each other. Realizing how much his brother's encouragement had helped him, his sense of gratitude motivated him to renew their relationship. His positive feelings towards his brother aroused positive feelings in return. They both found it almost miraculous that they became so close.

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