People We Know.

on Wednesday, 15 April 2015. Posted in Parables

There was once a man who was summoned by the King. He was nervous about going alone so he turned to his best friend, asking him to come for support. His best friend turned around and said, "You know, I am your best friend, but I don't want to be there in case you're punished, because everyone knows how close we are, and I don't want to be associated with you during that time".

The man then turned to another friend, not so close, but the reply was the same: he didn't want to be associated with this man receiving a punishment. He was left with no choice but to ask an acquaintance, whom he barely knew by name. This one willingly agreed, understanding that everyone KNOWS that they don't have much to do with each other.

This is a parable to what is going to happen to each one of us at the end of our days. We will turn to our "best friends" - the things we attached the most value to during our life time - be that love, money, lust... whatever we chased. They won't accompany us, for fear of being associated with us in the World of Emes. Then we'll turn to our regular friends - these being our family and friends. But if we've been interacting with them for the wrong reasons, even they won't accompany us.

After, we'll go to the acquaintances we don't know so well. These being our mitzvos: the small bit of tzedaka we gave, the smile we once greeted someone with... We're going to wish we'd been real friends with these acquaintances. We can't begin to conceptualize their value.

Every time we say 'no' to our Yetzer Hara, avert our eyes, turn away from our unhealthy desires, we are creating an 'acquaintance' who we should learn to get to know more and more. They're all we've got to accompany us later!

The Mishna says that a Tzadik in Olam HaEmes would do anything in their power to come back down here just to give one more coin to tzedaka.

Don't underestimate the power of our struggle.

When we win, we are indeed hitting the jackpot.

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