1) A LONG-NIGHT’S STORY: “KEEPING HOPE ALIVE”
Here’s a story for the times when the darkness can seem unassailable. (And a blessing based on the story.)
Keeping Hope Alive
The great Jewish mystic known as the Baal Shem Tov had discovered four great holy secrets. In order to keep hope alive in the world, he went to a sacred place in the forest, built an ancient, special fire, said a holy prayer, and spoke the long-forgotten true pronunciation of the most holy name of God.
It was enough. Hope stayed alive for the next generation.
The Baal Shem Tov’s successor, though, did not know the true pronunciation of the most holy name of God. But, when the time came, he went to the place in the forest, built the fire, and spoke the prayer. It was enough. Hope stayed alive for the next generation.
In the next generation, the successor to the successor only knew enough to go to the sacred place in the forest and build the ancient fire. But it was enough; hope stayed alive.
In the following generation, the next successor could only go to the place in the forest and pray that this last, single secret would be enough. It was! Hope stayed alive.
But in the next generation, the final secret was lost. So the successor in this generation sat in his own armchair and told the story.
Just telling the story was enough. Hope stayed alive in the next generation – and the next and the next, as long as the story is told.
2) A WINTER BLESSING FOR STORYTELLERS
May you be blessed with stories of hope.
And may you be blessed to tell the stories – even in the winter darkness – that keep hope alive for those around you.