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A story for Pesach, especially this year

סיפור רבי נחמן על קבצן

* Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

Between the news about Iran and Pesach cleaning, here’s a story of hope from Rebbe Nachman of Breslov.

There were once two beggars. As the holiday of Pesach approached, the 1st beggar said to his friend: “Let’s find families where we can be guests on Seder night in order to enjoy a good meal.” He explained how the Seder worked and they both found families to be their Seder hosts.

The 2nd beggar sat down at his Seder that began with dipping parsley in salt water, just as his friend had described. Afterwards, the Haggadah was read, also as the beggar expected. But when he had grown hungry and agitated from waiting for the meal, he was given maror (bitter herbs), something the 1st beggar had forgotten to mention. The 2nd beggar, furious by now at what constituted the festive meal, ran away from the Seder.

Late that night, the 2nd beggar met his friend, the 1st beggar, who was joyful after a wonderful Seder meal. The 2nd beggar angrily described his experience. “Oy, what a fool you are,” the 1st beggar responded. “If you had only waited a little longer. After the maror, you would have eaten a fine meal.”

The message is clear. There is bitterness in the world, but there is no reason to despair since, following the maror there is a delicious meal. It’s just a matter of patience.

During the last six months we have experienced more than a little bitterness. May this bitterness be over soon so that we can be privileged, with God’s help, to enjoy the goodness that has been prepared for us.

And may we hear only good and joyful news.


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