The Horse

Shalom Aleichem!

The email subject says I have an announcement, and here it is: Our annual $10,000 Raffle has launched! All funds stay local and directly benefit the Chabad House at Queens College. Thank G-d, each year the raffle is more successful (perhaps because more and more alumni are giving back). So can I ask you a favor? Please visit and purchase your tickets today!

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Mazel tov to QC alum Adam & Rachel Rodkin on the birth of a son! We were excited to host the Shalom Zachar gathering last Friday night in our home.

Mazel tov to all the Queens College graduates!
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A friend recently shared a story with me, which I thought I would pass on to you.This story has been handed down in the name of Rabbi Simcha Bunem of Pshis’chah (1765-1827). 

There once was a wealthy person in Poland who owned a beautiful horse, which he loved very much. It had cost him a fortunte, and it was often on his mind. In fact, he was so concerned that someone would attempt to steal it that he built a well-fortified barn, replete with iron doors and locks.

Yet he was still concerned that thieves could somehow steal his precious horse. As an extra precaution, he hired a watchman to guard the horse around the clock.

And now that the barn was seemingly impenetrable and the watchman was at his place, he felt calmed, and retired for the evening.

However, he lay in bed, wondering, Perhaps the watchman fell asleep on the job? Unable to sleep, he went outside to check on the watchman.

Much to his delight, he found the watchman wide awake at his post, deeply engrossed in thought.

“What are you thinking about? What’s on your mind?” he inquired.

“To tell you the truth,” the watchman replied, “I am quite perplexed by a particular problem. When a person hammers a nail into the wall, is it not true that there is now a hole in the wall? I am struggling to figure out: What happened to the material that used to be in the hole?”

This answer left the man pleasurably impressed by his watchman’s astounding intelligence.

He returned to his bedroom, but he loved his horse so much that he was still unable to doze for even a minute. After all, what if the watchman fell asleep on the job and thieves came along?!

Returning to the barn, he again found the watchman in a pensive state. His philosophical mind was obviously engrossed in some other profound speculation…

Nu, what’s bothering you now?”

“I am disturbed by a different question,” replied the watchman. “When you eat a bagel — where does the hole go?”

The man was very pleased with this response. Such cosmic problems would no doubt keep his brilliant watchman from falling asleep on the job. “Keep up the good work!” he told him.

Yet despite all this assurance, his beloved horse kept popping into his mind. He was consumed with worry. He couldn’t sleep.

Returning a third time to check on the watchman, he found him pacing back and forth very seriously.

Nu, tell me what’s disturbing you now.”

“Don’t get angry,” the watchman said, “I am disturbed by a very serious problem. Can you please explain to me how it is possible that even though you constructed such a strong barn — like a fortress! — where the iron doors are locked with heavy padlocks, with a watchman on guard day and night, the horse nevertheless disappeared?

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I’m not sure, but it could be that the point of the story is that some things in life are more important than others. On a daily basis, we may encounter numerous things which play a secondary role. It can sometimes be so easy to get distracted by the secondary things, that we lose sight of those things which should be of primary importance in our life.

Shabbat Shalom,