- Teaching Story
Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, a founder of the contemporary Jewish revival movement, used to tell about a fellow who heard that Sabbath in the town of Libush, when its rabbi was still alive, was like Sabbath in Paradise: Beautiful, joyous, peaceful beyond description. Determined to find the secret of its beauty, he returned, at great expense, to the town. But no one knew the secret because they had not yet been born or were too old to remember Sabbath in the days of the great rabbi. The traveler finally found an old washer woman who had worked in the kitchen when the rabbi lived.
"So what was the secret of the Sabbath day that made it like the Messiah's time? What exactly did the rabbi do that made it so sweet?"
"Oh, I was just a girl," she demurred. "I remember that in the kitchen before Shabbos there was a lot of commotion. Important guests were arriving from far and wide. Everything had to be just so. We were all under a great deal of pressure. In the tumult, we would bump into one another, step on one another's toes. Sometimes we would even yell at one another."
"Yes," said the traveler, "but what was so special about Shabbos?"
"I only remember we would get very angry with one another. Oh yes, and every week we would always forget."
"The Rebbe would walk in, and in the most kindly voice he would ask us if we remembered. But from one week to the next we always forgot."
"We always forgot to forgive one another. And as soon as we remembered to forgive one another, it was Shabbos. Just like that."
Lawrence Kushner in Invisible Lines of Connection
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