Folktales of the Jews - Vol. 2

By Dan Ben-Amos | Go to book overview
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The Poor Man Who Became Rich


A man who was working in the field found a treasure. He took it home and became rich. He moved to a different place, purchased a fine large house, and educated and raised his three children. Eventually he sent them to the big city to learn a profession.

The first became a rabbi. The second studied medicine and became a physician. The third studied music and became a great performing artist. They studied for a number of years, until they grew up, married, and built their own homes.

One day, the mother said, "What do we have from our children? We gave them an education and every fine thing, but now we don't see them. Let's go see how they are."

They took some money and went to visit their sons. The first son, who was a rabbi, greeted them warmly and respectfully and brought them to the school, where his disciples sat immersed in their studies and everyone else, too, was engaged in prayer and Torah study. It was as if the whole world were pious and observant.

As for the second, the physician, they came to him and saw how he cared for his patients in the hospital, a place where everyone lay, dressed in white, moaning and suffering. They watched surgical operations and even saw how people die. Their son the physician showed them everything—it seemed as if the whole world were sick. After they saw how they performed surgery, they "the couple" could not stay any longer and went to visit their third son, the musician.

He took them to the theater, which was brightly lit, sat them in the best seats in the house, and asked them to wait until he came to collect them after everyone had left.

Cheerful music resounded through the hall, the atmosphere was happy, and there was dancing and singing on stage. That is how the performance began. Then a man with a patriarchal visage and long white beard came on stage. When the play was over they waited for their son to come collect them.


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Folktales of the Jews - Vol. 2
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