Everyone Prefers His Own
Bundle of Troubles
TOLD BY BEZALEL WEXLER TO ABRAHAM KEREN
The rumor flew through the town: The Messiah was on his way. Soon he would reach their town. The rabbi gathered his flock in the synagogue and told them about the wonderful and exciting event that was about to happen. "My brothers in Israel," he announced, "the end of the exile has arrived, the end and termination of all our troubles has come. Our righteous Messiah is on his way!
"So we can get rid of our troubles, everyone go home and tie them all up in a bundle and put them in a corner of the synagogue. After that, we'll recite psalms and sing the songs of King David. When the Messiah nears our town, we'll all go out to greet him—young and old, men and women and children. Now go home and pack all your troubles in a bundle. When the Messiah comes, we'll leave all our pains behind, here in the Diaspora, and ascend to Zion in joy."
The townspeople scattered to their homes and did as the rabbi had instructed. They all brought their bundles to the synagogue, recited psalms, and waited for the Messiah to arrive.
A day passed, two days passed—and still the footsteps of the Messiah were not heard. The rabbi dispatched messengers to see if he was approaching the town, but they did not find his traces.
After a prolonged wait, the rabbi again gathered his flock in the synagogue. In a voice full of disappointment, choking on tears, he announced: "My fellow congregants, Heaven has postponed the redemption. Satan the accusing angel has once again proved stronger. You must all go back home. Everyone take his bundle of troubles and wait for the end of the exile, for the full redemption."
A great commotion broke out in the synagogue. They all fell on the pile of bundles of troubles, pushing and shouting. "Where is my bundle?