Folktales of the Jews - Vol. 2

By Dan Ben-Amos | Go to book overview

69
I Have No Place to Rest

TOLD BY TONY SOLOMON-MA'ARAVI

The story goes like this: There were two friends, let's call them Moses and Aaron, both of them first-rate scholars, shoemakers by profession, but unsuccessful. Their living, as the saying goes, was in the prayers in the prayer book. The two fellows used to sit and talk: Would they ever manage to get up from the table feeling full?

One fine day, Moses told Aaron that he had decided to go to America and seek his fortune there. He couldn't stand being hungry any more. With tears in their eyes they told each other good-bye and swore they would never forget each other.

So Moses went off to America.

After he was gone, Aaron got married. He lived in respectable poverty with his wife and children and quite forgot that he had ever had a good friend by the name of Moses.

But over there, in golden America, Moses got lucky. After several years, he remembered that he had once had a comrade named Aaron and began to long for him. Moses sent Aaron a ticket and invited him to come visit.

Aaron was so surprised that he fainted away. His wife threw cold water on him. Then she asked him, gently, "What will be, Ar'ele, if you go to America? Did he send you a ship ticket?

"It's all right. Moses has a good head. He'll take care of you there. You'll have what to eat and a place to lay your head. And who knows, maybe when you come back he'll even give you some money."

Aaron took his wife's advice and made the journey. En route he threw up into the black waves even the mother's milk he had once suckled, but finally the voyage was over. His comrade Moses greeted him warmly. He showed him what he had amassed there in golden America. Then he made Aaron a proposal:

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