During the early days of Hasidism, just as now, many "sophisticated" Jews turned away from the tradition of their ancestors in order to pursue a life based on secular values.
Rebbe Nachman of Breslov responded with a story...
A king went hunting with his ministers. Caught in a ferocious storm, everyone scattered to seek shelter and the king found himself abandoned. He trudged through mud, snow and wind until he found a hut and knocked on the door.
A peasant let him in and invited him to sit by his meager fire. Not knowing that his shivering, mud-splattered guest was the king, the peasant just did his best to comfort him with simple food and dry clothes.
When the storm ended, the peasant escorted his guest across a miles of rough terrain to the main road, and gave him a bag of nuts for his journey.
When the king returned to his palace, he dismissed the ministers who had abandoned him in the storm.
He sent for the peasant and elevated him to a position of honor.
And so it shall be when the Messiah comes. The intelligentsia who abandoned God to pursue their own interests will be set aside, and honor will pass to the simple folk who did their best to honor God with prayer, charity, and good deeds.
Adapted from Not Just Stories by Rabbi Abraham Twerski, M.D.
Image by Kyle Marquardt via Flickr
Originally published on Facebook