Showing posts from May, 2011

The Rabbi in the Woods

I'll be using this story in my sermon this week on The Early Church. The story is interesting, and I have used it once years ago. It seems that a monastery had fallen onto hard times. No more novices came seeking admission, the industries by which the monks sustained themselves were not attracting customers...the monastery was dying. The Abbot knew of one resource. He undertook a journey deep into the nearby woods to see an old man who was the last surviving Jew from a persecuted group. He was known simply as "The Rabbi Who Walks In The Woods." The abbot came to the rabbi's house, and was invited in. Between them on a table sat the Bible. Both contemplated it, and the abbot, overwhelmed with sadness at the demise of his monastery, began to weep. The rabbi wept with him. Finally, the rabbi reached across the table and touched the abbot's hand. "I have something to tell you," he said, "but you must repeat it only once...then no more."