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It is God who judges:
     He brings one down, he exalts another.
Psalm 75:7

A Jewish folktale is told about a young couple who
lived around the 12th century. The couple was newly
married and still getting to know each other. The
wife knew that her husband had previously been
extremely poor to the point where he was a beggar.
The husband knew that his wife had been previously
married but was abandoned by her spouse. Now, the
new husband was an extremely successful
businessman, and the two were very happy.

The wife had a tradition. Every day she would prepare
a feast for lunch and her husband would close his
business to come home and enjoy the meal with his
wife. One day, as they had just begun to eat, there was
a knock at the door. The husband opened the door to
find a beggar pleading for food. The husband, who
remembered what it was like to be in such dire
circumstances, told the poor man that he could enjoy
the entire meal prepared by his wife; then once the poor
man finished eating every last morsel, he was sent away
with a bag full of coins.

After the beggar left, the husband noticed that his wife
looked pale and he asked her what was wrong. She
replied: “In my first marriage, I also prepared an exquisite
lunch just as I do for us. One day, a beggar came to our
door as I sat down to eat with my husband. My husband,
however, yelled at the poor man and sent him away with
nothing. After that, we lost all of our money and my
husband left me.”

The wife continued, “That beggar who came today was my
previous husband.” Her husband replied, “I know.” “But
how?” asked the wife. Her husband replied: “I was the
beggar that came to your door.”

It is best to always keep in mind that our current situation
is not necessarily our permanent destination — no matter
what our situation may be today. Our job is to serve God
as best as we can within the circumstances that we find
ourselves in today – knowing that everything can be
completely different tomorrow.

With prayers for shalom, peace,
Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein

(from Holy Land Moments)

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