“Let me tell you a story about a guy named Truth” Adapted Folklore

A wise man was asked, “Why do parables (a simple story to illustrate a lesson) have such persuasive power over people?


The wise man said, “Let me tell you as story.”….



It happened once that Truth walked the streets naked as the day his mother bore him. Truth had nothing to hide and was very comfortable in his own skin.


However, seeing Truth completely naked made people uncomfortable. Truth was different from what people were familiar with. People felt ashamed for looking at Truth. People didn’t know how to respond to Truth. People didn’t want other people to catch them admiring Truth’s “private parts”. Then what made it even worse is that seeing Truth made people self-conscious…seeing Truth’s nakedness made people compare themselves to Truth and feel vulnerable as though they were naked as well.


No one wanted to know Truth or even be close to him. People avoided Truth at all costs. People were so frightened of Truth that they ran away.


So Truth wandered the streets lonely and miserable. Truth was unable to understand why people disliked him so much.


One day Truth met Parable. Parable had a smile on his face, was friendly and welcoming. Parable was decked out in fine clothes and was a sight to see.


Parable said to Truth, “What’s your purpose of walking around naked looking so miserable?”


Truth shook his head sadly and replied, “No one wants anything to do with me. I do and say the right thing, but no one cares. I’ve gotten so old and decrepit that people think I’m worthless and don’t even want to look at me, let alone be around me.”


“What you’re saying makes no sense.” said Parable. “People don’t dislike you because you’re old. Take me for instance, I’m about the same age as you. Nonetheless, the older I get the more attractive I become to people. Here’s a secret about people. They don’t like things that are plain and bare, they like things dressed up, pretty looking and a little artificial. I’ll help you out. I’ll lend you some fine clothes like mine and you’ll soon see a huge difference in how people treat you.


Truth took his advice and decked himself out in some beautiful clothes. Truth was astonished! People no longer shunned him and welcomed him with open arms.


Since that time Truth and Parable became inseparable friends and both were esteemed and loved by all.


“Love…with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might.” by Rabbi Allen Maller (My favorite story of all)

“Love…with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might.”



By Rabbi Allen Maller

To learn more about Rabbi Allen S. Maller click here

One day a young man stood in a town square proclaiming that he had the most beautiful heart in the whole valley. A large crowd gathered and all admired his heart, for it was perfect. There was not a mark or a flaw in it. Yes, they agreed it truly was the most beautiful heart they had ever seen. It was an ideal heart. As beautiful as a Greek stature of an ideal youth. The young man said that his perfect, beautiful heart, was due to his philosophy of following a path of self realization, calmness and detachment.


Then a Rabbi named after Martin Buber appeared at the front of the crowd and said, “Why your heart is not nearly as beautiful as mine.” The crowd and the young man looked at the Rabbi’s heart. It was beating strongly, but it was full of scars. It had places where pieces had been removed and other pieces put in, but they didn’t fit quite right and there were several jagged edges. In fact, in some places there were deep gouges where whole pieces were missing. The people stared. How could Martin Buber say his heart was more beautiful than the heart of the ideal youth?


The young man looked at the older man’s heart and laughed. “You must be joking,” he said. “Compare your heart with mine, mine is perfect and yours is a mess of scars and tears.”


“Yes,” said Rabbi Buber, “yours is perfect looking but I would never trade with you. You see, every scar represents a person to whom I have given my love. I tear out a piece of my heart and give it to people, and often they give me a piece of their heart, which fits into an empty place in my heart. But because the pieces aren’t exactly equal I have some rough edges, which I cherish, because they remind me of the love we shared. Sometimes I give pieces of my heart away, and the other person doesn’t return a piece of his or her heart to me. These are the empty gouges…giving love is taking a chance. And then there are places where my heart is broken, reminding me of the love I have had, and lost. I say Kaddish then to praise God for the pains of living a life of loving and caring; for it is better to love and lose than never to love at all.”


The young man stood silently with tears running down his cheeks. He walked up to the older man, reached into his perfect, young and beautiful heart and ripped a piece out. He offered it to the old man with trembling hands. The Rabbi took the young man’s offering, placed it in his heart and then took a piece from his old scarred heart and placed it in the wound in the young man’s heart.


It fit, but not perfectly, as there were some jagged edges. The young man looked at his heart, not perfect anymore but more beautiful than ever, since love from Rabbi Buber’s heart now flowed into his. They embraced and walked away side by side.


“A Pair of Pears” By Rabbi Allen Maller



By Rabbi Allen Maller

To learn more about Rabbi Allen S. Maller click here

There was a king who had a daughter who was very ill. The doctors couldn’t find anything wrong with her. She just seemed miserable and cried often.



One night the princess dreamed that if she ate a pair of very special pears she would get well. In order to learn what would make the pears so special, she would have to meet with each person who brought pears to her. Her mother the queen, decreed that whoever brought in the very special pears that healed the princess, would have the opportunity to marry the princess, if she wanted to marry him.



Hundreds of young men brought baskets of pears to the princess. She talked for a long time to each of the young men, and ate their pears, but none of them made her feel better.



One farmer who had very sweet and juicy pears as well as three sons told his eldest son, the most handsome of the three, to take a basket of pears to the princess. On the way to the princess the handsome son met a dwarf who related how hungry he was. The dwarf saw the basket and said, “You must be taking pears to heal the princess. Please give me a few pears so I will not starve.”



The handsome son didn’t want to give away even one pear, especially to a dwarf. He was afraid that any pear given away might turn out to be the special one of the pair that would heal the princess. Then he would lose the chance to marry her.



So he said to the hungry man, “The only pears I have in this basket are pairs of pig’s feet.” The hungry man, who was really the prophet Elijah in disguise, replied, “Amen! So shall it be.” Then he walked away.



When the handsome son was brought to the princess, he opened his basket to show her his pears, and it was filled with pairs of pig’s feet. The princess fainted. The king ordered the eldest son to be thrown out into the street.



When the handsome son returned home he didn’t want to tell anybody what had happened so he just said that the pears didn’t work. The farmer then decided to send his middle son, the one who was tall, strong and had lovely blond hair, to bring the farmer’s best pears to the princess.



On the road to the castle the tall blond son also met Elijah, who was disguised this time as a poor beggar who was deaf in one ear. The blond son also didn’t want to help the beggar, even though he seemed very hungry.



The tall blond son said, “I can’t help you. The only pears I have in this basket are pairs of pig’s ears.” “Amen!” said Elijah, “so shall it be.”



When the tall blond son was brought to the princess he opened his basket and it was filled to the top with pairs of pig’s ears. The princess became nauseous and threw up. The king had the blond son thrown out the window into the street. When the middle son returned home he also didn’t tell anybody what happened.



The youngest son wasn’t very handsome, and he wasn’t tall or blond, but he was very kind and considerate. He begged his father to let him go because he wanted to help the princess, although he didn’t think she would want to marry him. On the road to the princess he also met Elijah disguised as a beggar with ugly sores and scabs all over his face and arms.



He felt sorry for the ugly beggar, and even before the beggar asked, he offered half of the pears in the basket to the man saying, “I pray these pears are good for you.” Elijah took them and replied, “Amen! So shall it be good for you.”



When the youngest son opened his basket before the princess she asked why it was only half filled with pears. He told her about offering half the basket of pears to the beggar who was covered with sores and scabs. The princess began to cry. The youngest son apologized for making her cry, but to his surprise she suddenly hugged him. They spent the whole day talking and the princess felt better and better. By the next day she was feeling great. A month later she told the youngest son she wanted to marry him, and that is what she did.



The boy’s father could never figure out what was special about the pears that the youngest son brought to the princess.


“Holy Gloves” By Rabbi Allen Maller

Holy Gloves

By Rabbi Allen Maller


 To learn more about Rabbi Allen S. Maller click here




One winter, a young boy lost his only pair of gloves. “I felt very guilty about it,” he said, “don’t ask me why. I never even asked for another pair. I don’t think I ever had another pair until I went into the army. Ever since then, for me, being rich is being warm.”


Can you see him? Can you see this boy, 11 or 12 years old, this boy who loses a glove and is scared to tell his parents, because he knows they can’t afford another pair? Can you see this boy who never forgets what it’s like to go around with bare hands in the bone-chilling winter of New York City? What happens to a boy like this?


Sometimes a boy like this grows up angry — angry that his parents couldn’t provide for him; angry with richer folks around him who walked right by and never gave a thought to a kid whose hands were freezing in the cold.


Sometimes a boy like this grows up hungry; acquisitive; working as hard as he can to amass a pile of money so he can buy more gloves than he’ll ever need.


Sometimes he grows up scared that everything he’s got will slip through his fingers and he’ll be out in the cold once again.


And sometimes he grows up callous, hard and suspicious — damned if he’ll offer anyone else a handout. He had to struggle to get where he is, after all — so why the hell shouldn’t they?


But this boy didn’t turn into a bitter tight-fisted man? He grow up to be Gloves Greenberg instead, a man who over 30 years gave thousands of pairs of gloves to the poor and homeless in New York City. WHY?


The answer seems clear from his obituary. It was his father. It was this father about whom we know almost nothing, except that he was a baker who taught his son one simple thing, one good and true lesson about life: No matter how deprived you are, he said, don’t deprive yourself of the Mitzvah of Tsadakah, the joy of giving.


And so an ordinary man with an unremarkable job took on a mitzvah—and in doing so, became extraordinary. Meyer Greenberg wasn’t a saint; although he might have been one of at least 36 unknown righteous Jewish men and women whose lives prevent the world from being destroyed.


He didn’t throw away his wealth and move to Calcutta to care for lepers. But for one month each year, for thirty years in a row, he gave out hundreds of pairs of gloves to the homeless.


The story of Gloves Greenberg would probably never make it into a standard self-help book — the kind of book that tells you how to flatten your stomach or break your addiction to the wrong kind of lover. But it is a profoundly Jewish self-help story and it can be an inspiration to all of us who have suffered, lost out, or been victimized. In the coming High Holy Days see in yourself how often you have overcome a wound to enrich another. This is the miracle of Tsadakah/giving. This is the miracle of Teshuvah. This is the miracle of human living. This is the miracle of a New Year.


Repentance, Atonement & Some Nails by Rabbi Allen Maller

Repentance, Atonement &  Some Nails


By Rabbi Allen Maller

 To learn more about Rabbi Allen S. Maller click here

Her mother once gave her a bag of nails and told her that every time she lost her temper or insulted somebody she must hammer a nail into the back of their fence.


The first day the girl hit 14 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as she learned to control her anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled. She discovered it was easier to hold her temper than to drive those nails into the fence.


Finally the day came when the girl didn’t lose her temper at all. She told her mother about it and the mother suggested that the girl now pull out one nail for each day that she was able to hold her temper. The days passed. Finally, she told her mother that all the nails were gone.


The mother took her daughter by the hand and led her to the fence. She said, “You have done well, my daughter, but look at all the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like these.” You can put a knife in a person and draw it out. It does not matter how many times you say I’m sorry, the wound is still there. A verbal wound is almost as bad as a physical one.


“How can I repair the fence?” asked the girl. “Will it have to remain damaged forever?”


“Yes and no” said the mother. “Our Rabbis say that if the fence is alive and responds to the way you have changed, it too can change and heal itself. If the fence is dead to the possibility of your repentance it will carry its scars onward.  The fence will never be as it was before, but it doesn’t have to become like new to be a good fence. If you do your part and change, and the fence does its part in response, God will do something wonderful. God will promote a healing that will make you and the fence better. This process is called Atonement. It means that the changes that come about from repentance and forgiveness lead people to higher levels of relationship than was the case before.


“What happens if the fence doesn’t respond?” asked the girl. “Can I ever make it whole?”


“You should try on three different occasions,” said the mother, “but if the fence remains dead even after you have changed, YOU can’t force it to become whole. In that case you should fix another fence somewhere else. There are always lots of fences that need fixing, and whenever you fix a fence God will make something wonderful happen. That is the miracle of Atonement. God always responds to our attempts to change by helping us change and always responds to our change by giving us new and wonderful opportunities for Atonement. This is why we have a Day of Atonement ten days after the beginning of every New Year; so the New Year will be a better one than the last one.”


Poem for when we GRIEVE or STRUGGLE by Rabbi Allen S. Maller

[box type=”info”]

Rabbi Allen S. Maller is my Rabbi.

As a thirteen year old child, this poem changed my life.

I am forever grateful to all the lessons I learned from my Rabbi.

Thank you, Rabbi Maller.[/box]

To learn more about Rabbi Allen S. Maller click here

When I die

(…or stuggle, am in pain, or feel lost)

If you need to weep

Cry for someone

Walking the street beside you.


And when you need me

Put your arms around others

And give them what you need to give me.

You can love me most by letting

Hands touch hands, and

Souls touch souls.

You can love me most by

Sharing your Simchas (goodness) and

Multiplying your Mitzvot (acts of kindness).

You can love me most by

Letting me live in your eyes

And not on your mind.


And when you say Kaddish (prayer) for me

Remember what our Torah teaches,

Love doesn’t die

People do.

So when all that’s left of me is love

Give me away.


To learn more about Rabbi Allen S. Maller click here